New York Mets: Tom Glavine
Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon makes his final start before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline when the Mets return home to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA) enters the start off an outing in Seattle in which he retired the game’s first 20 batters. Robinson Cano broke up the perfect-game bid in the seventh with a line single.
Colon opposes right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.
The Mets took four of five games in Philly when the teams last met, May 29-June 2.
Of course, the Mets won eight of 10 games on their last homestand and now have a 25-23 record at Citi Field this season. The Mets have not finished a season with a winning home record since 2010.
Colon, incidentally, likely will be eligible to be traded in August, too -- either by clearing waivers or via the Mets dealing with a team that puts in a claim. That is because he is owed $11 million in 2015, during a season in which he will turn 42 years old.
Monday’s news reports:
• After giving an interview to Willie Weinbaum at ESPN.com in which he advocated Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire getting voted into the Hall of Fame with asterisks, Tony La Russa went further during an interview published in the Daily News.
“I knew our programs in Oakland were 100 percent clean,” La Russa told the Daily News. “But we had our suspicions -- guys hitting stronger but not working out. I went to Sandy and ownership about this. And they told me flat off, ‘Right of privacy. It’s a collective bargaining issue.’”
Alderson told the newspaper: “I’m not going to comment on that until at least Monday” -- presumably so any comments would not detract from induction weekend.
• Jacob deGrom tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his latest dominating performance and Lucas Duda slugged his fourth homer in six games as the Mets beat the Brewers, 2-0, Sunday at Miller Park to earn a split of the four-game series.
The Mets went 5-5 on their second-half-opening trip to San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee. With 57 games remaining, the Mets trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8˝ games and are seven games out in the wild card.
Duda had four of the Mets’ five homers on the entire 10-game trip, with Curtis Granderson producing the other. Duda entered Sunday with an NL-leading 24.3 percent of his at-bats this season ending with a ball deemed “hard hit,” according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Jenrry Mejia wriggled free despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth. He has now recorded a save in each of his last seven appearances. That’s the longest string of appearances with a save by a Mets reliever since Billy Wagner had a save in nine straight appearances in 2007.
The Mets posted a 5-5 trip despite failing to exceed three runs in any of the final nine games. If the Mets fail to reach four runs on Monday against the Phillies, it will become the longest streak of games producing three or fewer runs since 1981 (11 straight).
In the second half, the Mets are hitting .186 (60-for-322) and averaging 2.2 runs per game. Only the Cincinnati Reds are worse in those categories in the National League.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal, Times and at MLB.com.
• Read more on Duda in the Post and Newsday.
• Tom Glavine made multiple references to the Mets during his 17-minute induction speech in Cooperstown on Sunday.
Glavine singled out former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson and trainer Mike Herbst for gratitude.
“Rick, you helped me to reinvent myself, make the changes I needed to make for the latter part of my career -- which, trust me, when you were doing something for 16, 17 years, it's not an easy thing to change,” Glavine said. “But you talked me into it, you convinced me of it, and you gave me confidence to do it.”
Joe Torre also paid homage to the Mets early in his induction speech.
Torre lauded Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who was in attendance in Cooperstown, then said during in speech: “I was with the Mets a couple of years before I became manager. And then once I became manager on May 31, 1977, my first bit of duty was to trade Tom Seaver two weeks later, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun. And the last time he pitched for me -- I don’t know if you remember, Tommy -- he pitched in Houston. And when I went out to take him out of the game, he patted me on the rear end.
“I did have one accomplishment with the Mets as a player. And, again, you can’t go through life alone. Certainly in baseball, you need all the help you can get. Well, on July 21, I hit into four double plays in one game. And I just want to make sure I share the credit, because I could not have done it unless Felix Millan had hit four singles right in front of me.
“In 1977 I became manager. I want to thank the New York Mets, at the age of 36, for trusting me with their ballclub -- M. Donald Grant, chairman of the board. It was a great opportunity for me. You talk about learning. As I said, we had to make some trades a couple of weeks after I took the job. And there was a lot of learning -- young players -- but [it was] a great experience. A great experience.”
Read more on Mets references in Glavine’s speech in Newsday.
• Matt Reynolds launched a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 6-5. Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings. Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs in three innings in his fourth minor-league start since returning from Tommy John surgery as Daytona beat St. Lucie, 4-3, in Game 1 en route to a doubleheader sweep. St. Lucie has lost eight straight. Michael Bernal went 4-for-4 with four RBIs off the bench as Brooklyn beat Lowell, 9-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Troy Tulowitzki may love New York, but it looks like the Bronx would be his strong preference. Tulowitzki, on the DL with the Colorado Rockies and in the Northeast to visit a doctor in Philly, swung by Yankee Stadium on Sunday to watch Derek Jeter play.
“It’s a short drive from Philly,” Tulowitzki told The Denver Post. “I’m with my family. I wanted to see Jeter play one more time.”
• Terry Collins dismissed any apparent friction with Jonathon Niese, who was displeased with getting pulled after five innings Saturday.
“I love Jon and support everything he says,” Collins said. “I know he doesn’t want to come out. … Sandy Koufax told me many years ago, ‘Pitchers and managers never get along.’”
• Why did Juan Lagares slide headfirst into first base Sunday, against what his manager would prefer? “I was just trying to do something to get a hit because I don’t remember the last time I did,” Lagares told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear isn't so nervous during ninth innings these days.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Soulja Boy and Manu Ginobili celebrate birthdays on July 28.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Did Tony La Russa throw Sandy Alderson under the bus?
#Mets are 50-55 with 57 games remaining. They must go 31-26 to finish .500. Not easy, but doable. That is my goal for them to build on in 15— Russ O'Brien (@russelltob) July 28, 2014
Jacob deGrom (4-5, 3.01 ERA) looks to continue his stellar rookie campaign. DeGrom has produced a 1.59 ERA over his past six starts. He has allowed only two runs in 21 innings over his past three starts.
DeGrom opposes right-hander Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.06) in the 2:10 p.m. ET finale.
The Mets are 4-5 on their trip to San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Milwaukee overcame a two-run deficit with three runs in the fifth against Jonathon Niese and ultimately beat the Mets, 5-2, on Saturday at Miller Park. A displeased Niese was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth.
Chris Young started over slumping Juan Lagares and had two doubles. However, Young also had Mark Reynolds' leadoff single drop in front of him in the fifth. If caught, Niese may have escaped that inning unscathed.
The Mets have scored three runs or fewer in eight straight games. If they fail to exceed three runs on Sunday, it will match the franchise’s longest streak since going nine straight games in August 2012.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka landed on the disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his pitching elbow. Doctors will need for the inflammation to subside before making a proper diagnosis. Terry Collins expects more than a 15-day absence for Matsuzaka. Buddy Carlyle rejoined the Mets. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• How inefficient have the Mets been in spending money? Well, since 2000, only the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles were less efficient, according to an analysis at fivethirtyeight.com. During the 15-year period, the Mets overpaid by $564.3 million for their win total, the study found. The Oakland Athletics set the standard, getting $1.376 billion in extra value compared to what the average MLB dollar buys in terms of wins.
• After being promoted to Triple-A to replace Darin Gorski (broken foot), Matt Bowman dominated Salt Lake on Saturday. Bowman took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning, although he ultimately was charged with three runs (two earned) after a pair of runners he turned over to the bullpen scored. Dilson Herrera had a three-run homer and drove in four runs as Binghamton beat Trenton, 10-7. Will Fulmer’s two-run single helped lift Brooklyn past Vermont, 3-2. After undergoing surgery on a thumb ligament, Wilfredo Tovar has returned to action in the Gulf Coast League. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Mike Gavin in Newsday unearths the origins of Mets and Yankees players’ walk-up music. Writes Gavin:
Zack Wheeler recently felt that it was time to change his warm-up music. So he tracked down a scoreboard employee and requested "Purple Haze" by Hendrix.
"I like something that pumps me up," he said. "Some guys, they like it to settle them down, but I like it to get me going."
• Anthony Recker gives restaurant tips for NL cities to Jared Diamond in the Journal.
• Ex-Met (and ex-Brave) Tom Glavine will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Glavine went 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA in 164 starts over five seasons with the Mets. Also being inducted: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. Torre produced a 286-420 record while managing the Mets from 1977 through 1981.
Anthony McCarron in the Daily News chats with Torre about how he became Mets manager.
• Mary Kay Linge in the Post has a first-person account of participating in the Citi Field sleepover.
• John Lannan is due make his season debut with Las Vegas on Monday. Lannan had a 6.75 ERA in six starts with St. Lucie after rejoining the organization following a seven-week absence for a “personal reason.”
• Troy Tulowitzki is headed to Philadelphia … for a visit with a doctor, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear delves into Mets fans’ intuition.
BIRTHDAYS: First base coach Tom Goodwin turns 46.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Should Chris Young start the series finale after producing two doubles on Saturday?
Oh sure, now Chris Young wants to hit a double. #Mets— Irish Brute (@MrMickToYou) July 27, 2014
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesWilmer Flores is due to start at shortstop again for the Mets on Tuesday.
FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins plans to use a high percentage of his starting lineup in Tuesday’s 1:10 p.m. matchup against the Detroit Tigers (SNY).
That should include David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares, who were given Monday off from reporting to the complex. That group had rolled into Port St. Lucie about 2:30 a.m. Monday after spending the weekend playing in Las Vegas against the Chicago Cubs.
Daisuke Matsuzaka opposes left-hander Kyle Lobstein.
Wilmer Flores is scheduled to make his third 2014 Grapefruit League start at shortstop.
The Mets then have a full off-day Wednesday. When the Mets reassemble, Collins said he will ratchet up the concentration level for the final stretch of camp.
“We’ve got Wednesday off and then we’re down to 10 days,” Collins said. “We’re going to tighten things up a little bit.”
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Jonathon Niese now twice has been sent to New York for MRIs this spring training … and both times received favorable news. Team doctor David Altchek diagnosed Niese on Monday with elbow inflammation, but not structural damage. The southpaw was given a cortisone shot and cleared to resume throwing as soon as Wednesday.
While it appears Niese will open the season on the disabled list, that should be more of a strategic maneuver than anything. It would allow the Mets to carry an extra bench player for the first five games. The fifth starter will not be needed until April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds, and that is the date Niese would be eligible to return from the disabled list. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
• John Lannan allowed 12 of 20 batters he faced to reach and the Mets lost to the Miami Marlins, 10-7, Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. Read more in the Star-Ledger and MLB.com.
• Ike Davis and Lucas Duda continued serving as designated hitters in minor-league games Monday without running the bases. Collins acknowledged “we’re running out of days” to get both ready for the season. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.
• Jose Valverde will have a role in the bullpen, writes Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. Of course, Collins joked, Valverde will have to remember how many outs there are in an inning. He skipped over the first-base line after recording only the second out of an inning Monday.
• ESPN's Buster Olney tweets: "There is a strong sentiment within PHI organization right now that the team would be better off trading shortstop Jimmy Rollins ASAP. Jimmy Rollins, of course, cannot be traded without his consent, because he has 10-5 rights."
• Marty Noble at MLB.com catches up with ex-Met Tom Glavine, who will be enshrined in Cooperstown this summer.
• Ex-Met Justin Turner is not a fan of anonymous quotes from Mets officials in the New York media, he tells Capital New York. Read more in the Daily News.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing recalls the greatest Opening Day Mets starter of them all and the manager who first gave him the honor. … Rising Apple says acquiring a shortstop before Opening Day is imperative.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Adam Levine, Queen Latifah, Grover Cleveland and Brian Scalabrine celebrate birthdays today.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Ike Davis and/or Lucas Duda will open the season on the disabled list?
Opening day for the Mets is 2 weeks away, and still they have not answered any of the important questions they had entering spring training.— Kevin Burkhardt (@kevinburkhardt) March 17, 2014
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Mets will play two games against the Chicago Cubs this weekend in Las Vegas.
FIRST PITCH: Half the Mets are jetting out of Florida on Friday.
The Mets play split-squad games Saturday and Sunday against the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas, with Bartolo Colon and Jenrry Mejia getting the starts. The Mets’ chartered flight leaves midday, and also is due to include Terry Collins, David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud.
Remaining in Florida, Zack Wheeler gets the start at 7:05 p.m. Friday in Jupiter (WOR 710 AM). He opposes Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler, a product of Stony Brook University. Dillon Gee starts Saturday and Jonathon Niese starts Sunday.
Friday’s news reports:
• Collins gave Ruben Tejada a vote of confidence Thursday, telling him: “Listen, you’re the shortstop here.” Still, that is in large part a reflection of the Mets not having any other viable internal starting options. The bottom line: After Tejada committed his third error of spring training and went hitless in three at-bats to drop his Grapefruit League average to .067, the Mets may have to intensify their pursuit of an external option.
Read more on Tejada in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.
• Addressing pitching coach Dan Warthen’s use of an Asian slur and subsequent apology, Daisuke Matsuzaka said through his intrepreter: “I don’t expect our relationship to change going forward.”
Dice-K’s comment came after Matsuzaka had a strong pitching performance against the Washington Nationals and seemed to further solidify his hold on the fifth-starter role.
Jonathon Niese, meanwhile, reportedly lashed out at reporters in clubhouse concerning the Warthen topic, saying: "Stop Tweeting about our clubhouse. That ----'s got to stop,” according to a tweet from Newsday’s Anthony Rieber.
Read more on Warthen’s apology, with Matsuzaka’s reaction, in the Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and Star-Ledger.
• In what may have been his final 2014 Grapefruit League performance before departing for minor-league camp, Noah Syndergaard again impressed. He ultimately was charged with three runs in 3 2/3 innings, after leaving two runners on base and having Jacob deGrom serve up a three-run homer.
Rafael Montero and deGrom were getting relief looks from Collins, who noted that is how those prospects may be introduced to the big leagues at some point this season.
The Mets ultimately beat the Nats, 7-5, at Space Coast Stadium on Thursday thanks to a two-run single in the ninth from Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis, who likely is ticketed for the Triple-A outfield with Matt den Dekker, Cesar Puello and very possibly Andrew Brown, is hitting .304 with a homer and seven RBIs through 23 at-bats. Meanwhile, first baseman Brandon Allen departed the game in the ninth inning with a calf injury.
Read recaps of Syndergaard’s performance and the game in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Journal and MLB.com.
• With Darrelle Revis defecting to the New England Patriots, Jonathan Lehman in the Post creates an all-time list of New York athletes who changed allegiances to a bitter rival. Those with Mets ties include Darryl Strawberry and Tom Glavine.
• Read more on the Mets’ trip to Vegas in the Times. Team insiders tell ESPNNewYork.com that a major reason for the team to make the trip is the big-league team will financially profit. The Las Vegas 51s, who host the game, are the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, so there is some goodwill involved, too.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing attempts to deconstruct the tale of Stu Woo and Dan Warthen. … John Delcos at Mets Report says Tejada is likely the Opening Day shortstop because Sandy Alderson will not make a bold move.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Josh Stinson, now with the Orioles, turns 26. ... Mets farmhand Rainy Lara is 23. Lara had a 3.76 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) with Class A St. Lucie last season.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMITom Glavine still gets reminded about his Sept. 30, 2007 outing against the Marlins, which ended his Mets career and the team's season. Willie Randolph retrieved the ball after Glavine recorded only one out.
"I still get people hating on me on Twitter and everywhere else over that game," Glavine told reporters Thursday in New York, a day after being elected to the Hall of Fame. "Like I've said to people, for what was an otherwise lot of fun for five years, that was not the way I wanted to end things here. I wish people could get past that a little bit and look at the other good things that I did, but I understand that there's still some anger from some people out there."
Of course, Glavine made things more complicated for himself postgame when he gave too intellectual an answer to a question about whether he was "devastated" with the Mets getting eliminated in the finale -- capping a swoon in which they squandered a seven-game lead with 17 games to play.
Glavine had said: "Devastation is for things in life that are much more important than this. I'm certainly disappointed."
Ron Antonelli/Getty ImagesTom Glavine earned his 300th victory with the Mets.
His five-year Mets career was bookended by disappointments -- getting knocked out on a frigid Opening Day in 2003 in his debut as baseball instituted the QuesTec umpire grading system that tightened the strike zone, then getting knocked out after allowing seven runs and recording only one out in Game No. 162 in 2007, when the Mets were eliminated from postseason contention. (Glavine then created a media storm postgame when he described himself as "disappointed," but suggested being "devastated" should be reserved for more serious worldly matters.)
Yet, overall, Glavine posted a 61-56 record and 3.97 ERA in 164 starts as a Met. And he participated in the Mets' last playoff appearance, posting a 1.59 ERA in three postseason starts in 2006 as the Mets came within a game of reaching the World Series.
So how does Glavine view his time spent in Queens?
"I would summarize it as a great five years of my career," Glavine said Wednesday. "I had a lot of fun in New York. I certainly made a lot of great friends there as teammates and people within the organization. It was a fun five years, albeit a tough five years at times for my family with me being gone. But it was a fun five years for them. It was a great experience being in New York and playing in New York. It's an experience, I think, every player should have.
"I'll always have fond memories for the Mets organization for the opportunity, but also because I won my 300th game in their uniform. That's something I certainly will never forget.
"By and large it was a very fun, positive experience for me. I certainly had some down moments as well. But I'd like to think I was a part of them kind of turning the corner and helping get their organization back on track, as evidenced by the playoff appearance in 2007."
2006, actually. But point taken.
Eligible voters who have been members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for 10 years may select from zero to 10 candidates.
Those candidates appearing on 75 percent of the submitted ballots are elected. Candidates may remain on the ballot for as many as 15 years, provided they continue to appear on 5 percent of the ballots cast.
Here is my Hall of Fame ballot.
Second-year candidates Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appear on my ballot for the first time. I also voted for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in their first year of eligibility. Because 10 candidates is the maximum for which to vote, I could not fit Tim Raines or Lee Smith this time after voting for them a year ago.
Eric Hartline/USA TODAY SportsKevin Frandsen is greeted by teammates after his walk-off homer Saturday.
FIRST PITCH: Five days after his dominance in Atlanta in an uplifting doubleheader display with Zack Wheeler, it once again is Matt Harvey Day.
Harvey (6-1, 2.16 ERA) opposes Philadelphia Phillies left-hander John Lannan (0-1, 5.49) in the 1:35 p.m. series finale today at Citizens Bank Park.
Josh Satin is due to get the start at first base, according to Terry Collins.
Writes Kristie Ackert in the Daily News on Harvey:
Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen talked to Harvey this past week about being more open with them about how he is feeling during starts.
Harvey admitted after the Atlanta game -- in which he racked up 13 strikeouts -- that he was gassed when he went back out for the eighth and that he did not tell Collins or Warthen. That much was obvious when he started out the inning by walking Gerald Laird and then giving up back-to-back singles to Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons. At that point, Collins had no choice but to go get his ace.
Sunday’s news reports:
Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
• The Mets rallied from a six-run deficit to tie the score in the ninth when David Wright scored from first base on Daniel Murphy’s single against Jonathan Papelbon. But Carlos Torres surrendered a walk-off homer to Kevin Frandsen to open the bottom half and the Phillies beat the Mets, 8-7. Dillon Gee surrendered a pair of homers to Ryan Howard, who now has six long balls in 15 career at-bats against Gee.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
Read columnist Kevin Kernan’s take in the Post.
• Do Wheeler and Harvey need to be best buds? Not exactly Columnist David Lennon in Newsday asks Tom Glavine and Ron Darling, and writes:
Ron Darling, now an SNY analyst, was on two of the better starting rotations in baseball history with the Mets. In 1986, Darling went 15-6 with a 2.81 ERA on a group that included Dwight Gooden (17-6, 2.84), Bobby Ojeda (18-5, 2.57) and Sid Fernandez (16-6, 3.52). Two years later, the Mets featured Darling (17-9, 3.25), Gooden (18-9, 3.19), Fernandez (12-10, 3.03), Ojeda (10-13, 2.88) and David Cone (20-3, 2.22).
Were they all best buddies? No. But did they recognize the importance of competitive bonding as a rotation? Absolutely.
"If you have that fraternity, if you get that feeling that you're all brothers in this thing, it's as good as it gets as far as being in a team sport," Darling said. "Hitters look at pitchers like a necessary evil. You're like a separate element on the team, so it makes you become close.
"There's nothing worse than being on a team -- a bad team -- and you've got some guys in the rotation that they're all for them. And on the day you're pitching, they don't [care]. We'd be on the bench cheering a guy on when it was his day, and making sure that, hey, I'm here for you."
• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests that while the Mets have pitching prospects, the hitting prospects do not exist in the minors. Writes Madden:
A veteran National League scout, who has spent much of the last two months evaluating other teams’ minor-league talent, told me last week: “The Mets are loaded with pitching prospects but have zero bona fide position prospects, and while the Yankees have a couple of position prospects, especially catchers, down low, I didn’t see any potential impact players in their system either. They’re both in big trouble as far as filling their needs from within.”
• Binghamton rallied from a four-run ninth-inning deficit to beat Erie, 6-5 in 10 innings, on Josh Rodriguez’s walk-off double. Steven Matz tossed six scoreless innings in a no-decision for Savannah. First-round pick Dominic Smith went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Highly regarded right-handed prospect Noah Syndergaard, who was acquired with Travis d’Arnaud in the R.A. Dickey trade in December, has been promoted to Double-A Binghamton.
• Tim Byrdak, recovering from shoulder surgery, made his first Gulf Coast League appearance. Including back-field games, Byrdak has now pitched on consecutive days twice.
• Dan Duggan in Newsday speaks with 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini about his relationship with his brother Garin, a Red Sox prospect.
• Mike Kerwick in the Record tackles Mets fandom.
• From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests the Mets should not be seduced by Davis’ early Pacific Coast League stats.
BIRTHDAYS: Juan Castillo, whose only two major league games came as a starting pitcher with the Mets in 1994, turns 43.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Tuesday's news reports:
• Reliever Tim Byrdak has an anterior capsule tear in his left shoulder. That's a career-threatening diagnosis since Byrdak is 38 years old. Johan Santana and Chris Young both had anterior capsule tears, and required surgeries that cost significant time. The Mets did not announce a firm surgery decision for the lefty reliever, who is 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA and National League-high 56 appearances. The list of pitchers to be diagnosed with anterior capsule tears and have surgery is a short one: Bret Saberhagen (1996), Mark Prior (2008), Chien-Ming Wang (2009), Santana (2010), Dallas Braden (2011), Young (2011), Rich Harden (2012).
The Mets have promoted Garrett Olson to pair with Josh Edgin as a left-hander in the bullpen, although the team has not announced the corresponding roster move. The most likely casualty is rookie Elvin Ramirez. Olson had split duty between starting and relieving with Buffalo, and is not a true lefty specialist. In fact, lefties are hitting .270 and righties are hitting .272 against him this season in Triple-A. Byrdak already had landed on the disabled list with the shoulder discomfort when Frank Francisco was activated in San Diego.
Also on the injury front, the Mets announced Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot -- not a full tear. He will not undergo surgery. And catcher Rob Johnson is listed as day-to-day with a bruised right hand. The Mets face a southpaw tonight at Citi Field, Miami's Wade LeBlanc, so presumably Johnson would start over lefty-hitting Josh Thole if capable.
Read more in the Star-Ledger, Post, Newsday and Times.
• Wheeler made his Triple-A debut Monday at Syracuse and largely had success, despite control issues. He allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings while tossing 101 pitches. Wheeler struck out seven and allowed three hits while walking four batters and hitting another. He has now logged 120 2/3 innings this season in regular-season games. Sandy Alderson has said there will be an innings limit imposed on Wheeler this season at roughly 150 innings or so, meaning it is unlikely he will join the Mets in September. Wheeler had been 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA in Double-A before the promotion.
“I was happy about the outing until that last inning,’’ Wheeler told Mike Waters in The Post-Standard, referring to the fifth inning, when he surrendered two runs and turned a pair of baserunners over to reliever Justin Hampson. “I was rushing out of my stretch. That’s what happens when you rush to the plate. Your arm drags and the ball stays up. That’s basically what happened.’’
• Reyes and current shortstop Ruben Tejada both carry hitting streaks into Tuesday's game. Reyes has hit in a career-high 24 straight games -- the longest streak in the majors this season -- while Tejada's streak is at 11. This is Reyes' second trip to Citi Field since signing with Miami in the offseason. But the complexion of the Marlins is vastly different than during his last trip, with a fire sale meaning the departure of several top players, including Hanley Ramirez in a trade to the Dodgers. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.
• Clark Spencer in the Miami Herald chronicles the Marlins going from kings of the offseason on a wild spending spree to their current state. Writes Spencer:
Eight months after stunning the baseball world by storming through the winter meetings in Dallas and spending $190 million on big-ticket free agents, the Marlins smolder like twisted wreckage at the bottom of the standings. “We set ourselves up for it,’’ acknowledged Marlins president David Samson of a grand makeover that failed miserably. “We paraded around Dallas. We signed those guys. We opened a new ballpark. We said we’re ‘all in.’ ’’ Not only have the Marlins been a bust on the field, but attendance at their new ballpark has fallen short of expectations, creating an uncertain future on and off the field.
• Andy Martino in the Daily News asserts the Mets should bring back the struggling Jason Bay for the 2013 season instead of departing ways with him. Writes Martino:
The case for Bay has little to do with his hustle, or attitude, or desire. No athlete wants to be a charity case because he is a nice guy -- or be allowed to hang around because of a large contract. Bay should be invited back for 2013, rather than sent away as the team swallows the $17 million remaining on his contract, because he can platoon with Duda, play excellent defense and provide meaningful leadership.
• Jeremy Hefner has pitched well for the Mets, but he'll be going back to the bullpen with Santana scheduled to come off the disabled list this week.
TRIVIA: Jon Niese starts Tuesday's night. Against which National League team does the lefty has his worst winning percentage?
Monday's answer: The Los Angeles Kings took Tom Glavine in the fourth round, 69th overall, in 1984.
Stat of the Week
David Wright and Jose Reyes each had four hits in the Mets-Marlins game on Saturday.
They never had four hits in the same game as teammates with the Mets (2004-2011)
In Saturday’s win over the Marlins, R.A. Dickey became the second pitcher in Mets history to be the beneficiary of a hit by pitch with the bases loaded. The other was Jae Seo against the Cardinals in 2004.
Dickey also extended his streak of not striking out as a hitter. Through seven starts, he had 16 plate appearances and no strikeouts.
In fact, of his first 32 swings this season, he only missed twice.
The Wright Stuff
In this season of impressive statistical accomplishments, Wright notched a first.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wright’s .411 batting average through the team’s first 38 games makes him the first Met ever to carry a .400 batting average beyond the team’s 30th game of the season.
Cleon Jones was batting .411 after 30 games in 1969, but he slipped below .400 in his next game and never returned. He finished the season hitting .340.
A Grand Disaster
The Mets blew a two-run ninth inning lead in the finale of their road trip last Sunday, losing on Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off grand slam. In what was a rough week for the Mets, we declare it the Moment of the Week.
It was the fourth walk-off grand slam the Mets have allowed since 2009, the most in the majors in that span. No other team has allowed more than two.
The Mets allowed their first walk-off grand slam in 1970 against Bob Bailey of the Expos. They’ve allowed 10 total since that season, matching the Tigers for the most in the majors.
It was the second time in the series that the Mets lost a game in which they led in the bottom of the ninth inning. Elias notes that the last time the Mets lost a pair of games in the same series in which they led in the bottom of the ninth or later was Sept. 3 and 5, 1992, against the Reds in Cincinnati.
Old Man Miguel
Miguel Batista beat the Brewers on Monday. It was the first time that Batista beat the Brewers since April 14, 1999, when he pitched his first career complete game as a member of the Montreal Expos.
Batista is the third 41-year-old to throw seven innings and allow no runs in a game for the Mets. Orlando Hernandez did it three times in 2007 and Tom Glavine also did it once that season. Both were slightly older than Batista, who is about six months younger than what Hernandez (reportedly) was at the time.
Batista has three wins for the Mets since turning 40. Glavine has the most wins by a Met in his 40s with 28, followed by Hernandez with 14 and Orel Hershiser with 13.
The next pitcher on the Mets' 40-plus win list is a good name though, one Batista can catch with one more victory. Hall of Famer Warren Spahn had four wins as a 40-plus Met.
Zack Greinke and two relievers combined to shut out the Mets, 8-0 on Monday, combining for 10 strikeouts and no walks in the process.
Only once in their history have the Mets had a worse home shutout loss in a game in which they whiffed at least 10 times and didn't walk. That came on August 14, 2006, a 13-0 loss to Cole Hamels and Phillies.
Oh, Happy Day
The Mets wrapped up their series with the Reds by stealing a game, scoring the last nine runs to win, 9-4. The Mets have more wins in day games (11) than night games (10), despite having played six more night games than day games.
Wright had two hits, giving him 25 in 15 day games this season. His .463 batting average in day games leads the NL, with Daniel Murphy not far behind at .389.
If Wright keeps this up, he'll be chasing the Mets' record for batting average in day games, set by none other than Murphy last season. Murphy hit .385, breaking the mark previously held by Paul Lo Duca, who hit .380 in day games in 2006.
Vintage Metric of the Week
Ike Davis’ 4-for-62 performance at home to start the season brought back some memories of some home struggles of the past.
The most notable home slump by a Met takes us back to 1986, when, of all people, Darryl Strawberry, went 0-for-47 at Shea Stadium from July 29 until it was finally broken on Sept. 7.
The Mets would turn out just fine that season.
But our spin in the time machine actually goes back to 1968, which is the residing spot for the two players who posted the worst single-season home batting average in Mets history (minimum 100 at-bats).
Middle infielders Jerry Buchek and Al Weis hit .132 and .133 respectively that season.
Steve Schaefer/AFP/Getty Images Many fans hold their hands over their face when thinking of this man, now a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame
The other day, I saw a note via Twitter that ex-Met Kenny Rogers had been named to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
If you’re a Mets fan, your reaction to that news may come in the form of anger, but maybe not as much as it did a few years ago, when the memory of the walk-off walk that Rogers issued to Andruw Jones that ended the 1999 NLCS was a little fresher.
This goes along with a radio interview I heard with ex-Met Tom Glavine, now a broadcaster for the Braves, last week. His first words to the New York-based talk show host were “I hope that time will heal the wounds.”
That one’s a little fresher for Mets fans. It was less than four years ago that Glavine got chopped up by the Marlins in the first inning of the final game of the season, a game that ended in defeat and completed an epic collapse in which the Mets blew a seven-game lead with 17 to play.
This got me to thinking about the role of grudges in Mets history, and it’s a role that is significant. After all, the Mets became popular as the result of the grudges that Giants and Dodgers fans had after the team bolted New York for California at the end of the 1957 season. The team’s owner, Joan Payson, was a former Giants owner, whose grudge against the team became so strong that she was very motivated to put a new National League team in New York.
This is a topic that is popular with Mets bloggers, and one I’m sure has been addressed previously by others. One I recall is that a few years ago, Mets fan Jason Fry created a “Nine Circles of Hell” to commemorate those who did not represent well in their time as Mets.
I’m 36 and the list of noteworthy grudgeables from my lifetime following the team include both Rogers and Glavine, as well as Bobby “Try to Wipe the Smile off My Face” Bonilla and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar. Both are well-remembered for their accomplishments elsewhere.
Pirates fans probably have no grasp on why the Mets fans' hatred of Bonilla runs so deep. Likewise, Indians, Orioles and Blue Jays fans consider Alomar one to be beloved. Mets fans consider him as one who should be loathed.
Rogers is an interesting one for me. A few years ago, I was in the postgame interview pool after he beat the Red Sox, while he was with the Twins. My experience (though this doesn't necessarily hold true for others) was that he was engaging, thoughtful, and very smart when it came to talking pitching. (His main subject was explaining how to pitch on a windy day.)
But, at the time, I couldn't help but think of how his walk had resulted in my father having bloody elbows from his arms scraping the floor in disgust.
Carlos Beltran is also an interesting one to consider because of the career he’s had. My "Baseball Tonight" research colleague, Justin Havens, and I had a good discussion about this recently. He pointed to the sabermetrics and the value that Beltran has contributed through the life of his seven-year contract. I noted that it’s hard to quantify the value of striking out to end the 2006 NLCS.
I also brought this up with Eric Karabell on Friday’s edition of the "Baseball Today" podcast and asked fans to share their thoughts on the subject of grudges.
Some said that time is the key. Most noted that it’s a lot easier to let go once your team wins its next championship. Red Sox fans of a certain age have forgiven Bill Buckner for his error, which played a great role in the Mets' last World Series triumph, in 1986. That they haven’t won since is probably why many my age still have a baseball resentment for Bonilla, Alomar and others.
My favorite response came from New York Magazine contributor Will Leitch, who tweeted that “the statute of limitations on fan forgiveness is never. Obviously.”
This brings us to the current state of the Mets and their general manager Sandy Alderson, who holds their future fate in his hands.
Thirty-four years ago this week, the Mets traded Tom Seaver to the Reds and those who remember it have still not forgiven then-team president M. Donald Grant.
Twenty-eight years ago this week, the Mets traded for first baseman Keith Hernandez. Then-GM Frank Cashen is still held in the highest regard for pulling off such a maneuver.
Much of Alderson’s potential legacy as a GM could be shaped in the next few months when he decides the future fate of shortstop Jose Reyes, who is currently performing at a level that few in baseball can match.
A lot of fans will be watching closely. And there are a lot of potential grudges in the making should Alderson’s ultimate decision not pay dividends for this franchise.
Thursday's news reports:
• Major League Baseball announced it was taking control of operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Read the MLB statement here.)
Columnist Ken Davidoff in Newsday notes that Bud Selig will give Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz a lot more rope than Dodgers owner Frank McCourt because of the close relationship the Wilpons have with the commissioner.
Wondering if the Mets are next for takeover, Daily News columnist Bill Madden writes:
No one -- except the Mets owners themselves -- knows how close they are to being in the same precarious situation as McCourt. At least they are able to sell a substantial part of the team to secure the necessary capital to continue operating the Mets while they fight the $1 billion lawsuit leveled against them by Madoff trustee Irving Picard. With the ownership of the Dodgers entangled in the divorce case, McCourt can't even do that -- which presumably is what makes the Dodgers' situation more imminently critical for Selig. As one baseball executive familiar with the Dodgers' situation said Wednesday night: "Selig had no choice taking over the team." ...
He might have added that Selig can't stand McCourt and is making every effort to get him out of baseball. ... With Wilpon, however, it's just the opposite. Selig considers Wilpon a close friend and ally and, no doubt, is taking the Mets owners at their word that the $200 million they get from an investor will keep the club solvent for the foreseeable future.
• Bobby Parnell is due to have an angiogram on Thursday to determine whether there is clotting in his arm that might be causing numbness in his middle finger. The belief is that's the case, but that it can be treated with aspirin, which thins the blood. Parnell will officially land on the DL to make room for Bay. That will give Terry Collins a five-man bench for the first time since April 10, when Ryota Igarashi and Jason Isringhausen were promoted and Lucas Duda and Blaine Boyer departed, which upped the bullpen to eight members.
Finger numbness caused by clotting is not unprecedented among pitchers. Tom Glavine underwent an angiogram on Aug. 21, 2006 while with the Mets after experiencing coldness and numbness in his left ring finger. The need for surgery was ruled out in that case. A decade earlier with the Yankees, David Cone experienced finger numbness and the digits turning blue. Doctors discovered an aneurysm in Cone's shoulder after an angiogram and the right-hander required surgery.
Read more on Parnell in the Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Post and Record.
• A day after going 4-for-4 with two homers with Class A St. Lucie, Bay completed his rehab assignment by going 1-for-3 with two walks for the Florida State League club. Contrasting last year's concussion to the rib-cage strain he suffered two days before the Mets broke camp in Port St. Lucie this year, Bay told ESPNNewYork.com:
"Maybe this is a little more frustrating because when you run into a wall you get a concussion. 'OK, hey, what happens, happens.' But to come in healthy and feeling good, then take a swing in batting practice two days before the season starts? That stunk. That was the toughest part. If it had happened at the beginning of spring, I could deal with it and move on. I keep telling people my timing is impeccable because it couldn't have happened at a worse time."
Bay has not appeared in a major league game since July 25, 2010 at Dodger Stadium.
Carlos Beltran tells Newsday about Bay's return: "That would mean I'm going to see a lot of fastballs, and that's good for everybody."
Post columnist Joel Sherman has this take on Bay being back:
For now, [Sandy] Alderson's administration is at the mercy of the mistakes enacted during the [Omar] Minaya regime. So he has had to oversee the limping exchange of Carlos Beltran from center to right. He had to release Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez with the Mets eating $18 million. He has to worry about Francisco Rodriguez finishing 55 games, which would trigger a payroll-killing $17.5 million salary for 2012. And, now, here comes Bay today; who has a chance to be yet another booby prize from the old administration. He is just a year and a month into a four-year, $66 million contract. ... All in all, Bay's signing is taking on all the earmarks of another Mets' financial disaster, especially because his contract runs through 2013.
• R.A. Dickey summed it up after the Mets again lost to the Astros on Wednesday. "We have to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are," the knuckleballer told reporters. "We can't just keep telling ourselves, 'We're a better team than this.' We may not be. And we've got to be honest about that and identify what we're doing wrong and do it better." Read game accounts in Newsday, the Times, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Post and Record. The Times also has more detailed Dickey comments here.
• David Wright on Thursday tries to snap an 0-for-19 drought, which matches the longest of his career. Wright also has 22 strikeouts, one shy of Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez's NL-leading 23. The third baseman tells Howard Kussoy in the Post: "Some of them have been good at-bats and the pitcher makes a good pitch with two strikes -- nothing you can really do about it. I'm feeling alright. I'm having some good at-bats, just not really much to show for it, but I think if I continue having good at-bats, the results will be there."
• Lenny Dykstra was freed on $150,000 bond. Read more here.
BIRTHDAYS: Former closer Jesse Orosco turns 54. Besides being the pitcher who closed out the 1986 NLCS and World Series, Orosco had the unusual distinction of having his win and loss totals (47-47) match his primary uniform number. ... Former Mets pitcher Randy Sterling turns 60. Sterling took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his major league debut against the Montreal Expos on Sept. 16, 1974, and ended up with a 3-2 win, his only major league victory. A future Met also debuted in that game. Gary Carter went 0-for-4 at catcher for the Expos. ... Ronny Paulino, who now takes his rehab tour to Buffalo in preparation for activation from the DL on Tuesday, turns 30. -Mark Simon
Shawn Estes (left), Tom Seaver (middle), and R.A. Dickey (right) are among those in Mets history who have flirted with a no-hitter, but had to settle for the next-best thing, a one-hitter.
“A Single in First Spoils No-Hitter” read the New York Times headline on June 23, 1962, the day after Al Jackson pitched the Mets first one-hitter against the Colt 45’s (now known as the Astros), allowing nothing after Joe Amalfitano’s single in the first game of a doubleheader.
That headline writer must have known something was in the fates that deemed that we’d still be talking about how the Mets have never thrown a no-hitter, 48 years later.
R.A. Dickey, pitching tonight against the Astros, was the latest tease—throwing the Mets 35th one-hitter, a Cole Hamels single away from history, against the Phillies last Friday. Mets fans don’t have much to celebrate these days (fans of other teams have celebrated 125 no-hitters since 1962), so it seems worthwhile to enjoy what are the best of the near-bests at this time.
In our attempt to be the “Ulti’met” team historian, we’ve armed ourselves with newspaper reports and internet accounts of all 35 games, supplemented those with a few audio and video tape airings, and studied up on the subject, in an effort to offer the most comprehensive descriptions and accounts possible. Follow along carefully -- there’s a lot to detail.
First we must tell how the Mets would lose the second game of Jackson’s doubleheader, 16-3, and something would happen in that one that hasn’t happened in any game since. The baseball gods must have been laughing as Colts pitcher Jim Golden tripled twice in the rout (Golden was golden; he’d go 5-0 against the 120-loss Mets).
Since 1962 -- Pitcher multi-triple games: 1, Mets no-hitters: 0.
The no-no is still verboten in Metville to this day.
Speaking of pitcher’s hitting, four have been responsible for the only hit of a Mets one-hitter, most recently Hamels last Friday. The first of those moundsmen, Ray Sadecki would later pitch for the Mets. He’d bust Jack Hamilton’s bid with a third-inning 20-foot bunt single along the third base line, perhaps the shortest hit in all the Mets one-hitters.
Ah, the bunt hit, forbidden by the unwritten rules of some from busting no-hitters, but welcomed early in the game when the thought of a no-hitter is not on anyone’s mind, save for obsessive Mets fans like Dirk Lammers, who runs the website Nonohitters.com, which tracks Mets no-hit bids game-by game, sending alerts via Twitter when an opponent gets the first hit of the game.
Sometimes that doesn't take long. Trot Nixon of the Red Sox got a bunt hit in the first inning on July 15, 2001, the day of Bobby Valentine’s 1,000th major league managerial victory, a combined one-hitter for Glendon Rusch and Armando Benitez.
The lone hit was a push bunt between the mound and first base, one fielded by Lenny Harris, whose throw to covering second basemen Edgardo Alfonzo was late. It’s a history mystery what might have happened had Rusch fielded the ball (he said afterwards he should have), but alas this no-hit bid turned out to be the 22nd one-hitter in team annals.
“I loved Glendon because of the attitude he brought to the park,” Valentine said recently. “I wish he could have pitched for me every day. He was the perfect choice for my 1,000th win.”
Just not perfect enough for a no-hitter.
Nor was Bobby Jones one-hit shutout of the Giants in Game 4 of the 2000 NLDS. Jones’ wife Kristi told Valentine that her husband would pitch “the game of his life” that day. He did, and were it not for a fifth-inning line drive from Jeff Kent that just got over the glove of leaping third baseman Robin Ventura, it could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been a no-hitter.
“I wish Robin was 7-foot-4, so he could have caught it,” Jones said a few years later. “But he saved me many a time.”
Joe Morgan, announcing the game for ESPN said after Jones got the final out : “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game pitched this well, other than a perfect game.”
Others might beg to differ.
The Mets pitcher to come closest to a perfect game was Tom Seaver, whose bid lasted 8 1/3 innings on July 9, 1969, broken by a clean single to center from Cubs centerfielder Jimmy Qualls. When Qualls reached first base, who was there to greet him but Cubs coach Joey Amalfitano -- the same guy who had the only hit in Al Jackson's one-hitter in 1962.
Seaver would describe Qualls in his post-game press conference as “a sticky little hitter.” That also seems an apt name for David Eckstein, who had the only hit in the first of two Steve Trachsel one-hitters as a Met, this one featuring the fewest strikeouts (one) against the Angels in 2003.
Trachsel's other Mets close call was broken up by someone with the fewest career hits of anyone to have the only hit in a Mets one-hitter: Rockies starter Chun-hui Tsao (the first of two career hits) in the sixth inning of a game in 2003.
Seaver’s five one-hitters are the most in Mets history. His second was a 15-strikeout effort against the Phillies on May 15, 1970 that scores highest in Bill James Game Score metric (a 98) of any of the 198 games Seaver won as a Met.
It was the second time in a month that the Phillies fell victim to a 15 strikeout one-hitter, part of a two-year streak in which the Mets shut them out five times in a row (the 2010 squad would be envious). Nolan Ryan had the other, his best performance as a Met prior to being traded, beating future Hall of Famer (and past perfect-game vs the Mets-tosser) Jim Bunning.
It was also the second time in three days that the Mets came that close to a no-hitter. Gary Gentry pitched a one-hitter against the Cubs two days prior.
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks lined an eighth-inning single to left field, which may have been caught by left fielder Dave Marshall had wet grass not caused him to slip in his initial pursuit.
“I thought it would be caught,” Banks, who’d hit his 500th homer the day before, told the media after the game, but Marshall was only able to nick the ball with his glove before it dropped in.
THAT one was close. So was Dwight Gooden’s against the Cubs at Shea on September 7, 1984. Gooden had told Valentine, then the club’s third base coach, that he’d no-hit the Cubs someday. Had third baseman Ray Knight been able to get Keith Moreland’s slow roller in the fifth inning out of his glove, he might’ve kept Gooden’s bid intact. Instead, there was no grip, no throw, and no no-no.
The glory days passed Gooden by, but for the Mets one-hitter, the best of times were the early 1970s, with the team netting eight of the 80 thrown in the majors from 1970 to 1974, and the 2000s, in which they had at least one one-hitter from 2000 to 2008.
Seaver and Gary Gentry each tossed one against the world-champion Pirates in 1971, the latter broken up by Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente’s sixth-inning triple. Seaver would throw another vs the Padres on July 4, 1972. Leron Lee, father of Derrek, snapped that one with San Diego's only hit with one out in the ninth inning.
Seaver also had the Mets longest no-hit bid, against the Cubs in 1975 (halted by a Joe Wallis single with two outs in the ninth) but that doesn’t make the list because the game would go extra-innings and the Mets would lose 1-0, the victims of four hits and a game-ending bases-loaded walk.
The last of Seaver's Mets one-hitters came against the Cubs on April 17, 1977. In the fifth inning, Mets catcher John Stearns thought Seaver had Cubs third baseman Steve Ontiveros struck out, but umpire Andy Olsen called the pitch a ball. On 3-2, Ontiveros hit a bloop to right field, for which Ed Kranepool dove, but missed by inches.
Seaver would get his no-hitter on June 16, 1978 -- a year and a day after being traded to the Reds. And we should note that in his last appearance for the Mets, he allowed no hits -- albeit in one inning pitched on the next-to-last day of the 1983 season.
Was one of Seaver’s games the best Mets-pitched one-hitter?
The combo from John Maine (7 2/3 innings), Willie Collazo and Carlos Muniz against the Marlins on September 29, 2007 (the day before Tom Glavine gakked up the season), featured 14 strikeouts from Maine, and only a dink infield hit from Marlins catcher Paul Hoover. That one makes the most reasonable case among the most recent efforts.
Dickey's wasn't even the best this season. Jonathon Niese joined Seaver with the only one-baserunner, one-hitter earlier in the year against the Padres.
Niese and Dickey both make the list of unlikely one-hitter throwers, joining submariner Terry Leach, who threw a 10-inning one-hitter against the Phillies (ex-Mets coach Luis Aguayo had the only hit) in his second major league start on October 1, 1982, and not-so-well-liked Aaron Heilman, whose no-no attempt against the 2005 Marlins was broken up by an infield hit by current not-so-liked Met, Luis Castillo.
We break up this story on one-hitters to tell you that:
• The most Mets wins without a one-hitter: Jerry Koosman, 140
• The Mets have one-hit a soon-to-be World Series champ three times. We mentioned the two against the 1971 Pirates. The other -- a Jae Seo, David Weathers, Armando Benitez team effort against the 2003 Marlins, just before the beginning of a run in which the Marlins went 57-33 and won the wild card.
• Seven times, more than one pitcher has been required to complete a Mets one hitter. Current Mets analyst Ron Darling and Jesse Orosco paired on the first of those-- against the Pirates on April 17, 1985. The Mets enlisted the assistance of first baseman Keith Hernandez in that one-- his ninth-inning sac fly brought in the winning run.
• The Padres, who also have never thrown a no-hitter, have 24 one-hitters, including four against the Mets (one in each of four straight seasons from 1991 to 1994). The face of the Padres franchise, Tony Gwynn was the final out of a no-hitter by the Braves in 1991, but avoided any dubious distinction with a fourth-inning double, the only hit in a David Cone one-hitter for the Mets in 1988.
• This isn't the only thing the Mets haven't done. What's more likely to come first: A Mets no-hitter, or a Mets hitter homering three times in a game AT HOME? Neither has ever happened.
Seaver and Ryan are the two Mets who have pitched a one-hitter who are in the Hall of Fame, likely to be joined eventually by Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, who gets partial credit for lasting four innings in a one-hitter against the Rockies on July 12, 2008 (four relievers finished the deal).
We’ll give an honorable mention to Shawn Estes, recently inducted into the Giants Wall of Fame. Estes threw a one-hitter for the Mets against the Brewers on April 26, 2002, beating the last Met to combine on one, Glendon Rusch, 1-0.
This bid was broken up by future ESPN baseball analyst Eric Young’s seventh-inning single. That’s not surprising given that Young hit .417 against Estes in the 36 at-bats in which they went head-to-head, though Estes got the last laugh by getting Young for the game’s final out.
Estes couldn’t win enough (his four wins as a Met are fewest among the one-hitter tossers), and the Mets don’t always win one-hitters. They’re 33-2 when they throw one, losing most recently to the Astros in 2006.
Cone and Jeff Innis lost their combined one-hitter to the Cardinals on September 14, 1991, but Cone would come back with a winning one-hitter against St. Louis in his next start (the only hit being a Felix Jose double to the warning track in left-center in the eighth inning).
“I wanted to treat these fans to something special,” Cone told reporters afterwards.
Those 1991 Mets would tease fans by throwing three one-hitters in an 11-day span near season's end (Pete Schourek had the other against the Expos, broken up by current White Sox GM Ken Williams), but couldn’t save the job of their skipper, Bud Harrelson, who would be fired a little more than a week later.
Harrelson held the Mets record for most one-hitters played in (of at least nine innings), with eight, until this year, when Jose Reyes surpassed him. Reyes also played in two rain-shortened one-hitters (by Glavine and John Maine) in 2007.
Reyes should remember the previously mentioned Trachsel one-hitter against the Angels well—it came the same day as his first big league grand slam.
That's a better memory than Mets legend Darryl Strawberry has of the one-hitter thrown against the Phillies by Sid Fernandez and Roger McDowell on May 11, 1985.
Strawberry tore ligaments in his thumb, preserving a then no-no with a third inning catch of a Juan Samuel fly ball, an injury that cost him 43 games, and may have made the difference in the Mets failing to beat out the Cardinals in the NL East race.
Strawberry came back from injury to help the Mets to the World Series title the next season. Jon Matlack came back from injury (a fractured skull suffered by being hit with a line drive) to nearly do so in 1973 (the Mets lost the World Series in seven games). But in lieu of a World Series, Matlack, who remembered throwing eight no-hitters in high school, threw one-hitters in both 1973 and 1974.
Matlack now works as the Tigers roving pitching instructor. Earlier this year, he tutored Armando Galarraga, not long before Galarraga threw his "imperfect game" against the Indians, so he can relate to what the Mets are going through in more ways than one.
"I think it's just bad luck," Matlack said, when asked for a former player's perspective on why we're celebrating Mets one-hitters instead of no-hitters. "The fates that go into it ... The baseball gods just haven't smiled on the Mets yet."
1- Jonathon Niese's one-hitter marked the 23rd time a Mets pitcher has thrown a regular season complete game one-hitter of nine innings or more. The Mets also had one in Game 4 of the 2000 NLDS against the Giants from Bobby Jones.
2- Of those 23, only two other Mets pitchers threw accomplished the feat without allowing either a hit batsman or a walk -- Tom Seaver against the Cubs in 1969 (his near-perfect game of 8 1/3 innings) and Steve Trachsel against the Rockies.
Niese and Seaver are the only pitchers in Mets history to throw a one-baserunner one-hitter (Trachsel's game also included a Mets error).
3- Technically speaking, it was the 34th one-hitter (complete game or combined) in Mets history (including the Jones' effort in the postseason). But that list includes two losses in which the Mets pitched only eight innings, and two wins in which the Mets pitched fewer than nine innings.
4- This was Niese's 18th major league game pitched. That's the fewest games pitched by any Met to throw a complete game one-hitter (nine innings or more). Aaron Heilman held the previous mark, getting a one-hitter in his 21st game, against the Marlins in 2005.
5- Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, Niese is one of only six pitchers to throw a complete game (nine innings or more), yielding one baserunner of fewer, within the first 18 games of his career.
Incredibly, the most recent was by Mat Latos, who got the win for the Padres in the first game of the doubleheader. He pitched a one-hitter against the Giants on May 13th in his 17th big league game.
6- Niese is the sixth Mets pitcher, age 23 or younger to throw a complete game one-hitter. The youngest on the list was 19-year-old Dwight Gooden (1984 vs Cubs). Others on the list: Pete Schourek, Jon Matlack, Gary Gentry, and Nolan Ryan.
7- By the Bill James metric, Game Score (which measures starts based on innings, runs allowed, hits allowed, strikeouts and walks), Niese finished with a game score of 91.
It marked the 40th time that a Mets starter pitched to a game score of 91 or better in a regular season game, the first since Tom Glavine scored a 92 with a two-hit, 11-strikeout shutout in 2005.
8- Of a much more trivial nature: Niese drew two walks, marking the 39th time in Mets history that a pitcher had a multi-walk game (the team record is three, shared by Jay Hook in 1962 and Jon Matlack in 1975.
9- This was the third time in Mets history that they pitched a one-hitter against the Padres. The others were by Seaver in 1972 (a no-hitter broken up in the ninth inning) and David Cone in 1988.
10- Chris Denorfia, who had the Padres only hit, was born in Bristol, Connecticut, the home of ESPN.
Mark Simon is a researcher for Baseball Tonight. Follow him on Twitter at @msimonespn or e-mail him at email@example.com.