New York Mets: Wade Miley

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, D-backs 4 (13)

July, 2, 2013
7/02/13
12:26
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NEW YORK -- Catcher Miguel Montero could not hold onto the ball. The Arizona Diamondbacks eventually could not hold on for the win, either.

Cody Ross opened the 13th inning with a homer against David Aardsma, but Andrew Brown’s two-run single in the bottom half lifted the Mets to a 5-4 walk-off win against the Diamondbacks.

The Mets had a bevy of chances.

They also had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th, but Omar Quintanilla lined out to first base to end the threat.

The Mets had been 4-for-19 with runners in scoring position and had left 18 men on base before the 13th-inning heroics.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsShaun Marcum was spared his 10th loss with Monday's comeback win.


The eventful game came on the day the Mets have to make their annual $1,193,248.20 payment to Bobby Bonilla -- an obligation that runs through 2035.

With the Mets trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth, surging Josh Satin’s RBI single against ex-Met J.J. Putz evened the score at 3 ... oh so narrowly.

Marlon Byrd, attempting to score the tying run from second base after doubling, would have been nailed at the plate on Satin’s single to left field. But Montero dropped the perfect-hop throw from Jason Kubel, which would have been in plenty of time to retire Byrd.

Satin advanced to second on the miscue at the plate. John Buck then walked. But on a would-be wild pitch that seemed destined to advance Satin to third, Buck decided to take off, too. Montero threw him out at second base as the trail runner to send the game to extra innings tied at 3.

Satin continues to produce as the regular first baseman, which could further stall Ike Davis’ return, even as the Mets are all but clear of the bevy of lefty pitching they had faced. Satin went 3-for-6 with two doubles, a walk and game-tying RBI. He now has a career-high seven-game hitting streak and has reached base in 12 straight games.

Absolved: The Mets’ ninth-inning comeback spared Shaun Marcum from becoming the first Met to have 10 losses on July 1 since Jason Isringhausen in 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Marcum remained at 1-9 with the no-decision.

Coming off his first Mets win, an outing in which he pitched eight scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox, Marcum surrendered a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning. He ultimately was charged with three runs in six innings.

Ouch: Diamondbacks right fielder Gerardo Parra had a painful end to his evening in the eighth. Parra did a face-plant into the warning track in right-center after Quintanilla’s shot bounced off his glove for a triple.

Eric Young Jr. followed with a two-out double against Arizona reliever David Hernandez to plate Quintanilla and pull the Mets within 3-2, although Daniel Murphy flied out to left field to strand Young at third base.

Buck’s shot? Buck finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and three walks (two intentional). After a torrid start to the season, Buck is hitting .170 (27-for-159) since May 5.

The Mets stranded five runners on base in the opening two innings alone. That futility came courtesy of a strikeout looking by Buck to leave the bases loaded in the first, then consecutive strikeouts by Young and Murphy with two in scoring position an inning later.

With runners on the corners and two outs in the seventh, Buck popped out in foul territory against ex-Met Heath Bell.

Still winless: Wade Miley was poised to become the first D-backs starting pitcher to earn a win since June 5, until the Mets’ ninth-inning comeback handed him a no-decision. Arizona starters are now 0-8 with 15 no-decisions in their past 23 games -- one game shy of matching the franchise record, which they established in 1998 with 24 straight starts without recording a win.

Miley tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings before departing with runners on the corners in the sixth, once Zach Lutz pinch hit for Marcum. When Kirk Gibson inserted right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler, Terry Collins countered by replacing Lutz with Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis struck out to strand two runners as Arizona maintained a 3-0 lead.

What’s next: Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.72) opposes unbeaten left-hander Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.22) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Diamondbacks 1

July, 27, 2012
7/27/12
12:59
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Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Move over Tom Seaver. (And Bill Denehy). Matt Harvey set a franchise record by striking out 11 in his major league debut. And behind 5 1/3 scoreless innings from the 2010 first-round pick, the New York Mets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks to open an 11-game West Coast trip.

Seaver and Denehy struck out eight apiece in their major league debuts three days apart in 1967. Harvey’s strikeout total was the most in a major league debut since Stephen Strasburg had 14 for the Nationals against Pittsburgh on June 8, 2010.

Scott Hairston went 3-for-4 with a two-run double, while Andres Torres snapped an 0-for-17 drought with a fourth-inning triple, allowing him to score on Rob Johnson’s sacrifice fly to provide Harvey with a three-run cushion. The Mets won for only the second time in 13 games since the All-Star break, and handed NL All-Star Wade Miley a defeat.

Harvey also went 2-for-2 at the plate, including a second-inning double off Miley for his first major league hit. David West was the lone other Mets pitcher to have a multi-hit major league debut, on Sept. 24, 1988 against St. Louis.

Harvey became the first pitcher since 1900 to have 10 or more strikeouts and produce two or more hits at the plate in his major league debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Mets' only other first-round pick to have a scoreless major league debut with the organization as a starting pitcher was Tim Leary in 1981. He only logged two innings.

Pumping in fastballs at 96-97 mph, Harvey limited the Diamondbacks to three hits and three walks. He tossed a pair of wild pitches.

Harvey departed with his pitch count at 106 -- three more than his highest Triple-A total this season -- after issuing his second walk of the sixth inning.

Fellow rookie Josh Edgin, who was selected in the 30th round of the same draft in which Harvey was selected seventh overall, stranded both runners inherited from Harvey by retiring lefty-hitting Miguel Montero and pinch hitter Chris Young. Edgin went on to toss a scoreless seventh as well.

Jon Rauch surrendered an eighth-inning run on Justin Upton’s sacrifice fly. Bobby Parnell notched the save despite walking two in the ninth.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jon Niese (7-4, 3.59 ERA) tries to build on the momentum when he opposes Diamondbacks right-hander Josh Collmenter (2-2, 3.82) at 9:40 p.m. ET Friday.

Series preview: Mets at Diamondbacks

July, 26, 2012
7/26/12
10:00
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Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Justin Upton may be shipped out of Arizona, although during the offseason appears far more likely.
METS (47-51, third place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (49-49, third place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-5, 3.68 at Triple-A Buffalo) vs. LHP Wade Miley (11-5, 3.02), 9:40 p.m. ET

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (7-4, 3.59) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (2-2, 3.82), 9:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Chris Young (2-4, 3.91) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (8-8, 4.20), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (13-2, 2.97) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (5-6, 3.51), 4:10 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Arizona traded fan-favorite Ryan Roberts to the Rays on Tuesday for minor league infielder Tyler Bortnick. Roberts was a primary culprit for the Diamondbacks’ underwhelming offensive production from third base. Arizona’s .625 OPS from players manning that position this season ranks 15th in the NL, ahead of only Philadelphia (.598). Geoff Blum, who was 4-for-28 this season, was released last week.

The left side of the infield now should be shared by Willie Bloomquist, Stephen Drew, John McDonald and newly promoted Ryan Wheeler. Wheeler hit .351 with 15 homers and 90 RBIs in 362 at-bats in Triple-A, although Reno’s numbers are inflated by the high altitude. The Astros, who bunt a lot anyway, tested the offensive-minded Wheeler’s fielding at third base during the weekend. McDonald just returned from a strained oblique.

The departure of Roberts lessens the likelihood of an in-season trade involving the shortstop Drew, who made his season debut June 27 after recovering from a broken right ankle. Still, Drew (.209, 0 HR in 67 at-bats) is likely in his final season with Arizona. There is a $10 million mutual option for next season.


Frank Victores/US Presswire
Left-hander Wade Miley became an NL All-Star as a rookie.


• Left-hander Wade Miley, an NL All-Star, owns the franchise rookie record for wins with 11. He is tied with Yu Darvish for the major league lead in wins among rookies. Miley’s 3.02 ERA narrowly is second among rookies to Oakland’s Jarrod Parker (3.00). Miley, 25, made the Opening Day roster because of a spring-training injury to Takashi Saito. He excelled as a long reliever in the middle innings after Josh Collmenter was knocked out early from starts. Miley stepped into the rotation April 23 once Daniel Hudson landed on the DL. Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery July 9.

• The 42-year-old Saito made his season debut Saturday after dealing with calf and shoulder injuries as well as a severe case of the flu.

• Left fielder Jason Kubel homered Wednesday for the 11th time in July. That is the third-highest total for a month in franchise history, trailing Luis Gonzalez’s 13 in April 2001 and Gonzalez’s 12 two months later. The ex-Twin Kubel signed a two-year, $16 million deal in December that had garnered some criticism because it pushed 2011 Gold Glove winner Gerardo Parra to being a fourth outfielder. But Kubel is now hitting .298 with 22 homers for the season, more than justifying the signing.

• Two-time All-Star Justin Upton appears destined to be traded, although most likely not until the offseason. The 24-year-old right fielder is signed through 2015, at salaries of $9.75 million, $14.25 million and $14.5 million the next three years. GM Kevin Towers apparently does not see Upton as a centerpiece player to build around, so Upton could be a chip to address deficiencies on the left side of the infield. The Diamondbacks have plenty of outfield depth, including prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton at Triple-A Reno.

• Collmenter reentered the rotation Sunday against Houston. Struggling Trevor Bauer was demoted.

• Right-handed reliever Brad Bergesen made his Diamondbacks debut Sunday with a scoreless inning against the Astros, two days after being claimed off waivers from Baltimore. Bergesen had been 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 22 games (10 starts) for Triple-A Norfolk this season.

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Citi Field, May 4-6 (AP game recaps)

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 4: Justin Upton started an eighth-inning rally when his grounder got past Mets first baseman Ike Davis for an error. Tim Byrdak relieved Bobby Parnell and walked Jason Kubel. A strikeout later, Mets manager Terry Collins brought in Jon Rauch (3-1) and Paul Goldschmidt laced a two-run double. Cody Ransom followed with an RBI single. Ransom hit a long homer -- his third -- off starter Dillon Gee in the second inning to give NL rookie of the month for April Wade Miley a 2-0 lead. But the Mets scored four times in the third -- more earned runs then Miley had given up in five appearance total this season (three) coming in. Miley gave up four runs in six innings. More

Mets 4, Diamondbacks 3: Mike Nickeas and Andres Torres each hit a two-run single as Johan Santana earned his first victory since Sept. 2, 2010, before his shoulder injury wiped out last season. Santana (1-2) allowed nine hits but gave up only three runs, striking out five and walking one in his longest outing since the surgery. Daniel Murphy went 4-for-4 for the second four-hit game of his career. More

Mets 3, Diamondbacks 1: Three outs from his third career shutout, R. A. Dickey walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth inning and gave up an RBI double. Dickey nonetheless combined with two relievers on a four-hitter. More

Series preview: Mets vs. Diamondbacks

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
11:50
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face three starters for the first time this weekend: (l to r) Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill.
METS (13-12, third place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (13-13, second place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.85) vs. LHP Wade Miley (3-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 2.25) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (1-1, 4.76), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-1, 4.45) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.13), 1:05 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Left-hander Wade Miley topped the Mets’ Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the NL Rookie of the Month honor for April, which was announced Wednesday. Miley, 25, limited opponents to a .133 average with seven walks and 15 strikeouts in 21 innings spanning five appearances (two starts). He became the third Diamondbacks player to be recognized since the monthly award’s inception in 2001, joining Gerardo Parra (May 2009) and Daniel Hudson (August 2010). Miley originally pitched in relief of shaky Josh Collmenter’s starts, logging as much as four innings an appearance. The southpaw entered the rotation when Hudson landed on the DL with a shoulder impingement. Hudson is due to throw a bullpen session for the first time early next week at Chase Field.

• Center fielder Chris Young has been on the DL since April 18 with a right shoulder injury. An MRI revealed a small tear of the ligament in the AC joint as well as a severe bruise. He has started swinging in a cage. GM Kevin Towers reportedly watched Vladimir Guerrero work out in the Dominican Republic on Monday, but there is no firm resolve to sign the veteran with Young’s absence not expected to be prolonged. Righty-hitting rookie A.J. Pollock (.120) and lefty-hitting Parra (.256) have been sharing center-field duty in Young’s absence. Pollock is a native of Hebron, Conn. He attended Notre Dame, where he was the Irish’s first MVP in consecutive seasons since Aaron Heilman in 2000 and ’01.


Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Ex-Met J.J. Putz blew his second save of the season Wednesday, at D.C.


• Shortstop Stephen Drew began game action Monday in a minor league intrasquad game as he works back from surgery to repair a right ankle fracture he suffered last July 20 sliding on a play at the plate. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist have shared the shortstop role minus Drew. Collectively, they have committed only two errors. McDonald’s homer on April 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates was his first since last May 11 against the Boston Red Sox. He had been acquired with Aaron Hill from the Toronto Blue Jays last Aug. 23 for Kelly Johnson.

• Left fielder Jason Kubel signed a two-year, $16 million contract as a free agent on Dec. 12 that includes a team option for 2014. Thursday’s 0-for-4 night at Washington interrupted a streak in which the ex-Twin had hit safely in 13 of 14 games (.393, 22-for-56). Kubel leads major league outfielders in assists with six. During his Twins tenure, he had split time nearly evenly between the outfield and DH.

• Third baseman Ryan Roberts’ struggles at the plate and in field have opened the door for Cody Ransom to chip away at his playing time at the hot corner. Despite singling in three at-bats Thursday, Roberts is in a 3-for-34 rut and is hitting .167 this season. Ransom has started seven of the Diamondbacks’ past 11 games at third base.

• Syracuse-area native Patrick Corbin makes his second major league start Saturday. He won his major league debut, 9-5, at Miami on April 30, allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Corbin was selected for the call-up over top-rated prospects Tyler Skaggs (No. 3 Baseball America) and Trevor Bauer (No. 1). Corbin supplanted the ineffective Collmenter (0-2, 9.82 ERA in four starts) in the rotation. Collmenter has moved to the bullpen, but has yet to appear in that role. Corbin had been 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA at Double-A Mobile before the promotion. He was acquired with left-hander Joe Saunders and Skaggs from the Los Angeles Angels in the July 25, 2010 trade for right-hander Dan Haren.

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill arrived from Oakland during the offseason along with left-hander Craig Breslow and cash for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill.

• Hill has reached base safely in 20 straight games. His 74 homers trail only Dan Uggla and Robinson Cano for the most long balls by a second baseman since 2009.

• Ex-Met J.J. Putz had a 28-game save streak snapped April 14 at Colorado. He blew his second save chance of the season Wednesday at Washington. Putz surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Ian Desmond.

• Catcher Miguel Montero has thrown out seven of 14 would-be base stealers. He is backed up behind the plate by ex-Met Henry Blanco.

Matchups

Gee vs. Diamondbacks (career: 1-1, 4.91 ERA)
Paul Goldschmidt 1.000, 1 PA
Cody Ransom .500, 2 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Miguel Montero .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Gerardo Parra .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Lyle Overbay .167, 6 PA
Ryan Roberts .167, 1 RBI, 6 PA

Santana vs. Diamondbacks (career: 2-0, 0.62 ERA)
Miguel Montero .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Jason Kubel .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Justin Upton .250, 2 BB, 3 K, 6 PA
Willie Bloomquist .214, 1 RBI, 1 K, 14 PA
Henry Blanco .125, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Aaron Hill .111, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Lyle Overbay .091, 2 BB, 8 K, 13 PA
John McDonald .077, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Dickey vs. Diamondbacks (career: 0-1, 3.86 ERA)
John McDonald 1.000, 2 PA
Jason Kubel .600, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 PA
Willie Bloomquist .571, 2 RBI, 7 PA
Gerardo Parra .500, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aaron Hill .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 4 PA
Lyle Overbay .071, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
Henry Blanco .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Cody Ransom .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Miley vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Corbin vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Cahill vs. Mets (career: never faced)
Andres Torres .222, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA

Last series results

Arizona won, 3-0, at Chase Field, Aug. 12-14, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Diamondbacks 4, Mets 3: Ian Kennedy won his seventh straight start to become the National League's second 15-game winner. Kennedy (15-3) allowed a run on six hits in seven innings to tie Philadelphia's Roy Halladay for the most wins in the NL. Justin Upton homered, Cody Ransom doubled in two runs and Kennedy helped himself with an RBI double as Arizona pulled two games ahead of second-place San Francisco. Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI single in the Mets' third straight loss and ninth in 12 games. Arizona first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady's left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from Dillon Gee in the second inning.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 4: Ryan Roberts hit a three-run homer and the Diamondbacks came from behind to win for the 33rd time this season. Daniel Hudson (12-8) allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits in eight innings. Hudson also had a run-scoring single, his 13th RBI of the year. J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 33 attempts. Mike Pelfrey was hit by a line drive off the bat of Gerardo Parra leading off the fifth inning and had to leave the game with a bruised right elbow. His team led 4-2 at the time. Reliever D.J. Carrasco (1-3) came on to hit Willie Bloomquist, then Roberts followed with his 16th home run of the season on the first pitch he saw.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: Justin Upton homered, Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and Arizona earned its sixth consecutive win. Diamondbacks starter Jason Marquis, acquired in a July 30 trade from Washington, was hit on the right shin by a line drive in the third and left the game one inning later with a broken shinbone. Goldschmidt doubled and scored on Henry Blanco's double to give Arizona a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zach Duke (3-4), who came on in relief of Marquis, allowed two runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings and David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 11th save. Chris Capuano (9-11) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings.

Mets morning briefing 5.3.12

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
7:38
AM ET
Chris Schwinden lasted only four innings and served up two homers in a game for the second time on the six-game road trip. Meanwhile, Manny Acosta, who combined with Schwinden to surrender an 11-run inning in Denver, also again struggled. As a result, the Mets lost to the Astros, 8-1, Wednesday and were swept in the three-game series. The Mets finished their trip 2-4. It marked the Mets' final visit to Houston before the Astros relocate to the American League West.

"I think that series in Colorado -- and it's not an excuse, because there's a lot of teams that have to play in Colorado -- but I think that series took a lot out of us," said David Wright, who went 4-for-10 with two walks in Houston. "And then, coming here, I don't want to say we weren't prepared, because we were prepared. We just didn't match the energy and the execution that we had in Colorado. You know, we knew we were going to have some ups and downs, especially with a lot of the young guys that we have on this roster playing right now. But this is what we need to fix if we want to become the team that we think we are capable of becoming. There are way too many inconsistencies right now. It seems like we play great for a series and then poorly for a series. And we're going to have to straighten that out."

Thursday's news report:

Terry Collins offered no assurance Schwinden would remain in the rotation after a second straight underwhelming appearance in the spot vacated by Mike Pelfrey, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery Tuesday. Mets officials have an off-day Thursday to sort through the options. In Schwinden's two starts in Pelfrey's absence, the Rockies and Astros combined to score 26 runs in those games. Wright did say that Schwinden was sick.

Jeremy Hefner, who tossed three scoreless innings during the doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants on the last homestand, would be one logical alternative. Miguel Batista is in the bullpen as a long reliever/spot starter and could always take over the role, especially since the Mets are going to soon need to open a bullpen spot for D.J. Carrasco anyway. Heck, Carrasco did log three innings for Class A St. Lucie in one rehab appearance last week.

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

Chris Young may be ready in a month, but he is not scheduled to proceed to a minor league game for his next outing. Young threw a 75-pitch simulated game Monday. His fastball velocity was about 85 mph, according to one Mets official.

• Collins adamantly said last week that Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia are staying put at Triple-A for the majority of the season, not considerations to plug Pelfrey's rotation spot. And that's the proper call. Read my take here.

• Harvey's latest outing at Triple-A was cut short Wednesday because of a 23-minute rain delay. He tossed four innings, too short to qualify for the win in Buffalo's 5-2 victory against Syracuse. Harvey allowed two runs on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 68 pitches (36 strikes). Newly installed Mets rules prevent a minor league starter from returning to the mound after a rain delay if he already has logged two innings. Writes Mike Harrington in the Buffalo News about the hoopla surrounding Harvey:

Harvey said he's trying to keep an even keel in preparing for each outing but is aware there's a lot more external noise in Triple-A. "You really do everything you can to not pay attention to it," Harvey said. "It's there so I'm not going to completely try to avoid it. You can bring it in a little and use it as fire to succeed and do the best I can."

"Matt just needs to throw quality start after quality start," [Wally] Backman said. "If he goes out there and does that eight or nine times in a row, it's going to make people wonder and think. But I don't think [a callup] is going to happen right now. It's still a learning process."

Read Wednesday's full minor league recap here.

Tim Byrdak and Astros slugger Carlos Lee jawed during Wednesday's game.

• Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley topped Kirk Nieuwenhuis for NL Rookie of the Month. Miley faces the Mets on Friday at Citi Field.

Lucas Duda was due to return for the series finale in Houston after a two-game absence because of the flu, but the right fielder was pulled from the starting lineup shortly before the first pitch. Duda was limited to a pair of pinch-hitting appearances in the series. He walked on Monday and struck out Tuesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• Before his ties to the Mets, Rusty Staub originally played in Houston. Actually, the Astros first were known as the Colt .45s when Staub arrived in the majors in 1963. Staub actually will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Astros home game, as Houston -- like the Mets -- celebrates 50 years of baseball existence.

Here's Staub's observation as the Astros move to the American League, severing the annual home-and-home series with the Mets: “In the early years the teams were always compared -- which city was going to be better in the long run,” Staub told Roger Rubin in the Daily News about the Astros and the Mets. “The Mets went for credibility with names, but Houston looked better with a group of young players like Joe Morgan, me, Sonny Jackson and Dave Giusti. We changed owners and all of us ended up getting traded. Then the Mets changed philosophies and went young with Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, and it sent them to that incredible 1969 World Series.”

Mark Winegardner in ESPN The Magazine tells the story of how Bobby Bonilla and the Mets came to strike that deal that now pays the former outfielder $1,193,248.20 per year for 25 years. He also discusses how Bonilla wondered about the security of future payments as Fred Wilpon and family went through the Bernard Madoff trials and tribulations. Writes Winegardner:

Last July, in her New York office, a financial planner by the exquisitely apt name of Jennifer Prosperino received her weekly call from a longtime client. He was a semiretired man in Florida who'd grown up evading gunfire in the South Bronx, where he'd lived in firetrap apartment buildings with junkies in the hallways. He slept with a baseball bat in his bed, dreaming of a better life. His first question for Prosperino was the one he always asked: "Am I going to be okay?" Days earlier, the client, employed part time by his former union, had received a check from the New York Mets for $1,193,248.20 -- the first of 25 annual, identical payments he is guaranteed from a club he last played for in 1999. That means Bobby Bonilla, 49, will make more money than 17 players on the Mets' Opening Day roster.

TRIVIA: Which player has the most homers in Citi Field's three seasons as a Diamondback?

Wednesday's answer: Art Howe's hitting coach with the Mets in 2003 was Denny Walling. Vern Ruhle served as the pitching coach.

Kirk deprived of NL rookie award

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
5:57
PM ET
Kirk Nieuwenhuis was beaten out for the NL Rookie of the Month award by Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley, who went 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in April.

Miley happens to be opposing Dillon Gee on Friday at Citi Field as the Mets return home after getting swept in Houston.

Will Nieuwenhuis be able to seek some revenge? That only will be the case if Terry Collins opts to start Nieuwenhuis against the southpaw.

Is Kirk rookie of the month?

May, 1, 2012
5/01/12
10:32
AM ET

Getty Images
Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a strong case to be made for NL Rookie of the Month over Wade Miley (center) or Matt Carpenter (right).
Only one Met has won the NL's Rookie of the Month award since the award's introduction in 2001. That would be Justin Turner last May.

Could he have company when the April 2012 award is announced Wednesday? It looks very possible.

Center fielder-turned-left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis produced a .325 average, two homers and eight RBIs in April, and remained in the leadoff spot Monday even upon Andres Torres' return from the DL.

Despite his game-altering misjudgment against the San Francisco Giants, when the ball dropped behind him and prolonged a game the Mets eventually salvaged, Nieuwenhuis since has continued to have highlight-reel catches. That includes taking an extra-base hit away from Jose Reyes in the ex-Met's first at-bat upon returning to Citi Field as well as Sunday in the fifth inning at Denver on a shot to left-center by Jonathan Herrera that preserved a scoreless outing for Johan Santana.

Nieuwenhuis posted the third-highest April rookie average in franchise history. Rey Ordonez hit .354 in 1996 and Ron Gardenhire hit .345 in 1982.

No other NL rookie batters jump out. Shane Robinson hit .419 with a homer and five RBIs, but that was in only 31 at-bats for the St. Louis Cardinals. Nieuwenhuis had 80 at-bats, second only to Zack Cozart's 85 with the Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis' Matt Carpenter hit .267 with a homer and 14 RBIs in 60 ABs. (Check the full NL rookie batter list here.)

On the pitching side, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley looks like he would have the best case. In five appearances (two starts), Miley went 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings. He allowed only 10 hits while striking out 15 and walking seven. Only one other NL rookie pitcher exceeded one win. That would be Atlanta's Randall Delgado, who had a 6.30 ERA along with his 2-2 record. (Check the full NL rookie pitcher list here.)

Of course, beginning next month, Bryce Harper will be on the ballot.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187