New York Mets: Tony Watson

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Pirates 2

May, 9, 2013

WHAT IT MEANS: Clint Hurdle inserted his closer, Jason Grilli, with the score tied for the bottom of the ninth. The Mets found magic again anyway.

Marlon Byrd led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a sac bunt from Andrew Brown and scored the winning run in walk-off fashion on Mike Baxter's pinch-hit single as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, Thursday night at Citi Field. Baxter had provided the walk-off win two days early to get a 1-0 win in 10 innings in Matt Harvey's near-perfect outing.

The Mets' last three home wins have come via walk-offs.

Juan Lagares -- who had received wide praise for his outfield skills in the minors -- deserved plenty of credit, too. With the go-ahead run on base and two out in the top of the ninth, the rookie center fielder leaped at the wall and took away a sure go-ahead extra-base hit (and potentially homer) off the bat of Andrew McCutchen to preserve a scoreless frame from Bobby Parnell.

The Mets had squandered a 2-1 lead in the eighth when Pedro Alvarez delivered a game-tying one-out solo homer against LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins had not allowed an earned run in his previous 10 appearances.

LIKE IKE: Ike Davis did not start Thursday, because Terry Collins preferred righty-hitting Justin Turner face Pirates southpaw starter Jeff Locke. In the end, Davis was at the plate against a left-hander in a big spot. And Davis delivered.

Davis, who entered on a double-switch with Scott Rice the previous half-inning, laced a two-out RBI double to right-center in the seventh against reliever Tony Watson to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

The Mets had not produced a hit since the second inning until Brown delivered his first Mets hit, a one-out single, ahead of Davis’ two-bagger in the seventh. Davis entered the game hitting .167 (8-for-48) with 20 strikeouts over his previous 15 games.

SIZZLING RICE: Rice, the second-oldest U.S.-born player ever to debut for the Mets (31 years, 192 days old), continues to excel. Rice inherited a runner on second and one out in the seventh from Lyon and retired a pair of batters (sandwiched around an intentional walk to McCutchen) to preserve a 1-1 tie.

GEE WHIZ: Dillon Gee took a scoreless effort into the sixth, when he allowed singles to Travis Snider and McCutchen and plunked Garrett Jones to load the bases with none out.

Brandon Lyon entered the precarious situation and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Alvarez that evened the score at 1. But Lyon limited the damage to that run.

Gee’s final line: 5+ IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP.

The Mets opened the scoring in the second inning on a Marlon Byrd sacrifice fly, which plated John Buck. Buck had snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a leadoff single. The Mets produced only three hits in six innings against Locke.

WHAT’S NEXT: Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.20 ERA) looks for his first Mets win when he opposes left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 4.02) at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Citi Field.

Rapid Reaction: Pirates 5, Mets 4

May, 21, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: Johan Santana could not protect a four-run lead and the Mets dropped the ball in the eighth inning -- literally -- en route to 5-4 loss against Pittsburgh in Monday’s series opener.

Santana served up a game-tying two-run homer to No. 8 hitter Michael McKenry in seventh inning.

In the eighth, after each pinch-hitting in the top half, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter headed to the outfield. They miscommunicated on Neil Walker’s leadoff fly ball to left-center and Nieuwenhuis dropped it for a three-base error. Walker then scored the decisive run on a sacrifice fly by Clint Barmes against Jon Rauch narrowly ahead of a throw from right fielder Lucas Duda.

It was the second time this season Nieuwenhuis had a high-profile drop while manning center field. Against the Giants on April 21, Nieuwenhuis overran a ball to prolong the game, although the Mets salvaged that one, 5-4, on San Francisco miscues.

NOT WRIGHT: David Wright went 2-for-4 with a walk and RBI to lift his average to .415, but he also committed his second and third errors this season.

Wright’s RBI single had lifted the Mets to a 4-0 lead against Pirates starter Erik Bedard.

Neither error proved costly. With the bases loaded in the fourth inning shortly after Wright’s throwing miscue to first base, Santana coaxed a 6-4-3 DP to preserve a two-run lead. In the seventh, after Santana served up the game-tying two-run homer and a walk, Wright misfielded a grounder that advanced the potential go-ahead run into scoring position. But Bobby Parnell struck out Andrew McCutchen and Tim Byrdak fanned Pedro Alvarez to keep the score tied.

LEADING MAN? Andres Torres went 0-for-4 with a walk. He twice struck out and also popped out on a bunt. Torres is now hitless in 14 at-bats and 2-for-38 in his last 11 games. His eighth-inning fielder’s choice stranded the go-ahead run at third in the eighth.

OUT: Scott Hairston was pulled for the bottom of the sixth inning, with Vinny Rottino moving from first base to left field and Ike Davis entering the game.

It was not immediately known if that was a strategic move or Hairston needed to be removed.

Davis and Lucas Duda consecutively were retired in the top of the seventh inning with two runners aboard while facing lefty reliever Tony Watson as the Mets failed to build on a 4-2 lead at the time.

AHOY: Ronny Cedeno returned to Pittsburgh, where he had been the starting shortstop last season and hit .249. He went 2-for-4.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (5-1, 3.76 ERA) opposes right-hander James McDonald (3-2, 2.68) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 27, 2012

Getty Images/Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Drew Pomeranz, ageless Jamie Moyer and Jeremy Guthrie this weekend at Coors Field.
METS (11-8, third place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (9-9, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05 at Triple-A Buffalo) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 6.75), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-2, 5.21) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.92), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 3.00) vs. LHP Jamie Moyer (1-2, 2.28), 3:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• With an April 17 victory against the San Diego Padres, Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game, at 49 years, 151 days. The victory, the 268th of his career, tied Jim Palmer for 34th all time. Next up: Mike Mussina and Burleigh Grimes at 270. Moyer actually has been Colorado’s best starting pitcher so far this season, despite the 1-2 record. He is the only Rockie to complete at least five innings in each of his starts. He received a no-decision in his last start despite limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run in six innings at PNC Park. Moyer missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which he only intended to have in order to throw batting practice to his children. But he felt so good while rehabbing, he opted to make a comeback. Moyer needs two strikeouts to match Luis Tiant for 36th all time, with 2,416.

• Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez produced his first two homers of the season Tuesday at Pittsburgh, off Kevin Correia and Tony Watson. Gonzalez had been weakened by a battle with strep throat that caused him to miss three games. He is just starting to regain his strength.

Chris Humphreys/US Presswire
Marco Scutaro has needed to readjust to second base after primarily playing shortstop with the Red Sox in recent seasons.

• The Dec. 16 signing of former Minnesota Twin Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract marked the first time the organization had opened the purse strings for a major free-agent acquisition since 2000. That year, Colorado signed Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle. (The Hampton signing gave the Mets the compensatory draft pick they used to select David Wright 38th overall in June ’01). Cuddyer, who grew up with Wright in Norfolk, Va., has been the Rockies’ most productive hitter so far with a .303 average, two homers and 11 RBIs in 66 at-bats. A first-time All-Star last season in the American League, Cuddyer has taken over the right-field role held by Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs in 2011.

• The Rockies acquired Marco Scutaro from the Boston Red Sox on Jan. 21 for right-hander Clayton Mortensen. Scutaro started 102 games at shortstop and two games at second base last season, but is being asked to play the latter position with the Rockies. He initially looked shaky, but has progressed since the start of the season.

• Two-time reigning Gold Glove winner Troy Tulowitzki already has matched last season’s error total with six. On a wet day, he airmailed two throws for errors. Three days later, Tulowitzki then had a second two-error day. Teammate Jason Giambi played fielding highlights for Tulowitzki to try to settle the Rockies’ shaken shortstop. The six errors are one shy of Starlin Castro’s NL-leading total with the Chicago Cubs. Tulowitzki has this to fall back on: He is a lifetime .328 hitter with seven homers and 15 RBIs in 116 at-bats against the Mets.

• The Rockies are targeting 110 starts for 38-year-old Todd Helton at first base this season. Helton does not play day games after starting night games. Giambi is the primary alternative. Helton’s 1,318 RBIs are the most in Rockies franchise history. He and Wright are the only two active players who lead their organizations in most runs driven in. Helton and R.A. Dickey were baseball teammates at the University of Tennessee.

• Closer Rafael Betancourt is 6-for-6 in save conversions. Matt Belisle (1.23 ERA) is now the primary setup man. Rex Brothers (4.05 ERA) began the season in that role, but is now more likely to handle the seventh.

• Left-hander Drew Pomeranz was the centerpiece prospect returned in last July’s trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians. The 23-year-old southpaw was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, out of the University of Mississippi. The Mets then selected Matt Harvey seventh overall. With the Rockies not needing a fifth starter the first time through the rotation, Pomeranz began the season with a start with Double-A Tulsa to keep his innings count in check. Friday’s outing will mark his seventh career major league start.

Jeremy Guthrie was acquired at the start of spring training from the Baltimore Orioles for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.

• With center fielder Dexter Fowler struggling (.222), lefty-hitting Tyler Colvin has chipped away at some of his playing time. Colvin was acquired from the Cubs with infielder D.J. LeMahieu on Dec. 8 for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers.

• Right-hander Juan Nicasio, whom the Mets will not face, is an inspirational story. He is coming back from a broken neck, which he suffered on a line drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond last Aug. 5.

• Defensive-oriented third baseman Chris Nelson is hitting .224.

Jorge De La Rosa, returning from Tommy John surgery, is due to pitch in an extended spring training game Friday.


Schwinden vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Gee vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Santana vs. Rockies (career: 2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Troy Tulowitzki .429, 2 K, 7 PA
Todd Helton .333, 3 PA
Marco Scutaro .250, 1 RBI, 3 K, 12 PA
Carlos Gonzalez .250, 1 K, 4 PA
Jason Giambi .227, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 23 PA
Dexter Fowler .200, 2 BB, 3 K, 7 PA
Ramon Hernandez .190, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 22 PA
Michael Cuddyer .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA

Pomeranz vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Guthrie vs. Mets (career: 0-2, 4.73 ERA)
David Wright .500, 2 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 3 PA
Ike Davis .333, 2 K, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Moyer vs. Mets (career: 10-6, 3.94 ERA)
Daniel Murphy .500, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA
David Wright .415, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 56 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 2 BB, 11 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 BB, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Coors Field, May 9-12, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Rockies 2, Mets 1: Chris Capuano was stellar on the mound and shoddy at the plate. Capuano (2-4) made one key mistake in 6 2/3 strong innings, hanging an 81 mph slider to Chris Iannetta, who broke a tie in the seventh inning with a low liner that just cleared the left-field fence. The pitcher's performance at the plate, though, left something to be desired. He struck out three times, including once with the bases loaded in the sixth. That's simply the way the night went for the Mets, who left 10 runners on base and dropped to 0-5 against Colorado this season including a four-game sweep at Citi Field last month. Once again, they struggled to come up with the timely hit. New York is 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position over the last two games.

Mets 4, Rockies 3: Mike Pelfrey hit a tiebreaking, two-run double and limited the Rockies to three solo homers. Ike Davis left in the fifth inning after he strained his left calf when he appeared to trip over third baseman David Wright's foot as the two closed in on a pop up by the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki. Wright hung on to the ball near the mound for the second out of the fourth inning as Davis tumbled to the ground. Davis bounced up quickly but was limping noticeably. He remained in the game for the final out of the inning, then was replaced. The Mets had lost all five of their games to the Rockies this season but finally put together a couple of rallies against their new nemesis to counter home runs by Troy Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez. Despite the trio of long balls he served up, Pelfrey (3-3) allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings and improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine but remain atop the NL West. Pelfrey's outing was cut short by a nearly hour-long rain delay in the seventh inning.

Mets 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Beltran hit a career-high three homers and drove in six runs to help the Mets beat Ubaldo Jimenez in a game delayed more than two hours by rain. Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and reached all parts of the ballpark with his three two-run homers: straightaway center in the first, deep left in the seventh and into the right-field seats in the ninth. The switch-hitting outfielder became the eighth Mets player to hit three in a game, and first since Jose Reyes on Aug. 15, 2006, at Philadelphia. Reyes hit a two-run single in the fourth that chased Jimenez (0-3) and kept the Rockies' ace searching for his elusive first win of the season. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his shortest stint of the season, surrendering five runs and three hits while walking six. Relying on his curveball, Jon Niese (2-4) was solid for 6 1/3 innings while allowing solo homers to Jonathan Herrera and Todd Helton.



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