New York Mets: Tony Gwynn Jr.

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

August, 7, 2014

Getty ImagesThe Mets will face A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick in the opening three games of the series, as they did July 28-30 in New York.
METS (54-61, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (52-63, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (10-9, 4.12) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42), 7:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74), 1:35 p.m. ET

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41) vs. RHP David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39), 1:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• After no activity at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies scratched 33-year-old Roberto Hernandez from his scheduled start on Thursday. Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) instead was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named from the low minors. Hernandez, owed $1.5 million the remainder of this season, was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 23 appearances (20 starts) for the Phillies.

Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsRoberto Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers on Thursday.

Sean O'Sullivan was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which was playing at Toledo, and made it in time to take the start. The journeyman right-hander surrendered three homers in six innings and departed trailing 5-1, but Ryan Howard's grand slam capped a fifth-run eighth as the Phillies rallied to complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

• The Phillies announced Thursday that a Grade 2 strain of the left elbow will prevent Cliff Lee from pitching again this season. Lee does not intend to undergo surgery. He received an opinion from Mets doctor David Altchek and has been treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy. Lee essentially is owed $37.5 million next season -- $25 million in salary, plus a $12.5 million buyout of a $27.5 million team option for 2016. David Buchanan took Lee's rotation spot.

Chase Utley's homer Wednesday, his 10th of the season, made him the fifth second basemen in major league history to produce double-digit long balls in 11 straight seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jeff Kent (1997-2008) and Bobby Doerr (1939-51, minus 1945 while serving in World War II) had 12-season streaks. Lou Whitaker (1982-92) and Joe Gordon (1938-50, minus two years of military service) had 11-season streaks.

• Center fielder Ben Revere produced his fourth four-hit game of the season Wednesday, matching the major league high. The only Phillie with more four-hit games in a season in the past three decades was Shane Victorino, who had five in 2009. After a two-hit game Thursday, Revere is now hitting .385 since June 26.

A.J. Burnett lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his last start. He was ejected for the first time in his major league career after allowing five runs (one earned) against Washington and arguing with plate umpire Chris Guccione about the strike zone.

• With his 94th save as a Phillie on Thursday, closer Jonathan Papelbon tied Tug McGraw for fifth on the club’s all-time list. Papelbon’s 87.0 save-conversion percentage is tops in Phillies history among relievers with at least 100 chances. Jose Mesa ranks second at 86.8 percent. Papelbon reportedly has cleared waivers, which allows the Phillies to trade him to any team this month.

Antonio Bastardo on Tuesday became the only major league pitcher since 1900 to have two separate games notching at least six outs, with all of the outs recorded via strikeout. His other such appearance came April 8, 2011 at Atlanta.

• Left fielder Domonic Brown pinch hit Thursday, but has not started in the past nine games because of a tonsil infection.

Grady Sizemore has hit safely in 15 of 19 starts since joining the Phillies. After going 1-for-3 Thursday, he is hitting .333 (27-for-81) with the club. Sizemore started in center field on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. He hit .216 with two homers in 185 at-bats before being designated for assignment on June 17. He was released the following day.

• The Chicago Cubs reportedly claimed Cole Hamels but have no intention of trading for him. Ex-Met Marlon Byrd reportedly also was claimed, with the 48-hour period to negotiate a deal expiring Friday.

• The Phillies signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league contract a week after releasing him from the big-league squad.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

May, 8, 2014

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (16-17, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (15-18, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 5.23) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.51) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 3.58), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 1.82) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.02), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Jimmy Rollins tweaked his right groin muscle Sunday against the Washington Nationals. He has yet to return to shortstop. In a home-and-home four-game series against Toronto, Rollins pinch-hit Monday and Tuesday in Philly. He then served as the designated hitter on Wednesday and Thursday in the American League ballpark.

Kathy Willens/Associated PressJimmy Rollins has been dealing with a groin issue.

Freddy Galvis has started three of the past four games at shortstop, with Jayson Nix starting the other game. After going hitless in three at-bats Thursday, Galvis is hitting .048 (2-for-42) this season.

Rollins is 28 hits shy of matching the Phillies’ all-time record, held by Mike Schmidt with 2,234. Richie Ashburn ranks second with 2,217 hits as a Phillie, from 1948-59.

Roberto Hernandez formerly was known as Fausto Carmona. He signed with the Phillies as a free agent for one year at $4.5 million on Dec. 12. After spending seven seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Hernandez went 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 32 appearances (24 starts) with the Tampa Bay Rays last season.

• Ex-Met Marlon Byrd faces the Mets at Citi Field for the first time since signing with the Phillies for two years, $16 million on Nov. 12. Byrd homered last Tuesday against Jonathon Niese in the first meeting between the clubs since his defection. He went 2-for-4 Thursday in Toronto to up his season totals to .317/.348/.516.

• The Phillies have been held to one run or fewer in four of their past eight games, beginning with the Mets’ 6-1 win at Citizens Bank Park last week.

Except for Byrd, they are getting woeful offensive production from their outfield. Center fielder Ben Revere (.283/.295/.317) did not start Thursday, with Tony Gwynn Jr. instead getting the nod. Soon, Byrd could shift to center field, displacing Revere from the starting lineup. That likely would coincide with Darin Ruf returning from a season-opening DL stint. Ruf (strained left oblique) has started a rehab assignment. Ruf had 14 homers in 251 at-bats last season.

Left fielder Domonic Brown is hitting .226 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 115 at-bats.

Cole Hamels needs one win for 100 in his career. He followed up the outing in which he allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets by surrendering five runs on 10 hits and a walk in six innings against the Jays on Tuesday. Hamels surrendered homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus in that outing as his ERA swelled to 7.02. Hamels has made three starts overall since returning from a season-opening trip to the disabled list for biceps tendinitis.

• Closer Jonathan Papelbon has tossed 12 straight scoreless innings.

Morning briefing: TC stuck with Ike commit

May, 13, 2013
FIRST PITCH: The Mets need to face the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff right now like Jay Horwitz needs encouragement about his tweeting.

(Pause and process that.)

Yet, ready or not, the struggling Mets hitters face the top rotation in the majors in a four-game series beginning tonight at Busch Stadium. That includes facing Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright the final two games. That duo combined to retire an MLB-record-tying 40 straight batters this weekend against the Colorado Rockies.

Steve Moore/Associated Press
Terry Collins has committed to Ike Davis batting cleanup.

Worse: Matt Harvey is not scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals. He next takes the mound Friday at Wrigley Field.

Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.63 ERA) and right-hander Lance Lynn (5-1, 2.72) face off in the series opener at 7:05 p.m. ET.

One issue to monitor: How patient will Terry Collins be with Ike Davis?

Collins stuck with his promise and moved Davis to the cleanup spot Sunday.

Did the manager box himself into a corner by pledging the lineup would be stable with Ike in that spot? Davis went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Mets lost to Pittsburgh, 3-2, Sunday. He has 24 Ks in his last 59 at-bats, yet Collins now would appear committed to keeping Davis batting cleanup for a while.

Monday’s news reports:

• Although he did not possess his best stuff, Harvey limited the Pirates to two runs in seven innings Sunday. Harvey suffered his fourth straight no-decision, even though he has a 1.98 ERA during that span. The Mets have scored six total runs with Harvey in the game during that four-game stretch.

Closer Bobby Parnell entered in an unusual spot -- a tie game with two outs in the eighth and two baserunners aboard -- and surrendered a game-deciding RBI single to Manhattan-raised Pedro Alvarez.

Daniel Murphy snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a one-out double in the bottom half of that frame, but he was stranded at third base when Collins’ revised lineup flopped. Davis struck out and Lucas Duda grounded out against Mark Melancon to strand Murphy at third base. Duda was flat-out unlucky. His grounder up the first-base line hit the bag and ricocheted to second baseman Brandon Inge, who threw to Melancon covering first to end the threat.

The Mets (14-20) dropped six games under .500 for the first time this season and lost for only the second time in a Harvey start this year. The Pirates had been 3-12 since the opening of Citi Field before taking three of four during the weekend.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record, Times, Journal and

• Davis acknowledged he “let the team down.” Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post writes Davis may need a ticket to Vegas to correct himself. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Writes columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News:

I am here to report Matt Harvey is human -- which made for a doubly aggravating Mother’s Day experience for Met fans.

For even when Harvey is inhuman, as he was in his previous start when he nearly perfect-gamed the Chicago White Sox Tuesday at Citi Field, the bumbling Mets were unable to muster enough runs to get him a win. And such was the case again Sunday when Harvey battled with his command most of the afternoon but still was able to hold the Pittsburgh Pirates to just two runs over seven innings and put the Mets in position for a much-needed “W.”

Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:

Matt Harvey is a potentially great pitcher on an undeniably bad team, which is why he walked away empty-handed yet again Sunday despite a performance that was merely good in the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Pirates.

Get used to it, because without significant upgrades to this roster, Harvey is going to feel pretty lonely out there this season. While he didn't have his A-plus stuff against Pittsburgh, Harvey still allowed only two runs over seven innings, which normally is more than adequate for a win.

But not in Flushing, where Harvey was left to explain everything he couldn't do Sunday. Despite a lack of his usual pinpoint control, Harvey's biggest problem wasn't throwing the baseball. The issue was the Mets' chronic inability to make contact with it that doomed him.

Read more on Harvey in the Times and Daily News.

Adam Rubin
Frank Francisco needs to see a doctor for elbow discomfort.

Frank Francisco, who was poised to move from St. Lucie to Binghamton in advance of being activated from the disabled list, instead experienced renewed elbow discomfort and is due to be examined by a doctor this week. With Francisco yet to appear at the major league level, three of the team’s four highest-salaried players have contributed nothing this season: Johan Santana at $31 million (including 2014 buyout), Jason Bay at $21 million (although $16 million is deferred for one to two years), and Francisco at $6.5 million.

The Mets officially promoted sidearmer Greg Burke from Triple-A Las Vegas to try to spell an overused bullpen, although Burke went unused Sunday. The team placed Jeurys Familia on the DL with biceps tendinitis. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Collin McHugh (3-2, 2.74 ERA) limited Albuquerque to one run in seven innings. 51s reliever Sean Henn then allowed a pair of ninth-inning runs but stranded Tony Gwynn Jr. in scoring position by striking out Jeremy Moore as Las Vegas won, 4-3. In his second start since returning from the DL, Cory Mazzoni allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings as Binghamton split a doubleheader with a 9-3 win in Game 2 against Harrisburg. Stefan Sabol’s solo homer accounted for the only Savannah run in a 4-1 loss to Rome. Read the minor league recap here.

Mets instructors had praise for Zack Wheeler’s 7 1/3-inning outing Sunday with Vegas. Read more in Newsday.

In the Record, John Buck pays a Mother’s Day tribute to his wife Brooke -- “the steadying force” as they dealt with the early days following the premature birth of twins.

From the bloggers … After seeing a photo of Mr. Met getting flowers for his mom -- his mom? -- Mets Police worked out the Met Family Tree.

BIRTHDAYS: Manager-turned-TV analyst Bobby Valentine turns 63.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What should the Mets do with Ike Davis? 1. Keep the faith and leave him at cleanup. 2. Drop him in the order. 3. Bench him. 4. Demote him.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Dodgers 2

June, 29, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Assuming the closer’s role while Frank Francisco is on the disabled list, Bobby Parnell converted his first opportunity. Parnell earned his first save since last Sept. 22, when he was auditioning for the job after Jason Isringhausen notched No. 300.

And with David Wright contributing two RBIs and Chris Young outdueling former teammate Chris Capuano, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 3-2, Thursday night.

L.A. fell from first place in the National League West for the first time since April 10 with San Francisco beating Cincinnati.

DEEP THOUGHTS: Wright matched Howard Johnson for third on the franchise’s homer list with a leadoff blast in the fourth against his ex-teammate Capuano, which staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead.

It was the 192nd homer of Wright’s career, and came in his 4,426th at-bat. HoJo reached that total in 3,968 at-bats as a Met.

Darryl Strawberry owns the franchise record with 252 homers, followed by Mike Piazza with 220.

Wright also became the all-time walks leader in franchise history with an eighth-inning free pass. No. 581 of Wright’s career passed Strawberry.

Wright already had grabbed the franchise record for RBIs and runs scored this season, and previously owned the Mets doubles record.

Wright had opened Thursday’s scoring with a first-inning double that plated Ruben Tejada.

CHRISES: Young and Capuano -- who both signed with the Mets before the 2011 season for low base salaries with incentives -- squared off in the series opener, after Capuano parlayed his Mets success into a two-year, $10 million deal with Los Angeles.

Young retired the first nine Dodgers he faced before L.A. snapped its 33-inning scoreless drought and pulled even at 2 in the fourth with a leadoff double by Dee Gordon, followed by Elian Herrera’s triple and Juan Rivera’s single.

The Mets broke the tie the following half-inning against Capuano as Andres Torres doubled to drive in Mike Nickeas with the go-ahead run. Nickeas was playing his first game at Dodger Stadium since losing a high school state championship game at the ballpark.

Young departed with that 3-2 lead intact with one out in the seventh and Adam Kennedy on first base. Tim Byrdak recorded the inning’s final two outs -- lefty hitters Tony Gwynn Jr. and Gordon -- to strand two runners. Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless eighth for the Mets, benefiting from second baseman Daniel Murphy initiating a nifty double play.

Capuano’s line: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 K, 1 WP.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.31 ERA) tries to rebound from a rare blemish when he opposes right-hander Aaron Harang on Friday at 10:10 p.m. ET.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187