New York Mets: Travis Snider

Series preview: Mets at Pirates

June, 26, 2014
Jun 26

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Vance Worley, Brandon Cumpton and Gerrit Cole in the opening three games of a series at PNC Park.
METS (36-42, fourth place/NL East) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (39-39, fourth place/NL Central)

Thursday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-1, 2.68) vs. RHP Vance Worley (1-0, 1.98), 7:05 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Jacob deGrom (1-4, 3.75) vs. RHP Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.93), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (4-4, 2.78) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (6-3, 3.64), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.67) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35), 1:35 p.m. ET

Pirates short hops

Gerrit Cole (shoulder fatigue) returns from the disabled list to take Saturday’s start, pushing Edinson Volquez to Sunday and Jeff Locke out of the series against the Mets. Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, threw an 83-pitch simulated game spanning six innings Monday. Manager Clint Hurdle has not declared which starter will be dropped from the rotation with Cole reentering.

• Left fielder Starling Marte sat out Wednesday’s matinee against the Tampa Bay Rays. A day earlier, Marte departed the game with concussion-like symptoms after a headfirst slide into second baseman Sean Rodriguez’s knee in the fifth inning. Marte cleared a concussion test. He also suffered a swollen middle finger on his right hand and was unavailable Wednesday.

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesIke Davis has a .360 on-base percentage since the trade.

• Ex-Met Ike Davis moved to the cleanup spot for Pittsburgh on May 23. The Pirates are 15-9 when Davis starts in the No. 4 slot. Davis is hitting .254 with four homers and 19 RBIs and has a .360 on-base percentage in 58 games since the trade.

• Second baseman Neil Walker returned from the disabled list Tuesday after recovering from an appendectomy. Outfielder Jose Tabata was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear the roster spot, even though he is due roughly $9 million through 2016.

Tabata had lost his playing time to Josh Harrison in right field, and then to rookie Gregory Polanco once Harrison shifted to second base to cover for Walker.

Travis Snider (.234, 4 HR, 137 ABs) started the season as the regular right fielder, but has receded to the bench.

Polanco made his major league debut June 10. He is hitting .325 with one homer, six RBIs and three steals in 65 at-bats since his promotion and has settled into the leadoff spot. His 0-for-4, two-strikeout performance Wednesday at Tampa Bay snapped a streak of reaching base in 14 straight games to begin his major league career. His 11-game hitting streak to begin his career set a Pirates franchise record. It was the longest hitting streak in the majors to begin a career since Glenn Williams had a 13-game streak with the Minnesota Twins in 2006 and the longest in the National League since Juan Pierre had a 16-game hitting streak with the Colorado Rockies in 2000.

• Center fielder Andrew McCutchen’s .315 average ranks fourth in the National League. He is fifth in the league in RBIs (48). Eight of his 12 homers have come this month. McCutchen is slated to be an All-Star Game starter. He has 2,461,722 votes. The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig narrowly leads NL outfielders with 2,468,376 votes. The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez is third at 2,409,860.

• Reclamation project Vance Worley is a combined 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in starts against the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins since making his Pirates debut on June 15. He was acquired from the Minnesota Twins on March 25 for cash and spent the first portion of the season in Triple-A. Worley went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA last season with Minnesota.

Rapid Reaction: Pirates 5, Mets 3

May, 26, 2014
May 26
NEW YORK -- Mets fans mostly greeted Ike Davis with polite applause in his first game at Citi Field since the April 18 trade that sent him to Pittsburgh. His Pirates first-base platoon mate eventually deprived Jacob deGrom of his first major-league victory and sent the Mets to a demoralizing 5-3 defeat.

After Davis went 0-for-2 with a walk, he was replaced by righty-hitting Gaby Sanchez in the eighth when Terry Collins inserted southpaw Scott Rice to protect a two-run lead.

The bullpen surrendered five runs the rest of the way.

Sanchez homered against Rice and Jose Valverde allowed a game-tying RBI single to Jose Tabata later in the eighth.

The Pirates added three ninth-inning runs to take a 5-2 lead in the Memorial Day win at Citi Field, highlighted by Sanchez's tiebreaking single against Valverde. Two runs scored on the play, the latter courtesy of a throwing error by left fielder Curtis Granderson.

The loss dropped the Mets to 22-28. They are now 19-3 when leading after seven innings.

Valverde (1-1) was charged with four earned runs while recording only two outs. His ERA ballooned to 5.66.

Total package: Between pitching assignments, deGrom may be worthy of playing some shortstop, his original position at Stetson University.

Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and went 2-for-2 at the plate in a no-decision.

Five of the first seven batters deGrom faced reached on Memorial Day. Yet deGrom wriggled free and ultimately dazzled in his third major-league start. He tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and continued to swing a mean bat, too, going 2-for-2 to raise his career average to .800. DeGrom’s fifth-inning single initiated the two-out rally that resulted in two runs.

With Terry Collins being refreshingly liberal with pitch counts of late, even for his young starters, deGrom was permitted to toss 122 pitches.

DeGrom departed after issuing his fifth walk -- to Neil Walker in the seventh, which advanced Travis Snider to second base. Jeurys Familia, who had appeared in both games on Sunday’s doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks, then struck out reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen looking to strand both runners inherited from deGrom and preserve a 2-0 lead.

The Pirates had loaded the bases in the first inning, but deGrom coaxed Russell Martin into an inning-ending double play. An inning later, deGrom allowed a single and walk to open the frame but stranded both runners.

His pitch count was at 47 after two innings, but deGrom became efficient. His final line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. He threw 122 pitches (67 strikes) and departed leading 2-0.

The 122 pitches were the most by a Mets pitcher within his first three major-league appearances since Bill Pulsipher tossed 131 and then 122 in June 1995.

Collins has been less conservative of late with pitch counts. Zack Wheeler has thrown 118 in two of his past three starts. Rafael Montero threw 113 on Sunday.

As for his bat, deGrom’s two-out single in the fifth against Brandon Cumpton ignited the Mets to open the scoring. Juan Lagares followed with a walk. Daniel Murphy then laced a two-run single to right field.

Well, it was a two-run single after a replay review.

Lagares had attempted to score all the way from first on Murphy’s single after right fielder Josh Harrison’s throw eluded third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Lagares initially was ruled out by plate umpire Laz Diaz. However, the umpires initiated a review of whether catcher Russell Martin illegally blocked the plate -- the Rule 7.13 adopted this year to prevent horrific collisions and injuries like the one that occurred with San Francisco’s Buster Posey.

The video review ultimately determined Martin had blocked the plate, Lagares was ruled safe, and the Mets took a 2-0 lead.

It was not the first time this year a runner had been awarded home because a catcher blocked the plate. On April 19, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado was ruled safe because, after a review, Carlos Ruiz was determined to have blocked the plate.

Meanwhile, with singles in each of his two at-bats against Cumpton, deGrom is now 4-for-5 this season. He became the first pitcher in franchise history with a hit in each of his first three career games. Include position players and deGrom still is the first Met since Victor Diaz in 2004 to hit safely in each of his first three major-league games.

DeGrom has four of the six hits by Mets pitchers this season. He had snapped the pitchers’ 0-for-64 drought to begin the season with a hit in his May 15 debut.

Snapped: Lucas Duda snapped the longest active streak in the majors of innings pitched without allowing a homer with his leadoff blast in the bottom of the ninth against Mark Melancon. Melancon had tossed 86 homer-free innings.

Debutant: Matt den Dekker entered on a double-switch in the ninth for his first major-league action in 2014. He struck out to end the game.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.70 ERA) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-4, 4.37) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Pirates 4, Mets 2

July, 13, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Ike Davis may be playing himself into watching from the bench Sunday, even with the Pittsburgh Pirates having switched from left-hander Jeff Locke to right-hander Gerrit Cole for the series finale.

Davis, who continues to bat cleanup, went hitless in four at-bats Saturday. He originally was charged with a costly seventh-inning error that later was reversed and scored a hit. Either way, it led to two runs scoring as the Pirates beat the Mets, 4-2, Saturday night at sold-out PNC Park.

The Mets had been 5-0-2 in their last seven road series, their longest unbeaten streak since winning eight straight series in 1999. But that has been snapped with consecutive losses to the Pirates.

Davis is 2-for-20 with five walks in his past five games, including a fifth-inning strikeout Saturday with two in scoring position.

On a tough but makeable play, Davis had a one-out grounder in the seventh off the bat of pinch-hitter Travis Snider scoot by him on the glove side.

Snider ultimately scored with two outs for a 3-2 lead when Andrew McCutchen delivered an RBI single against Greg Burke.

In between, Snider could have been doubled off first base. But on Starling Marte’s lineout to third base, Davis could not hold a low throw across the diamond from David Wright.

Later in the seventh, Josh Edgin issued a bases-loaded walk to Russell Martin to force in a run.

Gonzalez Germen finally ended the inning and stranded the bases loaded by entering and coaxing a foul pop-out in his second major league appearance.

Collins for days had planned to start Josh Satin on Sunday, but that was before Cole unexpectedly replaced Locke, who had lower-back tightness.

Start of something: Carlos Torres Day proved a suitable alternative while it lasted.

Given the start in place of Matt Harvey with the Mets seeking to limit their ace’s innings and allow a blister to heal (and, shhhh, start the All-Star Game), Torres took a scoreless effort into the fifth inning. Torres had not started, or exceeded three innings, since a complete game with Triple-A Las Vegas on June 9 and undoubtedly ran out of gas in his final frame.

He departed with a 2-1 lead after escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth by coaxing a double-play groundout from Jose Tabata. Torres’ final line in a no-decision: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. He threw 80 pitches (50 strikes).

Torres, who last had started a major league game with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, now has a 0.79 ERA in 22 2/3 innings as a Met.

At least until Jonathon Niese returns from the disabled list, Torres is due to remain in the rotation after the All-Star break in the spot formerly held by Shaun Marcum. Marcum is due to undergo season-ending surgery Monday in St. Louis to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which led to hand numbness. Niese just started long-tossing this week in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and will need to pitch in rehab games before rejoining the Mets.

Torres had been staked to a 2-0 lead.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis opened the scoring with an RBI double against A.J. Burnett in the fourth that plated Marlon Byrd, who had walked. An inning later, after the Mets appeared poised to waste an opportunity with two runners in scoring position, Byrd beat out a two-out infield single and Daniel Murphy scored.

Aargh! David Aardsma surrendered a leadoff homer to McCutchen in the sixth as Pittsburgh evened the score at 2.

Boo hoo? Wright was booed for a second straight day at PNC Park for not originally picking Pedro Alvarez for the Home Run Derby. Wright tabbed Alvarez as the replacement for Carlos Gonzalez on the eve of the Mets-Pirates series.

What’s next: The Mets and Pirates conclude the first half as Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60 ERA) opposes the former first overall pick Cole (4-2, 3.68) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday.

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: Mets 6, Pirates 5

September, 27, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey is the Mets’ first 20-game winner in 22 years.

With the Mets’ 6-5 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon in the home finale, Dickey joined Tom Seaver (1969, ’71, ’72, ’75), Jerry Koosman (1976), Dwight Gooden (1985), David Cone (1988) and Frank Viola (1990) as the lone Mets to reach the plateau. The knuckleballer became the second in the majors to reach 20 wins this season, joining fellow National League Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals.

Appropriately, perhaps, David Wright lifted Dickey to the milestone victory. A day after passing Ed Kranepool for the franchise career hits record, Wright launched a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth to give the Mets a 6-3 lead and chase Pirates starter Kevin Correia. Wright then received a curtain call during the pitching change.

Dickey had trailed 3-1 after ex-teammate Rod Barajas belted a solo homer in the fourth. The Mets answered with an RBI single by Scott Hairston in the bottom half. An inning later, Daniel Murphy delivered an RBI single and Wright had the three-run shot.

Ike Davis got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the second, his 31st long ball this season. Two batters later, Travis Snider scaled the right-field wall and brought back a would-be homer by Mike Baxter.

Dickey (20-6) surrendered three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out 13, matching a career high, in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 128 pitches, three shy of matching his career high, and departed after a two-out walk to Snider with the Mets leading 6-3. Dickey produced his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season.

Jon Rauch surrendered a two-run homer in the ninth to Alex Presley that pulled Pittsburgh within a run. Bobby Parnell recorded the final two outs.

CITI REDUX: The Mets, who had been 4-24 in the second half at Citi Field at one point, finished their home schedule by winning six of their final seven games at the ballpark, albeit against the Marlins and Pirates. Overall, the Mets went 36-45 at Citi Field.

According to the Mets’ count, there were 47 additional homers at Citi Field this season because of the new dimensions -- 26 by opponents and 21 by the Mets. The biggest beneficiary was Wright, who had four additional homers. Hairston and Davis each had three extra long balls.

The official home attendance for the season: 2,242,803, a decrease of 109,793 from last season and the lowest figure since the Mets drew 2,140,599 in 2003, during a 66-95 season under Art Howe at Shea Stadium.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets open their final trip of the season Friday night in Atlanta. Jon Niese (12-9, 3.49 ERA) completes his 2012 campaign in the series opener, opposite right-hander Tim Hudson (16-6, 3.61). With the Braves playing their final home series of the season, Chipper Jones will be honored in a pregame ceremony Friday night at Turner Field.



Bartolo Colon
13 4.14 136 182
BAD. Murphy .296
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 74
OPSL. Duda .817
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173