New York Mets: Vinnie Pestano

Rapid Reaction: Indians 9, Mets 4

September, 7, 2013

Jonathon Niese nearly got knocked out in the first inning Saturday night. He ended up settling down, but the hole was too deep for the Mets to climb out.

Niese surrendered five runs on six hits in a 39-pitch first inning that prompted Terry Collins to have Scott Atchison begin warming. The Cleveland Indians ultimately beat the Mets, 9-4, at Progressive Field.

Niese ended up logging six innings, saving the bullpen from overwork, which is particularly important with unreliable Daisuke Matsuzaka due to start the series finale. The southpaw allowed only one more run -- on a second-inning solo homer by Nick Swisher.

Trailing 6-1, the Mets mounted a sixth-inning comeback bid after Indians starter Corey Kluber departed.

Justin Turner produced a two-run double against Vinnie Pestano, his former Cal State Fullerton teammate. Juan Lagares then delivered a run-scoring single as the Mets pulled within 6-4 with a three-run sixth.

Lagares extended his hitting streak to 12 games. It marks the longest hitting streak by a Mets rookie since Jose Reyes had a 17-game streak in 2003.

The Indians regained control in the seventh. Asdrubal Cabrera snapped an 0-for-19 drought with a three-run homer against Atchison to reopen a five-run lead.

What’s next: Matsuzaka (0-3, 10.95 ERA) faces rookie right-hander Danny Salazar (1-2, 3.00) in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. finale. Matsuzaka had asked for his release from the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate immediately preceding signing with the Mets.

Series preview: Mets at Indians

September, 6, 2013

USA TODAY Sports, Getty ImagesThe Met face (l to r) Scott Kazmir, Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar this weekend.
METS (63-75, third place/NL East) vs. CLEVELAND INDIANS (74-65, second place/AL Central)

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-3, 3.36) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (7-7, 4.36), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.66) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.54), 6:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3, 10.95) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (1-2, 3.00), 1:05 p.m. ET

Indians short hops

Corey Kluber makes his first start since Aug. 5 when he faces the Mets on Saturday. The Indians originally intended to have Kluber “piggyback” Scott Kazmir’s start Friday, but Justin Masterson has a left oblique issue and will miss at least one turn in the rotation. Kluber dealt with a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand.

Michael Bourn appeared to prefer signing with the Mets last offseason, but Mets officials insisted the fact that they would have needed to forfeit their 11th overall pick scuttled plans to ink him. Bourn instead signed with Cleveland for four years, $48 million, along with a vesting option for 2017. The Mets ended up using the draft pick on Los Angeles high school first baseman Dominic Smith.

Mark Duncan/Associated PressJoe Smith also faces his original organization for the first time this weekend.

• Sidearm-throwing set-up man Joe Smith is a free agent after the season. Smith (6-2, 2.47 ERA) originally was drafted by the Mets in the third round out of Wright State University in 2006. He made the major league team out of spring training the following season. The Mets dealt Smith to Cleveland on Dec. 11, 2008 in the three-team deal that brought relievers J.J. Putz and Sean Green to Queens from the Seattle Mariners.

Smith has ascended to eighth-inning usage with the Indians in part because of Vinnie Pestano’s ineffectiveness. Pestano, who rejoined the Indians the week as a September call-up, had been demoted to Triple-A after Cleveland obtained left-hander Marc Rzepczynski before the trade deadline.

• The Indians reportedly will look to trade closer Chris Perez this offseason. He is making $7.3 million in 2013 and is eligible for arbitration once more before free agency.

• Rookie Danny Salazar will be making his seventh major league start. His fastball has averaged 96.0 mph. The Indians are keeping Salazar's pitch count to fewer than 90.

• The Indians brought a live chicken onto the field Wednesday and dubbed it their “Rally Chicken.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in Triple-A for Cleveland this season before being granted his release and signing with the Mets.

• Cleveland enters the weekend trailing the Tampa Bay Rays by three games for the second wild-card spot. The Yankees are 2 games behind the Rays.

• Ex-Yankee Nick Swisher is hitting only .237 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 464 at-bats. He signed a four-year, $56 million deal with a 2017 vesting option last winter.

• Ex-Met Kelly Shoppach is a September call-up for the Indians. He was signed as a minor league free agent on Aug. 30. Shoppach hit .196 with three homers in 35 games for the Mariners earlier this season, before his June 20 release.

'Common ground' with R.A.; Ludwick redux

December, 5, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Mets insider late Tuesday night echoed the comments from R.A. Dickey's agent earlier in the day, that trading the knuckleballer would not be a shocker.

Still, the team insider reiterated what multiple people with Mets ties told before the winter meetings began: The Mets will look to be overwhelmed in a trade proposal for Dickey or another starting pitcher. Otherwise, they will take their projected 2013 rotation to spring training intact.

The source went on to say there is "common ground" toward reaching an extension deal with Dickey.

• Ryan Ludwick reportedly will return to the Cincinnati Reds for two years, $14 million.

Ludwick was on the Mets' radar, since they desperately need righty-hitting outfield bats. So why did the Mets not go to that level of bidding?

One team insider said that price is too steep for that caliber of player, and it's almost fortunate the Mets do not have money to spend if that's the market price. Another team insider said that was Ludwick's price to remain in Cincinnati and it would have been higher to head to New York.

So where do the Mets go from here for outfield help?

A team insider said piecing together two righty-hitting outfielders from the free-agent market is doable, although the dwindling list includes few names: Scott Hairston, Cody Ross, Jeff Baker, Austin Kearns, Reed Johnson and Matt Diaz among them. The Mets insider added there are trades available for the Mets to accept that would yield similar talent.

• A team official said's report about the Mets pursuing Cleveland Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano at the winter meetings was inaccurate. The person added that while the Mets have been pursuing Kansas City Royals relievers to no avail over the past year, that is not a recent occurrence.

Source: Mets target Cleveland's Pestano

December, 4, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In dire need of late-inning bullpen help, the Mets have pursued Cleveland Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano during the winter meetings, according to a major league source.

Pestano, 27, went 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 70 relief appearances last season while utilizing a solid sinker. He has only slightly more than two years of major league service time -- meaning he is still under control for four years and not yet even eligible for arbitration.

A source indicated the Mets pursued 36-year-old right-hander Joel Peralta, but have found the asking price too high. Peralta signed with Tampa Bay at $3 million per season through 2014, then has a series of team options.

The Mets also have been trying to engage the Kansas City Royals about bullpen pieces, but have not made headway.



Bartolo Colon
12 3.82 130 167
BAD. Murphy .301
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .845
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155