New York Mets: Troy Tulowitzki

Mets-Tulo? 'Five percent' chance ... at best

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
8:47
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets and Rockies have engaged in some talks this offseason regarding Troy Tulowitzki, but a well-placed source told ESPNNewYork.com the chances of something ever materializing are five percent at best.

No talks are believed to have been overly recent. And an insider said the Mets fans clamoring for a Tulo acquisition would go "bat s---" if they knew the package the Rockies wanted for Tulowitzki.

The comment came in response to a CBSSports.com report about dialogue between the Mets and Rockies. That report acknowledged the chances of a trade between the clubs involving Tulowitzki were "slim."

Series preview: Mets vs. Rockies

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
8:40
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Jordan Lyles, Christian Bergman and Tyler Matzek this week at Citi Field.
METS (68-75, fourth place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (59-84, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.68) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (6-2, 4.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) vs. RHP Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-3, 5.23) vs. LHP Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32), 7:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.340, 21 HR, 52 RBIs) underwent surgery on Aug. 15 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (.238, 11 HR, 38 RBIs) underwent surgery three days later to repair the patella tendon in his left knee.

Tulowitzki is signed for $20 million annually through 2019, with $14 million owed in 2020. There is a $15 million option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

Gonzalez is owed $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.

With Tulowitzki’s absence, Josh Rutledge primarily has played shortstop, with Charlie Culberson also seeing action there. Corey Dickerson’s playing time has increased in the outfield minus Gonzalez.

• With a 2-for-3 performance Sunday, first baseman Justin Morneau raised his average to .316 and took over the NL batting lead. Morneau leads Philadelphia’s Ben Revere and Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison by one point.

• Rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek tossed a three-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres in his most recent outing. Matzek became the first Rockies pitcher to go the distance in a scoreless effort at Coors Field since Jhoulys Chacin on April 15, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs. Overall, Matzek has an active 21-inning scoreless streak.

• After sweeping the San Diego Padres, Colorado arrives at Citi Field on a four-game winning streak, its longest since posting five straight victories in June.

• Free-agent-to-be Michael Cuddyer is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday. He appeared in three games in mid-August before becoming sidelined with a left hamstring strain. He has been on the DL three times and has played in only 34 games this season because of fractured left shoulder and an earlier hamstring injury.

• Catcher Wilin Rosario (wrist) was activated from the disabled list on Sunday.

• Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa signed a two-year, $25 million extension with the Rockies last week.

• Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins has made 993 career appearances, which ranks 16th all time. Next up: Goose Gossage at 1,002.

Morning Briefing: It's safe, Nats leave town

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
5:23
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Sharknado? No. Just the Washington Nationals.

After a woeful series against the D.C. ballclub, the Mets now entertain the Chicago Cubs in a four-game wraparound series at Citi Field.

Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA) opposes left-hander Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.

Read the Mets-Cubs series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

• Terry Collins ruled out Matt Harvey pitching in games in 2014 and told the ace during a phone conversation Thursday to stop pushing so hard and jeopardizing next season. “Back off,” the manager told Harvey. Collins also told Harvey not to do radio interviews during Mets games. Sandy Alderson also spoke with Harvey.

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes:

He has become the 2.0 version of Manny being Manny. Oh, that is just Harvey being Harvey.

The Mets insist it is not malicious by Matt Harvey, mostly just immaturity or defiance, and they claim the defiance betrays a stubbornness and resolve that will serve him well back on the mound as an ace in New York.

This is spin greater than you will find on Harvey’s slider. Mets officials have mainly mastered the eye roll when it comes to this behavior. But there is a weariness that has set in, as well, when Harvey, say, was told he could have a few days off after enduring some knee pain during his rehab and -- next thing they knew -- he had posted an Instagram photo with his buddies vacationing in Cape Cod. During the season. Terry Collins said he talked to Harvey about how bad that looked.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper homered against Dillon Gee and the Mets were swept by the Nationals with a 4-1 loss Thursday. Washington has won 11 straight games at Citi Field -- the longest winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets in franchise history. Gee walked a batter ahead of both homers. The Mets went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position in the series.

After the Mets were swept, Collins addressed the players and told them the season is not lost.

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

• Countering a CBSSports.com report that Collins is “likely” to return as manager barring a Mets collapse, Sherman in the Post asserts Collins in Queens in 2015 is far from assured.

“I like Terry. I have a good relationship with him,” David Wright told the Daily News. “Terry has my back and I have his.”

• Mark Simon at ESPNNewYork.com has a baseball-themed Q&A with Mets fan and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

• Stephen Hayes in Newsday discusses the improvements Wheeler has made.

• A day after the Colorado Rockies announced shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have season-ending hip surgery for a torn labrum, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is done for the season, too. Gonzalez will undergo surgery Monday to repair a left patella tendon tear, Nick Groke writes in the Denver Post.

• The Mets re-signed 40-year-old Bobby Abreu to a minor-league contract and have assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets inked 16-year-old Venezuelan infielder Kenny Hernandez for a reported $1 million signing bonus.

• Sunday is the one-year anniversary of Travis d'Arnaud's major league debut, notes Joe Lemire in the Journal.

• Although Jacob deGrom feels good and expects to reenter the rotation next Saturday at Dodger Stadium, he has yet to return to a mound.

• Matt Reynolds homered twice, including a solo shot in the top of the 12th, but Chasen Bradford allowed two runs in the bottom half as Iowa beat Las Vegas, 6-5. Jayce Boyd went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Binghamton’s 9-4 win against Erie. Beck Wheeler walked the bases loaded and forced in the winning run by hitting a batter in St. Lucie’s 9-8 walk-off loss at Fort Myers. Logan Taylor tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings as Savannah blanked Greenville, 4-0. Ivan Wilson homered twice in Kingsport’s 5-3 win against Bristol. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear makes the case for informed impatience where Met progress is concerned. ... Blogging Mets ventures into Alderson's head.

BIRTHDAYS: Oliver Perez turns 33. ... Duffy Dyer is 69. ... Kingsport Mets right-hander Gaby Almonte is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you be concerned about acquiring Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez given their injury histories?

Morning Briefing: Nats own the place

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Washington Nationals could make history Thursday at Citi Field.

In the 53-season existence of the New York Mets, no visiting team has ever won 11 straight games.

The 1991-92 Atlanta Braves, who won 10 straight at Shea Stadium, and the 2013-14 Nats currently are tied for the longest road winning streak in Queens.

The Nats have won 24 of their last 28 games at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) in the 7:10 p.m. series finale.

Gee is coming off a weekend start in Philly in which he allowed a seventh-inning solo homer to Carlos Ruiz and no other damage in what became a 2-1 win in 11 innings.

Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. His lone start against the Mets this season came on Opening Day, when Andrew Brown produced a three-run homer in the first inning and Strasburg ultimately allowed four runs in six innings.

For those still keeping track, the Mets (57-64) trail the first-place Nats by 9 games. They are seven games out of the second wild-card position with 41 games remaining.

They Amazin’s will need to go 24-17 the rest of the way to reach .500 and snap a five-season streak of losing seasons, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors. The Mets need to go 33-8 to reach Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets are not headed for a managerial change for the 2015 season, ESPNNewYork.com correspondent Danny Knobler reports. Jon Heyman first reported at CBSSports.com that Terry Collins, who is under contract for 2015, is “likely” to return, barring a Mets collapse. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• A defiant but respectful Matt Harvey still wants to pitch this season, he told ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday. The adamancy came after Harvey threw a 27-pitch session off a mound in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It also came amid the Mets saying the ace will be further slow-tracked in light of Jeremy Hefner's major setback returning from Tommy John surgery. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Asdrubal Cabrera had an eighth-inning solo homer against Jeurys Familia and a comeback bid fell short as the Mets lost to Washington, 3-2, Wednesday. Travis d'Arnaud homered against Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth to pull the Mets within a run, but Matt den Dekker was thrown out at the plate in a play upheld on replay. The Mets are now 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the series.

Read game recaps in the Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and at MLB.com.

• Read more about Bartolo Colon's effort in the loss in Newsday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who originally was expected to make a rehab start for Brooklyn, instead will make that appearance Saturday with Double-A Binghamton during a doubleheader at Reading.

Jacob deGrom is expected to resume throwing Thursday. DeGrom should miss only one more start -- Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. He then would bump Rafael Montero the following turn. DeGrom is on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis.

• Matt Reynolds had a pair of triples and three RBIs and John Lannan allowed three runs in six innings as Las Vegas beat Iowa, 6-4. Michael Fulmer allowed one run in six innings in the opener as St. Lucie split a doubleheader at Fort Myers. Octavio Acosta allowed one run in eight innings as Savannah beat Asheville, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets minor-league right-hander Derrick Bernard received a 62-game suspension for testing positive for a metabolite of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing drug, MLB announced. Bernard, 22, had made six relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League this season.

• Nats right fielder Jayson Werth received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder and will be active but unavailable for Thursday’s series finale. Read more at NatsInsider.com.

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a torn labrum in his left hip and will undergo season-ending surgery Friday in Vail, Colo.

• Mr. Met did the Ice Bucket Challenge on Wednesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets urges Mets fans to sign a petition to help Gil Hodges get into the Hall of Fame.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets PR czar Jay Horwitz turns 69. ... Former outfielder McKay Christensen is 39.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets finish .500?

Morning Briefing: Deadline day!

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
5:48
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: It’s a day of rest for the Mets, aside from early wakeup calls for those participating in third-base coach Tim Teufel’s charity golf tournament in Greenwich, Conn.

So the focus turns to GM Sandy Alderson. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Mets insiders have suggested the very likely scenario is the team stands pat, but stay tuned.

The Mets return to Citi Field on Friday to open a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener.

Thursday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler limited Philadelphia to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and Daniel Murphy launched a tiebreaking three-run homer en route to an 11-2 victory against the reeling Phillies on Wednesday at Citi Field. Lucas Duda produced three RBIs and has now driven in a run in a career-best six straight games.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets celebrate after Wednesday's 11-2 win against the Phillies.


Murphy’s opposite-field shot against Kyle Kendrick in the fifth made it 5-1. “I hit the ball that way,” Murphy quipped about the frequency he goes to left field. “It just doesn’t ever go that far.”

On Duda, David Wright said: “It’s just amazing the transformation in such a short time period where he’s become one of the more dangerous hitters in the National League. It’s been fun to watch, because every time he picks up the bat you think he’s going to hit the ball hard. And most of the time he does.”

Terry Collins complimented Wheeler, who has a 1.63 ERA over his past six starts. “You saw a guy battle really without his best command,” the manager said.

Even Jeurys Familia had an RBI single.

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

Matt Harvey told ESPNNewYork.com he expects to get on a mound next week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

Harvey told Mike Puma in the Post he still would like to make a cameo in the majors before the season ends, even though it is clear that’s highly unlikely. “Even if it was one inning out of the bullpen, I would be happy,” Harvey said.

The expectation is Harvey will pitch in the fall instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which spans late September and early October. He told Puma a brief appearance in the Arizona Fall League is likely, too.

Marc Carig in Newsday reports the initial Harvey mound session actually could occur as soon as Friday.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post advocates the Mets acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Writes Kernan:

Matt Kemp would be moved by the Dodgers if the price were right, and, yes, the price is always an issue with the Mets. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Kemp would be a great fit for the Yankees, too, if they wanted to go there.

• Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com notes any Mets pursuit of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez would have to wait until the winter. Heyman portrays CarGo as more realistic for the Mets. Writes Heyman:

Ultimately, the Mets don't see themselves as likely to land Tulowitzki -- "he wants to be a Yankee" one Mets person said, stating what has becoming obvious -- so Gonzalez will presumably be the main focus of talks once they hook up.

• A Mets insider told ESPNNewYork.com there was one scenario, although it seemed unlikely to materialize, in which the Mets could acquire an “intriguing” outfielder before 4 p.m. It’s not clear who that is, though.

Nick Piecoro in The Arizona Republic reports there’s buzz the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra is available. Parra, earning $4.85 million this season, has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent following the 2015 season.

• Mets chief operating Jeff Wilpon served on a three-member arbitration panel trying to determine how much the Washington Nationals should be paid for their TV rights by the regional sports network MASN. The principal owner of that network is the Baltimore Orioles.

As a concession for entering O’s territory when the Nats relocated from Montreal for the 2005 season, the Nats agreed to discounted rights fees through 2011. Since then, however, there has been a squabble about how much the Nats should receive from MASN.

Despite a reported favorable ruling for the Nats by the arbitration panel that included Wilpon, the issue apparently still could be headed to court, irking commissioner Bud Selig. Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.

• Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings and St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 4-3. Wuilmer Becerra had a two-run triple as Kingsport beat Danville, 8-3. 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Brooklyn’s 9-4 win against Auburn. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post and Newsday.

• Read more on Duda in the Record and Daily News.

• Read more on Familia in the Star-Ledger.

• The Giants recently signed Dan Uggla after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. There are conflicting reports about Uggla’s status, but it appears he will not be a Giant when the club arrives at Citi Field on Friday. Uggla is 0-for-11 with a walk and has committed three errors since joining San Francisco. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Dan Uggla is still a Giant, but probably won’t be when the team gets to New York. I got indications earlier today that Uggla was going to be cut loose. MLB.com reported that he and (incorrectly, [Tyler] Colvin) were released, but Giants officials say there was no roster move with Uggla.

In any event, it seems Uggla’s tenure with the Giants might conclude with three errors, no hits and a few more days of service time applied to his big-league pension.

One spot likely will go to Brandon Belt, who is expected to be activated in New York. Another could foretell a trade, but none was imminent when I left the ballpark around 6 p.m.

• Read a review of Sharknado 2 in Rolling Stone. One line from Wednesday's premiere pleased Mets fans: "You don't mess with a Mets fan on the 7 train." (See clip on Vine here.)

From the bloggers …NY Mets Life gives Alderson some pointers on what the Mets should do at the deadline.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Wynne, who made his major league debut with the Mets in 1967 and was traded the following offseason in a deal that returned Tommie Agee, was born on this date in 1943.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should be the ideal (but realistic) acquisition target for the Mets before the trade deadline?

Morning Briefing: 2 days until deadline

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
5:15
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: On a roll, the Mets turn to Dillon Gee on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. to face the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gee (4-3, 3.49 ERA) has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings in two starts since the All-Star break. He opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.72).

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson said the Mets consummating a deal before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline is “unlikely.” The GM went on to suggest that trading Bartolo Colon might be more sensible during the offseason, when teams may view the $11 million owed to Colon in 2015 a bargain relative to the price of a comparably talented free-agent pitcher.

Whether for Colon, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett or otherwise, scouts from the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers were among those in attendance at Citi Field on Monday.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post on the trade topic:

Let’s make this perfectly clear. Don’t trade any of the young pitchers, Mets. There is too much to lose. Dealing Bartolo Colon, however, for an offensive piece is a must.

Read more in the Post, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports reports the Mets would be willing to trade Noah Syndergaard in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki. Writes Passan:


Icon SMIThere are conflicting reports about what the Mets would be willing to surrender in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki.


The St. Louis Cardinals expressed significant interest in him last offseason. They continue to reach out to the Rockies, as have the New York Mets, who are prepared to offer top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in a deal for the 29-year-old. And the response is: Not yet. We’re not ready to deal him. We want to hear it from him.

Which is to say: We want him to be the bad guy, not us. It’s a ludicrous way to run a business, of course, and it highlights how little confidence the Rockies have in themselves to make the sort of a deal that reinvigorates and reenergizes a ballclub in desperate need of both.

Columnist David Lennon in Newsday has a different understanding, at least with respect to Syndergaard. Writes Lennon:

Tulowitzki is everything the Mets need -- a power bat for the middle of the lineup and a Gold-Glove caliber shortstop. What could be more perfect? But there also is a reluctance to plow headfirst into such a trade, a feeling that after stockpiling so much pitching talent, it's not a deal that has to get done tomorrow.

That's why the Mets -- for now -- are holding back on including Noah Syndergaard in any package, for Tulo or otherwise, according to a source. Syndergaard is the name at the top of every team's wish list, and as long as the Mets won't budge on that demand, it's going to take longer to work around such an obstacle for a player like Tulowitzki -- if a compromise can be struck at all.


Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom is co-NL Player of the Week.


Jacob deGrom shared the NL Player of the Week Award with Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek. Given deGrom and the Mets’ overall success of late, Alderson indicated there are no immediate plans to dislodge deGrom from the rotation, even though an 185-inning cap is creeping closer. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Colon took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and Juan Lagares snapped an 0-for-17 drought with an opposite-field two-run double to cap a four-run first inning as the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-1, Monday at Citi Field. Travis d'Arnaud had a three-run homer and doubled twice as the Mets exceeded three runs for the first time in 10 games. With 56 games remaining, the Mets (51-55) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 7 games. The Amazin’s are six games back of the second wild-card position, which is shared by the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

In what was his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline, Colon notched career win No. 199. On Sunday with the Mets -- or elsewhere, in the less-likely scenario he is traded -- Colon will try to join Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219) are the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win plateau. Martinez notched No. 200 as a Met back in 2006.

Colon became only the second major league pitcher in the last five years to reach 10 wins in a season at age 41 order older, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Andy Pettitte won his 10th game last season when he was eight days older than Colon’s age Monday.

“I’m happy here,” Colon said through an interpreter regarding the trade deadline. “I would like to stay here, but it’s really not up to me.”

Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Read more on d’Arnaud in the Star-Ledger.

Dana Eveland took a line drive to the left elbow and was forced to depart in the ninth inning. X-rays were negative.

Daisuke Matsuzaka's elbow injury, which landed him on the DL on Friday, is not severe. Matsuzaka should resume tossing a baseball within days, Terry Collins said.

• Alderson said he has “absolutely no recollection whatsoever” of a conversation with Tony La Russa during their Oakland days in which La Russa allegedly conveyed concerns about players using steroids. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

• Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his return from vertigo and John Lannan tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut in Triple-A as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 5-3. Albert Cordero’s single in the 12th plated Gavin Cecchini as St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 7-6. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tim Rohan in the Times profiles the introverted Lucas Duda.

• Mets bench coach Ricky Bones will serve as the pitching coach for Margarita in Venezuela during the winter season, a source told ESPNNewYork.com. Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez will serve as the bench coach for Dave Hudgens with Caracas.

• Will Sammon in Newsday catches up with Marlon Byrd, who could be traded by the Phillies in the next two days.

• Displeased with his ejection Sunday, Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola tweeted:

Amazing, my contemporaries are going into the Hall, and I'm getting tossed by kids who don't know a thing about the game. #gamegoingtohell

He then added in another tweet:

Tossed out of my 2nd AAAgame in a month! Can'topen mouth, otherwise I'm gone!;Still haven't said anything wrong, but been tossed twice!;BS!!

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Mantilla, who played 141 games for the original '62 Mets, was born on this date in 1934.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Sandy Alderson that the Mets likely will make no deals by Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline?

Payroll would need big leap to support Tulo

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
1:07
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Let’s say the Mets pulled off the seemingly unlikely and landed Troy Tulowitzki in a trade this winter, which requires the Mets ponying up the winning package of prospects, starting with Noah Syndergaard.

What would the Mets’ payroll look like in 2015? And could the franchise support two players making $20 million a season?

Of course, the Mets could always try to deal Bartolo Colon and/or Daniel Murphy this winter to shed some money. But let’s look at existing commitments and see what type of payroll would be needed to support adding the Rockies shortstop even without any other notable retooling of the roster.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019, then $14 million in 2020. He has a $15 million team option for 2021 that includes a $4 million buyout.

I haven’t done any calculations as to what the arbitration-eligible players’ raises would be, so below are crude estimates (with 2014 salaries in parentheses).

Guaranteed contracts

Tulowitzki $20M
David Wright $20M
Curtis Granderson $16M
Colon $11M
Jonathon Niese $7M

Subtotal: $74M

Arbitration-eligible players (including potential Super 2s)

Murphy $8M ($5.7M)
Dillon Gee $5M ($3.625M)
Lucas Duda $4M ($1.6375M)
Bobby Parnell $3.7M ($3.7M)
Jenrry Mejia $2.5M ($590,675)
Eric Young Jr. $1.95M ($1.85M)
Ruben Tejada $1.75M ($1.1M)
Anthony Recker $900k ($505,340)

Subtotal: $27.8M

That’s a total of 13 players making roughly $101.8 million.

There are 12 other players required to fill out a 25-man roster. Let’s say they all make close to the major league minimum in 2015, which will be adjusted upward modestly from this year’s $500,000 figure based on a cost of living calculation. That’s a total of at least $6 million.

Then, Mets officials previously have said another $4.5 million or so is always added into payroll estimates to account for things such as more than 25 players on the payroll at any given time (because of DL, etc.).

So let’s add $10.5 million to the $101.8 million.

So without any winter modifications other than letting expiring contracts lapse (like Chris Young's), adding Tulowitzki’s contract and otherwise returning the team intact means the Mets payroll would be about $112.3 million in 2015.

In fact, if you just had a $500,000 player instead of Tulo on the 2015 roster, the Mets’ payroll still would be up considerably from this year’s total before any modifications at all -- from roughly $85 million now to $92.8 million.

Morning Briefing: Sandy thrown under bus?

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
5:24
AM ET

Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
NEW YORK

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.


Mike Groll/Associated PressTony La Russa said he brought concerns about steroid use to Sandy Alderson during their days with the A's, but was rebuffed.


La Russa said he voiced concern to Oakland Athletics GM Sandy Alderson and the team’s ownership during that era about potential player steroid use, but nothing was done.

“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.


Mike McGinnis/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom has a 0.66 ERA over his past four starts.


DeGrom has now limited opponents to two runs in 27 1/3 innings over his past four starts -- all wins -- to even his record at 5-5. He has not allowed a homer in his last 59 innings. That is four outs shy of matching the franchise’s rookie record, set by Mark Bomback in 1980.

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.


Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY SportsTom Glavine generously mentioned the Mets during Sunday's Hall of Fame induction speech.


“To all the folks associated with the Mets organization, thank you for treating me and my family the way you did,” Glavine said. “Thank you Fred and Jeff Wilpon for the opportunity to play in New York and for providing the resources so I could experience a postseason there. To the fans of New York, thank you so much for your support and for ultimately treating me and my family with so much respect.”

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?

Morning Briefing: End of the road

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
5:40
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: The Mets’ second-half-opening road trip concludes Sunday in Milwaukee, and the Amazin’s are a win away from a .500 record during the three-city excursion.

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?

Morning Briefing: Trade talk or hot air?

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
5:18
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: The Mets continue their series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Jonathon Niese (5-5, 3.13 ERA) opposes right-hander Wily Peralta (11-6, 3.58).

Saturday’s news reports:

• Team insiders told ESPNNewYork.com that the Mets have engaged in limited dialogue involving Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy with other clubs, but there has not been anything substantive. That does not preclude a trade materializing before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

Regarding a big-ticket item such as Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, a team insider severely tempered the suddenly rampant fan enthusiasm. The source said the Mets worked hard over a few years to build up their young pitching and are unlikely to part with multiple high-level pitching prospects in one deal.

David Wright nonetheless told Mike Puma in the Post: “It’s going to be a tough call when we do get to the point, which I think is very soon, of what are you willing to give, because [the Rockies] are not going to be giving these guys away. What are you willing to give to obtain that? And that is kind of an open-ended question.”

Read more in Newsday.

• After being blanked through eight innings, the Amazin’s scored three runs in the final frame against ex-Met Francisco Rodriguez, highlighted by Lucas Duda's go-ahead two-run homer, en route to a 3-2 win against the Brewers. Duda has accounted for all three second-half homers by the Mets.

Murphy produced three hits, but also had two errors, including a costly grounder through his legs in the sixth, when Milwaukee broke a scoreless tie against Zack Wheeler. Wheeler ultimately was charged with two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings. It marked Wheeler’s fifth straight start allowing one earned run while completing at least six innings.

The Mets last overcame a ninth-inning deficit of at least two runs on May 11, against the Philadelphia Phillies. That day, the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 5-4, 11-inning victory.

With 59 games remaining, the Mets (49-54) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8 games. The Amazin’s are six games back in the wild card, with four non-playoff teams -- St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Miami -- ahead of them.

Read game recaps in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who looked uncomfortable after leaving his appearance Thursday in Milwaukee, is due to have an MRI of his right elbow on Saturday in New York. He remains active … for now. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had three hits, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh, as Las Vegas rallied to beat Salt Lake, 11-6. Greg Peavey limited Trenton to one run in eight innings as the B-Mets won, 6-1. Matt Bowman originally was due to start for Binghamton, but ended up getting summoned to Las Vegas after Darin Gorski fractured a foot. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about Matt Garza's performance against the Mets in the series opener:

On Thursday, Matt Garza threw eight innings after lasting just one-third of an inning in his previous start in Washington. He became the first pitcher since the Mets' Bobby Jones in 1997 to pitch one-third of an inning or less and then eight innings or more in consecutive starts. Jones didn't retire a batter in a loss at Atlanta on Sept. 17, 1997, and then threw eight innings in a victory at Florida on Sept. 22, 1997.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear reflects on how the Mets fan mindset can adjust when the Mets finally begin to win consistently.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to ever play for the Mets was born on this date, but Mick Jagger, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey all celebrate birthdays on July 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did you prematurely write off Zack Wheeler?

Morning Briefing: Wheels up!

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
5:25
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler has allowed one run and completed at least six innings in each of his last four outings.

He looks to keep that production going and get the Mets back on track Friday at Miller Park. Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) opposes right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79) at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Friday’s news reports:

• The Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would want in if the club is willing to trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, Joel Sherman reports in the Post.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019 and $14 million in 2020. CarGo is signed for $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.

Of course, John Harper in the Daily News had just written Wednesday why Tulowitzki will NOT be coming to the Mets or Yankees.

Dillon Gee surrendered six runs over the opening three innings and the Mets ultimately lost to the Brewers, 9-1, in Thursday’s series opener. Gee now has a 9.00 ERA in two starts since a prolonged layoff during the All-Star break.

The Mets are averaging 2.1 runs and 5.3 hits per game and have a .168 team batting average in seven games since returning from the All-Star break. Matt Garza, who had been knocked out by the Washington Nationals after recording only one out Saturday, limited the Mets to one run on two hits in eight innings. The lone damage came on a solo homer by Lucas Duda in the seventh.

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed a pair of home runs in two relief innings and appeared to be injured when he reached the dugout after the seventh, but Terry Collins said postgame that he was unaware of any issue.

Read game recaps in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and at MLB.com.

• Although Ruben Tejada felt fine a day after getting beaned with a 94 mph fastball from Taijuan Walker, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores and started him at shortstop on Thursday. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to Las Vegas to clear the roster spot. Tejada should be back at shortstop Friday. Read more in the Journal, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with a flu-like illness.

• Colon Plaia’s ninth-inning solo homer lifted Savannah to a 2-1 win against Augusta. Josh Prevost, Kelly Secrest and Paul Paez combined for four scoreless relief innings as Brooklyn beat Vermont, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tom Seaver tells the Daily News that Derek Jeter should be the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets closer Billy Wagner turns 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets are serious contenders if the Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez?

Report: Mets inquire about Tulo, CarGo

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
11:56
PM ET
The Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would like to be involved with trade discussions if and when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez become available, the Post's Joel Sherman reports.

lastname
Gonzalez
lastname
Tulowitzki
Writes Sherman:

But keep in mind Tulowitzki has indicated he has become frustrated playing his prime mainly in non-contention. And there is belief if he were to request a trade, ownership would strongly consider fulfilling his wishes. However, Tulowitzki has a no-trade provision, wears No. 2 in honor of Derek Jeter and is thought to be considerably more interested in being a Yankee than a Met. And Colorado already has expressed interest to the Yankees in their top pitching prospect, Luis Severino.

Plus, sources say the Cardinals -- owners of arguably the deepest farm system in the sport -- are enamored with Tulowitzki and would move significant pieces to land him. In fact, the market will be deep if Tulowitzki comes onto it, because he is viewed as one of the 10 best players in the majors.

Morning Briefing: Say cheese?

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
5:25
AM ET
SEATTLE

FIRST PITCH: After stops in San Diego and Seattle, the Mets now move further east as they begin a four-game series against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee is coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Dillon Gee (4-2, 2.92 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Garza (6-7, 4.04) in the 8:10 p.m. ET series opener.

Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.

Thursday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before surrendering a seventh-inning single to Robinson Cano and the Mets held on to beat the Mariners, 3-2, in Wednesday’s rubber game. The Mets are very open to dealing Colon before next Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, although they will need to locate a partner willing to accept the $11 million he is owed next season. Because of the size of Colon’s contract, he likely will remain eligible to be traded in August.

Read game recaps in the Seattle Times, Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.

Ruben Tejada was beaned by a fastball from Mariners rookie Taijuan Walker in the fifth inning. Terry Collins said Tejada displayed no concussion symptoms and indicated no roster move was forthcoming. Tejada accompanied the team on its flight to Milwaukee. Still, Eric Campbell may start the series opener in Milwaukee at shortstop to give Tejada one day off. It would mark Campbell’s first major league start at shortstop, and his fifth professional game overall -- majors or minors -- at the position. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Under-the-weather Curtis Granderson missed a second straight game Wednesday. It is not yet clear if he will be available for the series opener against the Brewers because of continued flu-like symptoms.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests Troy Tulowitzki is not a fit for the Yankees or the Mets. "[Sandy] Alderson’s priority has been building depth into the farm system," a GM told Harper. "So he wouldn’t give up multiple prospects, especially for that type of risk, regardless of whether ownership would take on the contract -- which seems unlikely."

• Right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle, who lost his major league roster spot when Jonathon Niese was activated from the disabled list on Monday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Las Vegas.

• Steven Matz allowed two runs in seven innings and Binghamton beat Portland, 4-2. Rob Whalen earned the win in his first Savannah start since May 1 as the Gnats beat Augusta, 7-2. Dale Burdick’s sacrifice fly broke an eighth-inning tie and the GCL Mets won, 9-6, against the GCL Nats. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Las Vegas reliever Miguel Socolovich turns 28.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is 3-3 acceptable through two legs of the road trip?

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 11, Mets 10

May, 4, 2014
May 4
12:01
AM ET
DENVER -- It happened again!

For the second straight season, the Mets coughed up a six-run lead en route to a loss at Coors Field.

It ended painfully, too. After Juan Lagares drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth against ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth could not hold the lead. Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies beat the Mets 11-10 on Saturday night.

The Mets have lost 21 of 29 games at Coors Field since 2007.

This time, Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a grand slam from Nolan Arenado, as the Rockies turned a 6-0 deficit into an 8-6 lead. Unbelievably, Mejia threw only 19 pitches in that inning while surrendering eight runs and recording one out.

During a snowy, frigid series in Denver last season, the Mets lost the second game of an April 16 doubleheader to the Rockies in extra innings after taking an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesAnthony Recker consoles Jenrry Mejia during a rocky outing at Coors Field.


This marked the second straight start for Mejia in which he squandered a large lead in the middle innings, perhaps validating those who suggest he is better suited for late-inning relief. Staked to a 5-1 lead last Saturday at Citi Field, Mejia was charged with five sixth-inning runs against the Miami Marlins, and the Mets lost in extra innings.

Mejia’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 5.23. He was hurt by Lucas Duda’s drop of a potential double-play turn in the eight-run fifth. Mejia had held the Rockies scoreless until Ryan Wheeler’s leadoff homer in the fifth.

He received a no-decision when Chris Young and Curtis Granderson had run-scoring hits in the sixth that pulled the Mets even at 8. Young also had a game-tying RBI single in the eighth, a half-inning after Daisuke Matsuzaka had surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jordan Pacheco. Granderson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, HBP) has hit safely in four straight games.

Mets starting pitchers had logged at least five innings in each of the team’s first 26 games -- the last remaining MLB team to reach that threshold in every game this season. Since then, however, they have failed to reach that threshold in three straight games in Colorado. Bartolo Colon went 4 2/3 innings in the series opener. Zack Wheeler went four innings Friday.

Wright stuff: David Wright loves hitting at Coors Field. He went 3-for-5 with an intentional walk, RBI and two runs scored Saturday and is now hitting .391 (52-133) in his career at the ballpark.

Wrecker: The Mets fell to 6-1 in games started by Anthony Recker, but don’t blame the backup catcher. He had an RBI single in a three-run first inning against left-hander Franklin Morales and added an RBI double in his next at-bat as the Mets built a 6-0 lead after three innings.

One hit wonder: Mejia went 0-for-3 at the plate and Matsuzaka struck out bunting to give the Mets a record for hitting futility. Mets pitchers are 0-for-48 -- the worst start to a season in MLB history (since 1900), according to SNY. The previous record: Pitchers with the St. Louis Browns opened the 1914 season hitless in 45 straight at-bats.

Medical attention: Matsuzaka received a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez before surrendering the seventh-inning sac fly to Pacheco that had given the Rockies a 9-8 lead. Matsuzaka completed the inning and allowed only the one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Mile(high)stones: Troy Tulowitzki recorded his 1,000th career hit. ... With the grand slam, Arenado extended his hitting streak to 23 games, longest active in the majors. ... Daniel Murphy had a four-hit game.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) faces right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET series finale as the Mets try to avoid getting swept. Chacin will be making his 2014 debut after opening the season on the disabled list with a right-shoulder strain.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
3:55
PM ET

Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY SportsLaTroy Hawkins, who signed for $2.5 million with the Rockies, is 9-for-9 in save conversions at age 41.
METS (15-11, second place/NL East) at COLORADO ROCKIES (16-12*, second place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (2-1, 5.27), 8:40 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49) vs. LHP Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, -.--), 4:10 p.m. ET

* Rockies play at Arizona on Wednesday night

Rockies short hops

• Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins is 9-for-9 in save conversions. The 41-year-old reliever signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal on Nov. 21. The contract includes a team option for 2015 at $2.25 million or a $250,000 buyout. Hawkins’ nine saves trail only Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez (13) and San Diego’s Huston Street (10) in the National League. Dating to Hawkins’ Mets days, he actually has converted 19 straight saves. That is the second-longest streak of his career. He saved 23 straight from 2000 through ’01 while with the Minnesota Twins.

• The Rockies have the top three batting leaders in the National League: Charlie Blackmon (.379), Troy Tulowitzki (.376) and Justin Morneau (.357). Tulowitzki also has seven homers, one shy of league leaders Adrian Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton.

Morneau signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with Colorado on Dec. 13 to succeed the retired Todd Helton at first base, after finishing last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He entered Wednesday’s series finale at Phoenix with a 13-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .396 with five homers, 19 RBIs and a 1.223 OPS. Morneau was named NL Player of the Week for April 14-20. Colorado will retire Helton’s No. 17 on Aug. 17.


David Zalubowski/Associated PressEric Young Jr. will spot a familiar face in the opposing dugout -- his father, Rockies first-base coach Eric Young.


• The Mets-Rockies series will be a family reunion for Eric Young and Eric Young Jr. The elder E.Y. was hired by the Rockies to serve as first-base coach, a position he held with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and ’12.

Tyler Chatwood left Tuesday’s start experiencing right-elbow tightness. Chatwood had surgery in October to remove a bone chip from that elbow. He also missed a month last season with tightness there. He opened this season on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

Jhoulys Chacin may step into that rotation spot Sunday against the Mets, although that has not yet been confirmed by the club. Chacin has been on the disabled list the season’s first month with a shoulder strain. He has appeared in four minor-league rehab games.

Michael Cuddyer may be activated from the disabled list on Saturday when he is eligible. He is recovering from a strained left hamstring. Cuddyer was hitting .317 with three homers in 60 at-bats when he suffered the injury. Brandon Barnes and Blackmon have handled the right-field duty in Cuddyer’s absence. The lefty-hitting Blackmon is stationed in center field when the righty-hitting Barnes starts in right field.

• Third baseman Nolan Arenado has a 19-game hitting streak through Tuesday. That is the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, surpassing 17-gamers from the Marlins’ Christian Yelich and White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez earlier this season.

• No. 1 catcher Wilin Rosario has been sidelined since Saturday with a bruised left hand, which he injured swinging. There was no fracture detected. Jordan Pacheco has started three straight games through Tuesday.

Carlos Gonzalez has not homered since April 11. He is hitting .156 (10-for-64) with three RBIs and three walks (one intentional) in his past 16 games (15 starts) through Tuesday. Gonzalez nonetheless is the only active player in the majors with a streak of four straight 20-homer, 20-steal seasons.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187