New York Mets: Willie Harris

Around the minors 6.28.12

June, 28, 2012
BUFFALO 4, LOUISVILLE 2: Jack Egbert tossed two no-hit innings to earn the win in relief of Collin McHugh. In the third, Oswaldo Navarro tripled and scored on McHugh's groundout to open the scoring. Louisville evened the score a half-inning later on back-to-back doubles by Joey Gathright and Mike Costanzo. Bats starter Sean Gallagher's control issues allowed the Bisons to retake the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Josh Satin, Fred Lewis, Valentino Pascucci and Josh Rodriguez consecutively walked to give the Bisons a 2-1 lead. Lucas May tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly. Navarro's RBI single in the sixth accounted for the game's final run. McHugh held the Bats hitless through three innings, but he was unable to complete five innings and be eligible for his first Triple-A win. He was pulled without recording an out in the fifth after walking leadoff batter Daryl Jones, then surrendering singles to ex-Met Willie Harris and Kristopher Negron and hitting Gathright with a pitch. McHugh was charged with two runs on four hits and three walks in four-plus innings. Pascucci walked three times. His 61 bases on balls rank second in the International League. Box

BOWIE 8, BINGHAMTON 6: The B-Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth without a hit, but fell short. Pinch-hitter Francisco Pena, representing the tying run, struck out against reliever Pedro Viola to end the ballgame. The B-Mets walked nine times and collected 11 hits, but stranded 11 and went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Jefry Marte gave Binghamton its first lead of the year against Bowie with an RBI single against Bobby Bundy in the first. Wilmer Flores followed with a sac fly and added a run-scoring single in the third, giving Binghamton a 3-0 lead. The Baysox stormed back in the fourth against B-Mets starter Darin Gorski. Josh Barfield singled to spur a four-hit rally. Run-scoring singles by Manny Machado and Buck Britton got Bowie to within one, and an RBI fielder’s choice by Zelous Wheeler tied the score at 3. Catcher Juan Centeno allowed Britton to score the go-ahead run from third when he airmailed a throw to second on a fake steal by Wheeler. Bundy’s night came to an abrupt end in the fourth. With two outs, Marte seared a line drive off the righty’s left leg for a single. Bundy was helped off the field and replaced by Eddie Gamboa.

Gorski rebounded from the rocky fourth and faced the minimum over his final two innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings. He was taken off the hook when the B-Mets fought back to tie the score in sixth against Gamboa. Ryan Fraser took over for Gorski in the seventh and posted a perfect inning before running into trouble in the eighth. Antoan Richardson walked, advanced on a sac bunt and groundout and scored on a passed ball by Centeno. Trailing by a run, Binghamton threatened in the eighth, but Reese Havens struck out looking to strand two in scoring position. In the ninth, the Baysox tagged Robert Carson for three runs. Clayton Schrader then entered and got Binghamton back in the game, walking all three he faced. Viola replaced him and walked Dustin Martin to force in a run. Viola then induced Wilfredo Tover to bounce into a run-scoring double play before striking out Pena to end the ballgame. Fraser (1-1) suffered his first loss as a B-Met. Box

JUPITER 11, ST. LUCIE 4: Chase Huchingson was charged with nine runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in five innings. St. Lucie had built a 4-0 lead behind an RBI groundout by Juan Torres and run-scoring single by T.J. Rivera in the second and a two-run triple by Rafael Fernandez an inning later. Box

CHARLESTON 5, SAVANNAH 4: The Gnats committed four errors as starter Jacob DeGrom allowed four runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Aderlin Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the loss. Savannah pulled within a run in the ninth on consecutive inning-opening doubles by Dustin Lawley, Brian Harrison and Rodriguez. Gregory Pron, pinch running for Rodriguez, advanced to third on ZeErika McQueen's groundout. But Pron was stranded there when Albert Cordero and Yucarybert De La Cruz also grounded out. Box

KINGSPORT 4, BLUEFIELD 3: First-round pick Gavin Cecchini went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Shane Bay tossed two scoreless, no-hit relief innings to earn his first professional save. Box

ABERDEEN 5, BROOKLYN 2: Scheduled start Julian Hilario was scratched, leading third-round pick Matt Koch from Louisville to make his pro debut. Koch lasted 1 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs. He unraveled the second, walking two and hitting a batter to open the frame. Beck Wheeler entered with two outs and recorded the inning's final out when the ball hit a baserunner to hold the deficit at 3-0. Box

Compiled from team reports

Willie Harris to Reds

January, 23, 2012
Outfielder Willie Harris has signed with the Cincinnati Reds, manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer. The newspaper reported Harris agreed to a minor league contract.

Harris unlikely to return

January, 5, 2012
The Mets still need a lefty-hitting backup outfielder, but Willie Harris is unlikely to be re-signed by the organization, the Daily News reports.

The Mets currently have lefty-hitting outfielders Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen under their control, but Sandy Alderson acknowledged Thursday the Mets are looking to upgrade for that role.

Mets morning briefing 9.27.11

September, 27, 2011
Josh Stinson surrendered a three-run homer in the seventh to deprive Chris Schwinden of his first major league win as the Mets lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 6-5, on Monday night at Citi Field. Only two games remain in the season. The loss clinched fourth place for the Mets in the division.

Tuesday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson sits down with Newsday's Ken Davidoff for a Q&A.

Regarding Jose Reyes, Alderson tells Davidoff: "It's a critical decision, no question about that. It's the fundamental decision that we have to make this offseason. It will shape every other decision we make. There are many risks involved, from signing a player to a contract of that magnitude to the players we may be precluded from signing because of such a commitment. But everyone recognizes the connection Jose has with Mets fans. That's not something we take lightly. ... It does seem to be more interesting than most free agencies. On the other hand, almost by definition, someone who's a highly desirable free agent has made some connection with his fan base. But Jose has connected more than most, I'd say."

Alderson went on to assert that the medical treatment from team doctors is fine.

"From working with the doctors, I don't think that's an issue," the GM said. "From our standpoint, some of these injuries have been unique. Whatever medical care was given, I don't think we have a systemic issue here. You look at David Wright, we thought he was coming back (from a back injury) in 30 days and it took him over 60 days. He didn't heal like we hoped. Ike Davis suffered a freak injury to a part of the body (left ankle) that's very complex and difficult to predict in its severity. In all of these instances, there were more than our own doctors involved. We've done everything we could from a variety of sources. Through July 31, we had fewer total days on the disabled list than last year, and that's with Johan Santana there for the whole season. The short answer is I'm not dissatisfied."

Alderson also insisted that whatever the payroll, it is the result of lower revenues rather than anything Bernard Madoff related.

• After a 3-for-4 night with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs, Jose Reyes upped his average to .334. He leads Milwaukee's Ryan Braun by .00003 for the NL batting lead. Braun came off the bench to deliver a double for Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Matt Kemp's Triple Crown hopes appear to have faded. Kemp went 1-for-4, albeit with three RBIs, in a 4-2 win at Arizona and is hitting .324. Reyes, by the way, told the Daily News that he may see a doctor Tuesday for eye redness he's had for the past two weeks, but that it is not irritating or affecting his vision. Read more on Reyes' Monday night performance in Newsday and the Post.

Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal catches up with the Mets' former GM, Omar Minaya, about the similarities between the 2007 Mets collapse and the 2011 Red Sox swoon. Minaya tells Costa: "It's kind of one of those things that you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but your feet are not moving to get to the light. Your mind sees the light, but for some reason your body is not walking toward that light."

Ozzie Guillen looks like he will be joining the division as manager of the Florida Marlins. The Chicago White Sox should get players as compensation for the change of address.

• The Mets nixed allowing the Yankees to place their Triple-A team in Newark, N.J., for one season while stadium renovations are performed in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the actual home of the International League team, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. Star-Ledger columnist emeritus Jerry Izenberg chastises the Mets. Writes Izenberg:

One of the concerns that influenced the Mets was their belief that a minor league team in Newark might have weaned potential Mets fans away from the affluent New Jersey suburbs. Actually if such a presence was allowed, the idea of seeing future Yankees in New Jersey would probably have hurt the Yanks a little bit at their game -- surely not the Mets. Last night, a Mets spokesman confirmed that the team blocked the move, and would only say the decision was within the team’s rights. The prospect of that wonderful season is now stone cold dead. Perhaps the Mets have a point. At 23 games out of first place, they are farther back than all but three other National League teams. A minor league team in Newark could be a problem to the current “minor league” team at Citi Field.

• Wright was drilled with a ninth-inning pitch from Reds closer Francisco Cordero. Wright was unconcerned about the stress fracture he suffered in his lower back being antagonized, but described himself as sore.

• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo took batting practice with the Mets on Monday at Citi Field before returning to Fort Myers, Fla., to resume playing in the instructional league. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Post, Newsday and Daily News.

• The Daily News reports if the Mets do re-sign Willie Harris or Scott Hairston for the bench, it will come late in the offseason. "This is my first choice," Harris told the newspaper. "I feel like I will have opportunities other places, but here, I already know what type of role I would have. I would know that coming in, so they have first choice."

• On Monday, former clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels' next courting hearing was scheduled for Oct. 18. The sides may be working on a plea bargain, correspondent Ian Begley reports.

BIRTHDAYS: Jason Phillips, who became a bullpen catcher for the Seattle Mariners after his playing career ended, turns 35.

Harris reacts to historic comeback

September, 22, 2011

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Ruben Tejada connects on a game-tying two-run double in the ninth.
You're welcome, Atlanta Braves.

With the St. Louis Cardinals poised to close to within a game of idle Atlanta in the wild-card standings, the Mets staged their biggest ninth-inning road comeback in 38 years, scoring six runs in the final frame to beat St. Louis, 8-6, at Busch Stadium. St. Louis instead fell two games back of the Braves with six games remaining.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the Mets' biggest road comeback in the ninth since overcoming a six-run deficit with a seven-run frame on July 17, 1973 against the Braves. Willie Mays delivered the go-ahead pinch-hit two-run single that day.

It was the largest ninth-inning comeback overall since the Mets overcame a four-run deficit against the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium on May 17, 2007, when Carlos Delgado had a walk-off two-run single.

"This is our job. When you go to work, you should go to work hard," said Willie Harris, who had the tiebreaking two-run single. "I think today shows, these guys in this locker room, we care about each other. We want to win. We put everything on the line right there. We were facing (Jason) Motte. This guy is filthy, and he had a hard time finding the strike zone, and we were able to take advantage of that. At the same time, when we come here, we come here to win."

Asked if the Mets had satisfaction in dealing a blow to the Cardinals' postseason aspirations, Harris said: "I don't know. We all come to win every day. If it helps any, I got a text from (Braves first base coach) Terry Pendleton saying, 'Way to go.' I guess those guys over there are pretty excited about it."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 8, Cardinals 6

September, 22, 2011
Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: After a 139-minute rain delay, then a pregame ceremony by the Cardinals to honor Jason Isringhausen for reaching 300 career saves, the Mets rallied to win with a six-run ninth.

Ruben Tejada delivered a bases-loaded two-run double to tie the score in the ninth. After David Wright was retired, Willie Harris had a two-run single to put the Mets ahead.

The victory gave the Atlanta Braves a two-game lead in the wild-card standings over St. Louis, breathing life into their floundering season.

The Mets finished 43-38 on the road.

Bobby Parnell produced his first save since Sept. 4.

RECAP: Chris Capuano surrendered a two-run homer in the first inning to Allen Craig.

Albert Pujols added a solo homer in what became a two-run fifth as St. Louis took a 4-1 lead. It was Pujols’ fifth homer in 33 career at-bats against Capuano. He has a .545 average against the southpaw.

Capuano was pulled with two out and two in scoring position in the fifth. Right fielder Mike Baxter bailed the southpaw out of further damage when he made a diving catch on Ryan Theriot’s sinking liner after Ryota Igarashi entered in relief.

The Cardinals ultimately built a 6-1 lead before the Mets rallied.

News reports surfaced earlier in the day that the Boston Red Sox had been interested in acquiring Capuano this week in order to make a start Sunday against the Yankees.

Capuano hit the 180-inning mark exactly, earning an additional $200,000 bonus. His salary with bonuses has now hit $3.85 million. Capuano will earn another $75,000 for his final start of the season, so his final payout should end up at $3.925 million.

REYES TRACKER: Jose Reyes went 1-for-4 with a walk as his average dipped to .329. That is Reyes’ lowest average at the end of a game since May 28. He slipped to second place in the NL batting race. Ryan Braun is hitting .330 for Milwaukee, which is idle Thursday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets head to New York for a season-ending six-game homestand. R.A. Dickey (8-13, 3.35 ERA) opposes Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.80) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Mets morning briefing 9.5.11

September, 5, 2011
Willie Harris had a tiebreaking two-run pinch-hit single in place of debuting Josh Satin and the Mets won Sunday's rubber game against the Nationals, 6-3, Sunday afternoon.

The Mets now make their final trip to Sun Life Stadium, which the Marlins share with the Miami Dolphins. The Marlins move to a baseball-only stadium with a retractable roof in 2012. Read the Mets-Marlins series preview here.

Monday's news reports:

Terry Collins told the Daily News his recommendation is for his entire coaching staff to return intact. Hitting coach Dave Hudgens has a two-year deal. As for pitching coach Dan Warthen, the lone remaining member of the 2010 staff, Collins said: "Danny has done an excellent job. He gets them ready. He is sharp. It's a good situation when the players like the coaches. They have fun. They laugh. They have great communication with each other. That helps a lot. ... I do think they should all be back. They all did a great job, and there is something to be said for stability."

• Satin started at first base and went 1-for-2 in his major league debut. He singled in his first plate appearance, off ex-Met Livan Hernandez.

Ike Davis will meet the Mets in Miami. Optimism abounds that he will avoid surgery on his troublesome left ankle. Davis worked the past three days in Port St. Lucie, Fla., taking grounders, swinging off a tee and with soft tosses, and playing catch. Read more in Newsday.

Jose Reyes received his first day off Sunday, as a late scratch once it was deemed Ruben Tejada was ready to return from a hand injury. Josh Thole also returned, as a pinch-hitter. Thole, like Tejada, was forced to leave Thursday's game in New York. Thole had been struck on the thumb/wrist with a fastball from Miguel Batista while expecting a slider.

Johan Santana should throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Miami for Mets staff. He will pitch in a minor league playoff game Friday. If all continues to go well, and the Mets' affiliates are done with the postseason after that, Santana could find himself in a major league game at least for a couple of innings as soon as the following week.

• Read game reports from Sunday's rubber-game win in Newsday and the Daily News.

• Outfield coach Mookie Wilson told Mike Puma this about Lucas Duda's right-field play in the Post: "He's not your typical outfielder. I don't want him to think he has to try to make the (highlight) play. Just let the game come to him and let him understand it's going to take reps so that he feels comfortable. His defensive ability, it is what it is. He runs well enough, he has plenty of arm, there is not a question about that. It's about trying to understand it's going to take reps for him to be completely comfortable. Just don't panic." Duda aggressively went after Ryan Zimmerman's flare to right field Saturday, allowing the ball to get behind him and the winning along with the tying run to score. On Sunday, Duda misread Danny Espinosa's liner and the shot sailed over him for a double.

• Warthen had this to say about Mike Pelfrey's high pitch count (106 in 4 2/3 innings), according to the Record's Steve Popper: "(When) he goes out there and tries not to give up runs, he starts getting too fine with his pitches. … He’s got the ability but you can’t strike anybody out until they have two strikes on them. He has the pitches, has enough of a slider, has enough of a fastball, but he has to be ahead in the count. Out of the stretch position he just throws too many balls.”

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher Rod Barajas, now of the Los Angeles Dodgers, turns 36.

Josh Satin smooth in debut

September, 4, 2011

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Josh Satin made his major league debut Sunday, starting at first base.
Three times in his first three days in the big leagues, Josh Satin had been in the on-deck circle, or en route there, when the final out of the inning was made, depriving him an opportunity for his first major league at-bat.

Sunday there was no doubt his chance would arise.

Satin received a text message from his brother -- a sophomore at the University of Miami -- who had seen a tweet that the 26-year-old rookie was in the starting lineup at first base for the series finale against the Washington Nationals.

Hours later, Satin singled in his first major league at-bat, against Livan Hernandez. He struck out looking an inning later, then departed for pinch-hitter Willie Harris in the sixth inning with the bases loaded once Todd Coffey entered for the Nats.

“I think it was like a 60-mph curveball,” Satin said about the pitch he singled into left field. “They told me what to expect, all the guys, so I was ready for it.

“The first pitch he threw me, I looked up at the board, and it was an 83 and it was a fastball. So I was like, ‘All right, don’t get overanxious. He’s not going to blow it by you. Just be patient and try to put the barrel on it.’ And I was lucky enough to.”

Satin said the reception as he made his way around the bases following his hit and eventually scored on Ruben Tejada’s two-run single was special.

“Being on that base, at first base, just looking out at the field seeing all the guys that you’re playing against, all the guys on your team, it’s just a great feeling,” Satin said. “Everyone on our team and their team was unbelievably nice about it. Every time I got to a new base, everyone was like, ‘Congratulations’ -- all the umpires, all the players on their team, and obviously all the guys on our team. It’s a great feeling having Ryan Zimmerman say, ‘Congratulations on your first hit.’”

Terry Collins had informed Satin upon his promotion Thursday that playing time would be sparse. The manager is committed to using Nick Evans at first base and does not intend to use Satin at second base, his natural position, because of Satin’s lack of range.

Collins admitted trying to balance development for players such as Satin with winning is challenging and unfamiliar to him. In Collins’ first five seasons as a manager, with the Astros and Angels, his teams all finished in second place and winning was paramount. His sixth and final year, Collins resigned late in the season.

Explaining pinch-hitting Harris for Satin with the bases loaded in a tie game in the sixth, Collins said about balancing development with winning: “I try to combine both, and it’s not easy. I haven’t done this either, to be honest with you.

“In that situation, our guys want to win. That’s why they’re out there. You go talk to the David Wrights and those guys that play every inning of every game and grind it out, they’re not just out there to see who can do what. They want to win. In that situation, lefties hit [Coffey]. I just said, 'Hey, we’ve got to get some runs. We’ve got a chance to go ahead here. Let’s try it.'

“I’ll stand by it. It may hurt me down the road, but the Willie Harrises and those guys that have been here all year long and we’ve asked them to do some tough jobs, they deserve to be treated professionally. And they deserve to be put in situations that they’re on this team for.”

Said Harris: “Obviously we have some young guys here who need to play. Being a veteran guy you know that and you see that. You get on board and you try to make the most of whatever opportunities you can get. And, along the way, if you can share some knowledge with those guys, you share it with them and you try to help out the best way you can.”

Satin was not quibbling.

As for the overall experience, the rookie infielder said: “I actually wasn’t as nervous as I was expecting. I think it’s because I got to watch a few games before. It was great to be out there. And to get a hit my first at-bat was definitely more relaxing.”

Mets morning briefing 8.16.11

August, 16, 2011
Jason Isringhausen notched career save No. 300 and Lucas Duda and Josh Thole homered as the Mets snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-4, 10-inning win at San Diego. With the milestone accomplished, Terry Collins said he will now concentrate more on developing a closer for 2012, which will increase the save opportunities for Bobby Parnell. Along those lines, Collins is coming around to Duda playing primarily right field down the stretch, since Ike Davis should be back at first base for Opening Day next season.

Tuesday's news reports:

• First-round pick Brandon Nimmo, a high school outfielder from Wyoming, signed before the midnight deadline. He received $2.1 million, Keith Law reports. The Mets spent at least $6.2 million on draft picks, and kept to their word about deviating from past practices by going over MLB's recommended amounts to ink players.

• A source told that at least five Mets have cleared waivers and are eligible to be traded to any team -- Jason Bay, Chris Capuano, D.J. Carrasco, Willie Harris and Angel Pagan.

Gary Carter's white-blood-cell count is not sufficient to begin a second, more intensive round of chemotherapy.

• Collins believes Pedro Beato might be a starting pitcher in 2012.

Jose Reyes has started swinging a bat and taking grounders, but won't attempt to test his strained left hamstring running until next weekend, when the Mets return to Citi Field. Collins said Reyes will be rested more liberally when he returns from the DL. Of course, we've heard that from many a Mets manager. After Reyes' first DL stint this year for a left hamstring strain, he talked his way into matinee series finales despite Collins' intention to rest him. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Johan Santana has returned to Port St. Lucie and should resume throwing within days.

• Read more from Izzy's save/Monday's win in San Diego in the Record, Newsday, Post, Times and Daily News.

Andrew Keh in the Times profiles Duda, who has homered in consecutive games. Writes Keh:

Duda, 6 feet 4 inches and 254 pounds, is not at all unpleasant, but he is modest, almost to a fault. His speech, quiet and clipped, has the tendency to become overwhelmed with clichés when a notebook or camera pops into his line of vision. And his teammates say Duda is no different behind closed doors. “The first time I met him, I tried to talk to him a little bit, but he didn’t say anything,” said Nick Evans, who has known Duda since they met at spring training in 2008. “He just didn’t talk.” Duda does not dispute that he is the silent type. “Even my parents would tell you I’m a quiet guy,” he said. “That’s basically me. I’m kind of boring.”

Chris Young, who underwent surgery to repair the torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder May 16 (the same day Jenrry Mejia had Tommy John surgery), is rehabbing in San Diego and visited the Mets. He hopes to begin tossing a baseball in October. Given that Santana had the same surgery, as did Chien-Ming Wang, it's a long and uncertain road back. “The severity of this injury was greater than any injury I’ve had in the past as far as the cartilage coming off the bone,” Young said, according to Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger. “There was no way to keep going. It wasn’t going to improve. It wasn’t going to feel any better. And it was a pain level that I could not tolerate.”

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Roger Cedeno, who had two tours of duty with the Mets, turns 37. ... Rick Reed, to whom Dillon Gee is now being compared, turns 47. ... First baseman/outfielder Mike Jorgensen, a Met from 1968-71 before being traded to the Montreal Expos in a deal that returned Rusty Staub, and who attended Francis Lewis High School in Queens, was born on this date in 1948.

Source: Several Mets have cleared waivers

August, 15, 2011

Icon SMI
A source told that (l to r) Willie Harris, Chris Capuano and Angel Pagan are among the Mets who have cleared waivers.
Jason Bay, Chris Capuano, D.J. Carrasco, Willie Harris and Angel Pagan have cleared waivers, a source told

That does not mean any of the players will get traded. It merely mean they are eligible to be traded to any of the other 29 teams this month.

Bay is only in the second season of a four-year, $66 million deal, so going unclaimed makes sense. If a team would have put in a claim, the Mets could just have unloaded Bay's contract on the other team by letting the claim go through. Similarly, but with far less money at stake, Carrasco is in the first season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal.

Postgame review: Sloppy plays, bad back

August, 10, 2011

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Bobby Parnell allowed three ninth-inning runs, then sat dejectedly in the dugout.
During the first half of the season, the Mets did play relatively crisp baseball. But the second half has been a different story. And Terry Collins was disappointed by what he deemed mental -- not physical -- errors in Wednesday’s 9-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.

First, Ruben Tejada was thrown out at the plate attempting to tag up on a fly ball when he did not slide. Justin Turner, the on-deck man, had been signaling for Tejada to hit the dirt.

“I asked Ruben,” Collins said. “I said, ‘What did Justin tell you to do?’ He said, ‘He told me to slide.’ So obviously he saw the signal.”

In a meltdown ninth inning, the Padres successfully took home on a double-steal. Willie Harris, who had taken over at second base after a pinch-hit RBI the previous half-inning, received a throw from Josh Thole but did not fire back to the plate in time.

Collins explained: “I’m not upset the ball went through. Just Willie got caught behind the runner, instead of getting in front of the bag so he could come and get the ball.”

Of course, Tejada has only limited major league experience, and Harris is primarily an outfielder, but Collins said there’s a limit to the alibis for mental miscues.

“There’s some of those, just like Ruben’s play at home plate, that’s not accepted, I don’t care what level you’re at,” the manager said. “I asked him, I said, ‘Why didn’t you slide?’ He just didn’t know. He just saw the catcher come off the plate and thought he could score.”

Collins asked Tejada what he would do at first base if the fielder had to come off the bag because the throw was off-line.

Said Collins: “He said, ‘I’d slide.’ It’s pretty much the same situation. It’s just a mistake there. It comes back at this level to hurt you.”

Still, Collins had other things to lament.

“Early in the game we had the bases loaded and nobody out and some opportunities to get some runs and we didn’t capitalize on that either,” he said. “So there were a lot of parts of this game. When you look up and you’ve got 15 hits and four walks and they make an error and you’ve only got five runs, it’s not a good night.”

By the way, the last player to steal home against the Mets before San Diego's Jesus Guzman? Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips on July 10, 2009.

BACK THURSDAY? Angel Pagan indicated he hoped to play Thursday, although that seemed like a long shot given the quick turnaround, with a 12:10 p.m. first pitch.

Pagan said he felt his middle back getting tight during his second at-bat, after fouling off a pitch to left field. He also experienced spasms.

“I went to the outfield, and when I started throwing, it kept getting tight on me,” he added. “So that’s when I told the trainers. I just don’t want to make it worse.

“Obviously I’m the only guy to lead off for the team, so I don’t want to be out for many games. Hopefully I’m ready for tomorrow. This is muscular. I talked to the doctors and they said it’s nothing bad. They’re going to give me some medication, and hopefully I’ll be good enough for tomorrow. I just don’t want to be out for too long.”

Said Collins: “Probably a day or so.”

Collins a while back had suggested Scott Hairston could be an alternative at leadoff to Pagan. And with the Padres throwing southpaw Cory Luebke, Hairston does figure to be in the starting lineup.

BOBBY SOCKED: Bobby Parnell allowed three runs in the top of the ninth on three hits and a walk, including a play scored an infield single when he missed stepping on first base. He has surrendered runs in four of his past six appearances.

“I shot myself in the foot. I didn’t do the things to help myself out,” Parnell said.

“Actually, his velocity has been great,” Collins said. “I just think he’s getting too much of the plate. I don’t think he’s getting the ball to the sides of the plate as much as he was a couple of weeks ago when he was really pitching well. And, I think, he’s leaving his slider in the middle of the plate.”

Said Thole: “Tonight I thought his ball was elevated a little bit. He threw some good sliders, got us in some good counts, tried to strike guys out with the heater, and they just stayed up over the plate. We fell behind a couple of times, too, I think. That played a role a little bit.”

Mets morning briefing 8.10.11

August, 10, 2011
The Mets overcame a two-run deficit in the final two innings for the second straight night to defeat the Padres, with Angel Pagan's solo homer, Nick Evans' sacrifice fly and Ruben Tejada's bases-loaded walk serving as the eighth-inning scoring plays in Tuesday's 5-4 victory. It marked the first time since 1965 the Mets had won back-to-back games when trailing by two-plus runs in the eighth inning or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Wednesday's news reports:

• Read game stories in the Star-Ledger, Record, Post, Daily News, Times and Newsday.

Jason Isringhausen moved within one save of No. 300. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Manny Acosta lost half the nail on his right pinkie on a line drive back at him and is likely unavailable Wednesday.

• Pagan, who has told Terry Collins in the past he dislikes batting leadoff, nonetheless has homered in consecutive games since moving to the No. 1 spot in Jose Reyes' absence. Watch Pagan postgame video here.

Ike Davis will stick to the Mets' plan of inactivity on his left ankle for another three and a half weeks after getting an outside opinion Tuesday in Charlotte. Davis intended to go home to Arizona after the exam, and should spend time with the Mets this weekend in Phoenix when they face the Diamondbacks.

Willie Harris and San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson visited Harlem RBI on Tuesday. Read more in Newsday.

• Collins said Whitestone, Queens, native Mike Baxter should get his first major league start on Wednesday. Writes Sam Borden in the Times about Baxter:

On Monday night, only weeks after being claimed off waivers by the Mets and only hours after being called up from Class AAA, Baxter slammed another ball in Queens -- this time a first-pitch sinker from San Diego Padres reliever Chad Qualls -- and his eighth-inning, run-scoring double sparked a five-run Mets rally in a 9-8 victory. For a kid who grew up watching the Mets at Shea Stadium and playing ball at Queens fields like Cunningham and Little Bay Park (that’s the one under the Throgs Neck Bridge), it was as exciting a Citi Field debut as Baxter could have imagined and was made even better by about 50 family and friends, including his parents, watching from the stands.

• The Mets may be only a game over .500, but Post columnist Larry Brooks notes fans like this team. Writes Brooks:

They really like them. The lineup is loaded with the equivalent of seat-fillers, guys who are taking the projected regulars’ spots in the lineup much as individuals are hired at televised award shows like the Oscars to fill the seats of stars who vacate them when other duties call. Guys like Tejada, here because Jose Reyes, the NL’s leading hitter at .336, isn’t. Guys like Evans, here because Daniel Murphy, the NL’s fifth-leading hitter at .320, isn’t. But these Mets are turning woe into whoa!

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Gerald Williams, whose major league career ended as a Met in 2005, turns 45. ... Outfielder Johnny Lewis, who played 226 games with the Mets from 1965-67, was born on this date in 1939.

Mets take loss with bases loaded

July, 30, 2011
Not that it was Adam Wainwright to Carlos Beltran, but ...

The Mets loaded the bases with two out in the ninth inning against Nats closer Drew Storen, but pinch-hitter Willie Harris took a called third strike on a 1-2 slider to end the game as the Mets lost, 3-0.

“Everybody knows that guy’s filthy,” said Harris, a former teammate.

Harris said the Nats knew to throw him a slider in that spot rather than a fastball. He thought the final offering might have been low, but was not complaining afterward.

“You don’t want to strike out in that situation, obviously,” Harris said. “Sometimes guys get you on good pitches. And that’s what happened. … I looked at the pitch. It was a pitcher’s pitch. It could have been arguably low. But it could have been arguably there. I’m not complaining about the call the umpire made. I’m not complaining about that. Like I said, you don’t want to strike out in that spot. He got me.”

Rapid Reaction: Nats 3, Mets 0

July, 30, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets' five-game winning streak came to a halt against an opposing pitcher Triple-A Buffalo roughed up 10 days earlier for six runs in five innings. Yunesky Maya, subbing for Jason Marquis, who was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings as Washington beat the Mets 4-0, Saturday night. The Nationals also traded Jerry Hairston Jr. -- brother of Scott Hairston -- to the Milwaukee Brewers. Washington snapped a six-game losing streak.

The Mets did load the bases with two out in the ninth inning against closer Drew Storen, but Willie Harris struck out looking. They have been shut out five times this year. The opposing starting pitchers: Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Maya.

WRIGHT STUFF: Maya held the Mets hitless until David Wright lined a single over second baseman Danny Espinosa with two out in the fourth inning. Wright finished 2-for-3 with a walk and has now produced a career-high seven straight multi-hit games. On Sunday, Wright can match the franchise-record eight straight multi-hit games produced by Steve Henderson in July 1979. Henderson had been part of the infamous trade that sent Tom Seaver to Cincinnati two years earlier.

Wright is hitting .475 (19-for-40) since returning from the disabled list.

O NO: Maya recorded three outs on five pitches in the first inning. In the fifth, the Mets placed two runners on base for Jose Reyes, who flied out to Jayson Werth on the track in right-center. After Maya was pulled with two on and one out in the sixth following singles by Daniel Murphy and Wright, Ross Detwiler entered and coaxed Angel Pagan into an inning-ending double-play grounder to third base.

WERTH $126 MILLION? On Werth bobblehead day night Nationals Park, the ex-Phillie slugged a three-run homer to center in the first inning off R.A. Dickey. Werth went 2-for-3 with an intentional walk. Dickey's line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB (1 IBB), 1 K.

MAGNET: Josh Thole twice was hit by pitches … or grazed … or awarded first base even if it missed him. The last Mets player to be hit by two pitches in a game: Fernando Tatis against Pittsburgh on July 2, 2009.

WHAT'S NEXT: Jon Niese (10-8, 3.97 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (6-9, 3.27) in Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. rubber game.

Harris: Ya Gotta Believe

July, 27, 2011
Willie Harris offered a familiar Mets mantra Wednesday: Ya Gotta Believe!

Harris told teammates pregame in the training room that the Mets could rally to make the playoffs, then knock out Carlos Beltran's San Francisco Giants in October.

"I mean, how cool would that be?" Harris asked. "We trade our best hitter and then we send him home. That would be pretty cool. We keep playing good, we might sneak in there. Who knows?"

Atlanta beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in extra innings for the second straight night Wednesday, meaning the Mets trail the wild-card-leading Braves by 7½ games. The Mets are 53-51, with 58 games remaining in the regular season. (Teams have overcome that deficit in fewer games, you may recall.)

Terry Collins credited the Mets' tenacity and resolve after they posted an 8-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

"There's a lot of guys in that room that have tremendous respect for Carlos Beltran. Still do. Always will," Collins said. "Today could have been a disappointing day for us. They just picked themselves up."

Harris, incidentally, plans to join the Twitter world Thursday with the assistance of Justin Turner (@redturn2).



Bartolo Colon
11 3.85 125 161
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 70
RD. Murphy 71
OPSL. Duda .834
ERAJ. Niese 3.47
SOZ. Wheeler 148