New York Mets: Rick Ankiel

Morning Briefing: Wheels up!

June, 14, 2013
6/14/13
8:35
AM ET

Al Pereira/WireImageIt not only feels like the first time. It is the first time Foreigner will play Citi Field.
FIRST PITCH: Foreigner plays Citi Field tonight.

The warm-up act: Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96 ERA) versus Chicago Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) in the series opener at 7:10 p.m.

Read the series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey limited St. Louis to one run in seven innings, but nonetheless suffered his first 2013 loss as the Cardinals won the rubber game, 2-1, Thursday afternoon. Marlon Byrd homered in the ninth, but the tying run was stranded at third base when Edward Mujica struck out pinch-hitter Josh Satin to end the game. Afterward, the highly competitive Harvey indicated he should have pitched better and matched Adam Wainwright zero-for-zero.

Writes columnist Joel Sherman in the Post:

It is not his fault. Harvey is doing all he can to raise the competitiveness and win total of the Mets. But unless he morphs into the baseball version of Bugs Bunny -- first base, Matt Harvey; second base, Matt Harvey -- the organization’s biggest issue will not be if Harvey can lift those around him, but whether they will take him down, as well.

Manager Terry Collins, in fact, was compelled to have a private chat with Harvey yesterday, to counsel his young ace to stave off frustration after more genius was soiled not by the opponent, but his own teammates. We could say Harvey is enduring friendly fire, but that would mean saying these Mets have fire.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:

That was the most depressing takeaway from the 2-1 loss to the Cardinals, that not even Harvey, the boy king, can slow the Mets’ march to 100 losses. Like everything else in Flushing lately, Harvey has been devalued. His most precious gift, a fastball that averaged 97.64 mph Thursday, took a back seat to the inevitability of the Fatal Flaw -- a lack of timely hitting, defensive mistakes, a game-ending strikeout with the tying run on third base -- that’s rendered the Mets toxic.

The dejection was written all over Harvey’s face in the postgame clubhouse. The right-hander managed to repeat all the right clichés, but his words lacked conviction after his first loss of the season. When Harvey said, “I needed to put up seven zeros” against Wainwright, it was nothing short of an indictment of an offense that ranks 12th in the National League in runs and 14th in OPS.

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


Larry Goren/Four Seam Images/AP ImagesZack Wheeler will deliver his next pitch in the majors.


• Zack Wheeler made his final start for Triple-A Las Vegas, allowing a solo homer but no other hits in 5 2/3 innings against Tacoma. Wheeler next is due to face the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday at Turner Field. The Mets will use a six-man rotation for at least one turn after Wheeler debuts, in large part because Dillon Gee (elbow) and Jonathon Niese (shoulder) have dealt with shoulder tendinitis.

“Everything feels good right now,” Wheeler said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I feel like I’m ready.”

Said pitching coach Randy St. Claire, alluding to an early season blister problem: “Once that finger started feeling better, he started throwing the ball a lot better. Especially when he executes pitches down in the zone, it’s electric stuff. Guys don’t have good swings on it when it’s down in the zone.”

Read more in the Post.

• Harvey told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News he does not like the six-man rotation plan, although Harvey is likely to be least affected by it, since he would be the priority and would probably pitch on regular rest next Sunday at Philadelphia after Tuesday’s outing against the Braves.

“I am not fond of it, but I don’t make these decisions,” Harvey told Ackert. “It’s always been five days, at least as long as I can remember. I don’t necessarily like the extra rest. I take pride pitching every five days, getting as many starts as I can,” Harvey said. “Obviously I don’t have a say in that. I guess I will have to make adjustments.”

• The Mets considered partnering with a cougar dating web site to help promote David Wright’s All-Star candidacy before abandoning the idea. Wright, meanwhile, revealed that he has asked the team to tone down its in-game promotion of his All-Star candidacy because it’s not appropriate to single him out with the team doing poorly. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

Ike Davis went 0-for-3 for Las Vegas on Thursday. Read more in Newsday.

• Responding to a Newsday article that suggested Mets brass was upset with Wally Backman’s pronouncement he could fix Davis, Backman told the Daily News on Thursday: "I'm sorry if I ruffled any feathers. If you've got an issue with me, call me."

• Terry Collins indicated Scott Atchison should be ready to be activated from the DL after working consecutive days with Double-A Binghamton -- although the B-Mets were rained out at Trenton last night, preventing the second straight night of relief work.

Rick Ankiel, designated for assignment during the weekend, has elected free agency, officially ended his Mets career.

• The St. Louis telecast of Thursday’s Mets-Cards game caught a fan tumbling at Citi Field. Read more in the Daily News.

• Collins as well as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson will serve on Bruce Bochy’s NL staff at the July 16 All-Star Game. Jim Leyland’s AL staff also will have a Mets accent, with ex-Amazin’s Robin Ventura (Chicago White S0x) and John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays). Read more in Newsday, the Post and Daily News.

• Left-handed strikeout machine Jack Leathersich has been promoted from Binghamton to Vegas. He made his debut in relief of Wheeler, striking out his first Pacific Coast League batter. Gonzalez Germen surrendered four eighth-inning homers as Tacoma routed the 51s after Wheeler’s departure. In the Florida State League, T.J. Rivera had a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth as St. Lucie beat Clearwater, 5-4. Jayce Boyd went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and walk as Savannah moved closer to clinching the first-half title with a 9-4 win against Greenville. Boyd as well as Kevin Plawecki should get promoted to St. Lucie within days. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud is due to get his fractured left foot reexamined Monday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear rues the day the Mets couldn't get Harvey off the hook. … John Delcos at Mets Report advocates extending Collins. … Rising Apple wonders when Wilmer Flores will get a big-league shot. … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets looks back at one of the stranger moments in Mets history.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to play for the Mets was born on this date, but Donald Trump and Boy George celebrate birthdays today. Not together.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What is your favorite Foreigner Song?

Rick Ankiel elects free agency

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
3:15
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Rick Ankiel, who was designated for assignment by the Mets last weekend, has elected free agency.

He hit .182 and struck out 25 times in 66 at-bats as a Met.

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 9, Mets 2

June, 11, 2013
6/11/13
10:03
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Roster changed. Same stinkin' result.

In the first game since a shuffle that included Ike Davis' demotion, newly installed first baseman Daniel Murphy's error opened the doors for five unearned runs in the fifth inning and the Mets lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

The Mets (23-36) dropped to a season-worst 13 games under .500. That is their largest hole this early in a season since they were 20 games under .500 on June 11, 1993, en route to a 103-loss season.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsKirk Nieuwenhuis misplayed Yadier Molina's seventh-inning fly ball into a two-base error.


Murphy, who had borrowed a first baseman’s glove from Justin Turner pregame, tried to field Jon Jay's grounder on the backhand to begin the fifth inning. The ball kicked off the glove, and Murphy’s ensuing flip after regaining it errantly sailed over Jeremy Hefner's head as the pitcher covered first base.

By the time the five-run inning had ended, opposing pitcher Michael Wacha had an RBI groundout. David Wright was unable to cleanly field Yadier Molina’s grounder, which meant Wright had to settle for a run-scoring groundout at first base rather than a potential inning-ending double play. And Allen Craig belted a three-run homer to give National League Central-leading St. Louis a 6-2 lead.

It has not been a good showing this year for Mets with borrowed gloves against St. Louis. On May 13 at Busch Stadium, now-departed Rick Ankiel had a critical drop in center field in his Mets debut while using Jonathon Niese's glove because Ankiel's had yet to arrive from Houston.

The Mets actually allowed seven straight unearned runs Tuesday.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who replaced Ankiel on the roster last weekend, dropped Molina’s fly ball in right field for a two-base error in the seventh. Matt Holliday followed with an RBI single against reliever Greg Burke. Josh Edgin ultimately inherited the bases loaded with two outs from Burke in the southpaw’s big league return and proceeded to force in a run by walking Jay.

The next issue: With all the dialogue about Davis' demotion, the Mets have another looming decision: How to clear a rotation spot after next week's promotion of Zack Wheeler to face the Atlanta Braves.

Hefner breezed into the fifth Tuesday, when things unraveled after Murphy’s error.

Hefner’s final line: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.

Walk-a Wacha: Wacha, the St. Louis rookie phenom, earned his first major league win despite surrendering a solo homer to Omar Quintanilla and three walks in a two-run first by the Mets in which Wacha threw 37 pitches.

Wacha stranded the bases loaded in the first by coaxing an inning-ending groundout from Nieuwenhuis, then posted five scoreless frames. He departed with an 8-2 lead.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (4-6, 5.20 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Shelby Miller (7-3, 1.91) at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.
NEW YORK


Associated Press/Getty ImagesOn Day 3 of the draft, the Mets' picks included (l to r) Long Beach State's Jeff McNeil, Loyola Marymount's Colton Plaia and Florida State's Robby Coles.
FIRST PITCH: The day after their 20-inning debacle, the Mets try to rebound by sending Jonathon Niese to the mound at 1:10 p.m. today against Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70 ERA).

Niese (3-5, 4.40) has not pitched in a game since May 27. He missed a rotation turn because of occasional “sharp pain” and catching in his left shoulder as he threw. He then had his planned return rained out Thursday in D.C.

Sunday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey left Saturday’s game after taking the mound for the eighth inning with what he described as tightness in his lower back, near the right hip. Harvey maintained he intends to make his next start, which would be Thursday or Friday at Citi Field. He suggested the issue was remedied when the troublesome area was “popped back into place” during a chiropractic adjustment in the trainer’s room. He had similar issues on occasion while at UNC.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:

What’s unforgivable, however, is the way Harvey and the Mets handled the brush with injury, brief as it was. The 24-year-old ace admitted he tweaked the hip in the top of the seventh inning. Harvey’s first mistake was failing to tell anyone he was no longer at 100 percent.

Mistake No. 2 occurred in the bottom of the seventh, after Harvey singled and reached first base. Finally he told first base coach Tom Goodwin something was wrong with his lower back -- yet, no one thought to intervene. Harvey should’ve never set foot on the mound after that. But it wasn’t until he took his warm-ups in the eighth that common sense prevailed and he was removed.

Read columnist Steve Serby's opinion in the Post.

Before departing, Harvey tied Clayton Kershaw at seven for the most starts this season going seven-plus innings and allowing one or fewer runs, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Harvey has one win and eight no-decisions since April 19.

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

Rick Ankiel’s Mets career lasted 27 days, during which he hit .182 with 25 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. The final straw: an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance off the bench in Saturday’s loss. Kirk Nieuwenhuis will join the Mets on Sunday from Triple-A Las Vegas. Niewenhuis had eight homers in his last 16 games with the 51s. Ankiel was designated for assignment.


Courtesy of Wheeler familyA young Zack Wheeler (middle) grew up a Braves fan. He may face them in his major league debut.


• The Mets reversed course and will delay Zack Wheeler’s promotion, which had been tentatively planned for this upcoming Friday against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. The expectation now is that Wheeler makes his major league debut at Turner Field during a June 17-20 series against the Atlanta Braves, unless Harvey’s issue requires Wheeler sooner. The Mets will need an extra starter during that series anyway because the teams play five games over four days. Wheeler would be starting at a stadium 30 miles east of where he grew up, in Dallas, Ga. Wheeler should make one more Triple-A start, likely Wednesday in Las Vegas.

“I knew what I was doing wrong, but I couldn’t make the adjustment, which stinks as a pitcher,” Wheeler told Ken Davidoff in the Post about his most recent outing, when he allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday. “It happens. It’s part of pitching. Learning experience.”

Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:

What do the Mets have to lose? More games? They got that covered. If the front office believes Wheeler is capable of handling the mental leap, take the plunge, and he'll likely lead a parade of call-ups that should follow after the All-Star break. Harvey pitched through last season's second-half pratfall with blinders on. The Mets need Wheeler to do the same.

He won't be looked at as any kind of savior. The Mets took care of that by removing themselves from contention by Father's Day. All that will be asked of him is to take the baseball, throw strikes and get some people out. Use these next four months as a tune-up to prepare for 2014, which presumably will include those "meaningful games" Fred Wilpon talked about once upon a time.

Read more on Wheeler in the Daily News and Newsday.

• In what matched the fourth-longest game innings-wise in franchise history, the Mets lost to the Marlins, 2-1, in 20 innings Saturday. The Mets went a franchise-record 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position. They left 22 men on base, trailing only a 1974 game against the St. Louis Cardinals when they stranded 25 for the franchise record.

The time of game: six hours, 25 minutes.

Shaun Marcum, after tossing seven scoreless relief innings, surrendered the game-deciding RBI single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the 20th.

Marcum unfairly dropped to 0-7 this season, with two of the losses coming as a reliever against the Marlins. Marcum’s record matches the fourth worst to open a season in franchise history, trailing only Anthony Young (0-13 in 1993), Bob Miller (0-12, 1962) and John Franco (0-8, 1998) and matching Mike Pelfrey (0-7, 2007). Marcum’s eight-inning relief appearance was the longest in the majors since Scott Sanderson also pitched eight innings for the Chicago Cubs in 1989, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Miller, with the 0-12, is the only pitcher to begin his Mets career with a worse record than Marcum.

Amazingly, Harvey and Jose Fernandez have now been the starters for both lengthy extra-inning games between the Mets and Marlins this season (also 15 innings on April 29, in Marcum’s other relief loss). The only other time a pair of starting pitchers met twice in a season in games that went 15-plus innings: 1884, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That matchup featured Jim Whitney of the Boston Beaneaters and Old Hoss Radbourn of the Providence Grays.

The only longer games in Mets history: 25 innings versus St. Louis on Sept. 11, 1974; 24 innings at Houston on April 15, 1968; and 23 innings versus San Francisco on May 31, 1964. The Mets also played a 20-inning game at St. Louis on April 17, 2010.

The Marlins are 7-3 against the Mets this season and 10-41 against the rest of MLB.


Paul J. Bereswill/Associated PressShaun Marcum excelled in eight innings of relief, but was tagged with the loss.


• Marcum had been scheduled to reenter the rotation Tuesday. But after logging 107 pitches in his first appearance in eight days with the relief effort, Marcum undoubtedly will wait until at least Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals to pitch again, which would be on standard rest. Because of Monday’s off-day and two rainouts, Jeremy Hefner and Dillon Gee can handle the first two games of that series, both with extra rest anyway. Read more on Marcum in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• Veteran reliever David Aardsma joined the Mets on Saturday from Las Vegas and debuted with a scoreless 12th inning. Collin McHugh was optioned to the 51s, while Jeurys Familia was shifted to the 60-day DL to clear the 40-man roster spot.

The Mets have four players on the 60-day DL, where they currently do not count against the 40-man roster: Johan Santana, Frank Francisco, Jenrry Mejia and Familia. With Ankiel DFA’d postgame, the Mets now have 39 players counted toward the 40-man roster.

Familia underwent surgery last week to remove a bone spur and other loose objects from his pitching elbow.

Read more in the Daily News.

• MLB completed its draft Saturday with rounds 11 through 40. Of local note on the final day, the Mets selected left-handed pitcher Anthony Kay from Ward Melville High School on Long Island in the 29th round. That’s the same Suffolk County school that produced the Mets’ top pick in the 2009 draft, left-hander Steven Matz. See all 41 Mets picks at Baseball America.

Landon Powell, who has tons of people rooting for him because of his traumatic family experience, has been released by the Mets from Las Vegas. Powell was the subject of a recent E:60 documentary after his infant daughter Izzy died on the eve of spring training. He was hitting .159 for Las Vegas, which also had homegrown catchers Francisco Pena, Juan Centeno and Kai Gronauer active. Powell indicated to 51s broadcaster Russ Langer that he had an offer to be a coach with a small college program near his Greenville, S.C., home, which he was leaning toward accepting.

Powell’s release coincided with Andrew Brown (oblique) returning from the Las Vegas DL.

• Travis Taijeron (.303, 9 HR, 27 RBIs) earned a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton after B-Mets outfielder Cory Vaughn landed on the DL with a right elbow strain. Taijeron homered in his Double-A debut and Rafael Montero tossed seven scoreless innings as Binghamton beat Altoona, 9-3. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Ex-Met Oliver Perez has revived his career with the Seattle Mariners, writes David Waldstein in the Times.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear soaked up all 20 innings in Promenade and lived to tell about it.

BIRTHDAYS: Short-lived Met Jason Anderson, who arrived from the Yankees in the July 16, 2003 trade for Armando Benitez, turns 34.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you relieved Kirk Nieuwenhuis is replacing Rick Ankiel? Or is your attitude more: What took so long?

Mets dump Ankiel, promote Kirk

June, 8, 2013
6/08/13
8:18
PM ET

Icon SMI, Getty Images
Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been promoted, while Rick Ankiel's Mets career has ended.
NEW YORK -- After Rick Ankiel went hitless in four at-bats and struck out three times in Saturday's 20-inning game off the bench, upping his futility streak to 2-for-his-last-35, the Mets designated the outfielder for assignment and will promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Nieuwenhuis has eight homers in 16 games with the 51s since May 22, although overall he is hitting only .232 with 40 strikeouts in 142 at-bats in Triple-A. Terry Collins recently was told by Wally Backman that Nieuwenhuis' at-bats had improved, and he's only subject to maybe one plate appearance a game with lapses.

Nieuwenhuis made the Opening Day roster, but was demoted April 23, when Juan Lagares joined the major league club. Now, they can form a lefty-righty hitting tandem in center field if Collins chooses.

Ankiel, picked up after being dumped by the Houston Astros, will finish his brief Mets career having hit .182 with 25 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. Overall, he has K'd 60 times in 128 major league at-bats this season.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 2, Mets 1 (20)

June, 8, 2013
6/08/13
8:08
PM ET


NEW YORK -- The New York Mets received the biggest scare of their season on Saturday as ace Matt Harvey had to leave the game with tightness in his lower back.

Then again, Saturday's game went so many innings that it's conceivable that Harvey healed by the time the game concluded.

Harvey's departure overshadowed what was a 2-1 loss in 20 innings against the lowly Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Adeiny Hechavarria had the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 20th. The game lasted six hours and 25 minutes.

Saturday's game was the longest game ever at Citi Field, which opened in 2009. It's the Mets' longest home game since April 28, 1985, when they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 in 18 innings at Shea Stadium, and longest game since they beat the Cardinals in St. Louis in 20 innings on April 17, 2010.

Harvey leaves: Harvey came out to start the eighth, but manager Terry Collins and trainer Brian Chicklo quickly joined him on the mound. Harvey was pulled soon after, and in the dugout he could be seen pointing to his lower back to pitching coach Dan Warthen.

Before leaving: Harvey, who was saddled with his fourth straight no-decision and eighth over his past nine outings, pitched well. He went seven innings, giving up just one run and striking out six. Miami has had success against Harvey this season, as he entered the game with a 4.35 ERA against them in two starts, but Harvey was able to get into an early rhythm. He remains undefeated (5-0).

Seen him too much: This is the fourth time the Mets have faced Miami starter Jose Fernandez, and he's pitched well against them all season. Fernandez is 1-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA against the Mets after surrendering just one run in six innings on Saturday.

Should have ended earlier: The Mets were 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position and left 22 men on base. They had multiple chances to win in extra innings.

Bad fundamentals: The Marlins need to go back to basics. In the fifth, they cost themselves a potential run when Fernandez's attempt at a sacrifice bunt instead turned into a fielder's choice. One batter later, Hechavarria was thrown out at home. In the eighth, a failed bunt by Juan Pierre resulted in Hechavarria being caught in a rundown, and then Pierre promptly grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Another loss for Marcum: Starter Shaun Marcum, who was supposed to pitch Saturday before the rainout on Friday, came into the game in relief in the 13th inning and picked up the loss despite an excellent appearance out of the bullpen. He went eight innings and gave up just one run on five hits, which is better than almost every start he's made this season. Marcum last started on May 31, and this marked just his second relief appearance of the season, both against Miami. On April 29, Marcum suffered the loss in Miami's 4-3 win in 15 innings.

Juan good day: Juan Lagares got it done both at the plate and in the field. His double in the second inning gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, with the score tied, he threw out Hechavarria at the plate to end the frame. Lagares hasn't been receiving constant playing time, as the Mets have opted to use Rick Ankiel, but Ankiel's lack of production might force the Mets to give Lagares a better look. He finished 2-for-8 on the day.

Up next: The Mets and Marlins will conclude this two-game set as Jon Niese (3-5, 4.40 ERA) will face Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70 ERA) at 1:10 p.m.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 3, Mets 2

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
9:33
PM ET


WASHINGTON – Again!

The site of many a late-inning meltdown in recent years again proved a house of horrors for the Mets.

Bobby Parnell, aiming to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, coughed up the lead as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals, 3-2, Tuesday night in walk-off fashion.

Parnell had converted seven straight save chances. The blown save spoiled a stellar night from Jeremy Hefner and would-be heroics from Omar Quintanilla.

Ryan Zimmerman opened the ninth with a double off the right-center wall. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run when Adam LaRoche followed with a single.

Ian Desmond then doubled and Roger Bernadina was intentionally walked to load the bases for Steve Lombardozzi.

Lombardozzi delivered a shallow sac fly to left field -- the only out recorded by Parnell.

The Mets had taken a 2-1 lead into the ninth as Hefner continued to state the case that he ought to remain in the rotation when Zack Wheeler is promoted within the next couple of weeks.

Hefner had surrendered a second-inning solo homer to Desmond, then retired the next 10 batters. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 103 pitches (67 strikes). Hefner has a 3.60 ERA over his past eight starts.

Quintanilla’s two-out, two-run triple in the fifth against Jordan Zimmermann scored a pair of unearned runs and had given the Mets the one-run lead. Hefner then stranded the bases loaded in the sixth by coaxing a groundout to third base from Desmond.

The Mets mustered only four hits -- two from Quintanilla, who doubled, tripled and walked in four plate appearances.

A pair of sloppy Nats plays preceded Quintanilla’s go-ahead two-run triple. Jordany Valdespin reached when LaRoche’s toss to Zimmermann covering first base was dropped, on a play ruled an infield single. Zimmermann then coaxed a groundball to first base from Rick Ankiel. LaRoche, trying to get the lead runner, threw errantly to second base and the Mets had two on base.

Zimmermann’s final line: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

The Mets, who had been swept in Miami over the weekend, have lost four straight.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (3-6, 5.68 ERA) -- coming off an outing in which he limited the Yankees to one run in 7 1/3 innings in the Bronx -- opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-6, 5.09) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Gee, like Hefner, is trying to ensure he remains in the rotation.

Kirk 'sure is' back on radar for promotion

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
5:48
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered twice Tuesday afternoon for Triple-A Las Vegas, giving him eight long balls in his past 14 games with the Pacific Coast League club. And Terry Collins said Nieuwenhuis is back on the radar for a potential return to the majors.

"He sure is," Collins said.

After making the Opening Day roster, Nieuwenhuis went 2-for-16 with one walk and eight strikeouts and was demoted April 23.


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsKirk Nieuwenhuis has seven homers in his past 14 Triple-A games.


Collins said he spoke with Triple-A manager Wally Backman, and the homers are not the result of hitter-friendly PCL conditions.

"I talked to Wally today for quite a while," Collins said. "He said they were legitimate. He didn't care where he was playing, they were homers. He said he thought his swing is getting a lot better. He's certainly more aggressive with two strikes. And, of course, we know how good a defender he is. But he thinks offensively that Kirk really has come along well."

Of course, the Mets already have a lefty-hitting center fielder in Rick Ankiel. But he's 2-for-his-last-28 with 13 strikeouts and has been dropped to No. 8 in the lineup.

Collins said he hoped playing against his former employer, the Washington Nationals, would give Ankiel a jolt, since Ankiel performed well against his original club, the St. Louis Cardinals, immediately after joining the Mets.

Meanwhile, asked if had reached the point where it is counterproductive to have righty-hitting rookie center fielder Juan Lagares on the roster if he is not playing much, Collins said: "Well, we've probably reached it and passed the point. We brought this guy up here to make sure we don't overexposure Juan -- to bring him along slowly. So we're trying to do that.

"But certainly, in a perfect world, Juan Lagares would in the lineup somewhere -- if it's not here, certainly playing at Triple-A, because he is a future guy. We're trying to pick our spots.

"This guy is pretty stinking tough on right-handers -- Juan Lagares against Jordan Zimmermann. That's a lot to ask. And if [Stephen] Strasburg is the guy on Thursday, I don't know if that's a fair matchup."

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 11, Mets 6

June, 2, 2013
6/02/13
4:22
PM ET


MIAMI -- Not even Matt Harvey could salvage a pitiful weekend at Marlins Park.

Harvey surrendered a career-high 10 hits and the Mets ultimately were swept by the National League's worst team with an 11-6 loss Sunday. So much for that Subway Series euphoria.

Harvey, for the record, received a no-decision and remained 5-0. By going unbeaten in his first 12 starts of a season, he broke the franchise record, which he previously shared with Armando Reynoso (1997).


Steve Mitchell/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey allowed a career-high 10 hits as the Mets were swept by lowly Miami.


The Mets had rallied for a 6-4 lead to put Harvey in position to win when he departed after five innings with his pitch count at 100. But Scott Rice walked three straight batters with one out in the seventh. All three scored -- on a two-run double by Marcell Ozuna, then a tiebreaking groundout by Chris Coghlan.

Ozuna, who produced four RBIs, twice benefited from less-than-optimal outfield play. Lucas Duda froze on Ozuna's two-run double in the seventh. More egregiously, center fielder Rick Ankiel misread Ozuna's shot into a two-run triple during a three-run first inning against Harvey.

Now, exactly one-third of the way through the season, the Mets own a 22-32 record. They trail the season series, 6-3, and have lost a pair of series to the Marlins. Those are the only two series Miami has won in 2013. The Marlins had entered the weekend on a nine-game losing streak and had been outscored by their opponents by an MLB-worst 90 runs.

Not Harvey's day: The three first-inning runs surrendered by Harvey matched the most he had allowed in an inning in his career, although he didn't have much luck -- or help from his fielders.

Juan Pierre had a perfectly placed leadoff bunt. Ed Lucas, the 31-year-old rookie who finished 4-for-4, followed with a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield. Ankiel misread Ozuna's shot. Then Coghlan dropped an RBI double over shortstop Omar Quintanilla's head and into shallow left field to cap the inning as Miami took a 3-0 lead.

The four runs surrendered by Harvey matched his season high.

I charting: Ike Davis produced a season-high-matching three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the fourth against starter Kevin Slowey that evened the score at 4. Davis last had gone deep April 25, against the Los Angeles Dodgers' Brandon League. Duda and Quintanilla earlier produced solo homers.

What's next: The Mets spend an off-day in D.C., although golfing is expected to be disrupted by a rainy forecast. On Tuesday, Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.74 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 2.37) at 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Den Dekker in swing -- with one hand

June, 1, 2013
6/01/13
2:04
PM ET
MIAMI -- Center-field prospect Matt den Dekker, who had highlight-reel grabs throughout spring training, still has a ways to go in his comeback from a fractured right wrist.

Terry Collins said den Dekker's wrist suffered disuse atrophy while in a cast for a prolonged period. Den Dekker currently is in Port St. Lucie, Fla., swinging with only his left hand. The hope is den Dekker can try taking regular swings beginning next week.


Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Matt den Dekker is only swinging with one hand as he recovers from a fractured wrist.


Had the lefty-hitting, lefty-throwing den Dekker not suffered the fracture in an attempted catch in a March 24 Grapefruit League game, the Mets may not have needed to acquire Rick Ankiel.

Ankiel is hitting .226 with two homers, seven RBIs and 18 strikeouts in 53 at-bats since joining the Mets. He is 2-for-22 with 10 Ks in his past seven games.

The Mets had resolved to platoon Ankiel and Juan Lagares. But with the team exclusively facing right-handed pitching this series and in Washington, Collins said he may bend and start Lagares against a righty to get him playing time.

Collins candidly said he does not want to have Lagares idling at the major league level, but added there are no viable options in Triple-A right now.

"Who do you bring up?" Collins rhetorically asked.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who bats lefty anyway, is hitting .231 with seven homers in 117 at-bats with Las Vegas. And Collin Cowgill has struggled, although he did lift his average to .299 through 97 at-bats with a 4-for-4 performance last night. Cowgill has raised his average 64 points in the past four games with consecutive multi-hit games.

Morning Briefing: Moneyball players?

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
5:55
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Forget Ike Davis’ struggles for a second. Forget even the payroll constraints, which is asking a lot to look past.

Here’s one question that rarely gets asked: Where are the Moneyball players with the Mets?

And by that I mean: Why have there not been more productive free agents signed to those $2 million to $4 million contracts? Or how about some low-cost acquisitions via other routes that provide placeholders until a prospect is ready to assume the role?

Yes, departed Scott Hairston, Chris Capuano and Chris Young -- plus Scott Rice -- are a few examples of getting production beyond salary in their tenures with the Mets.

But there have been far more misses: Chin-lung Hu, Brad Emaus and Blaine Boyer in Year 1 of the current administration, all the way through to Collin Cowgill, Shaun Marcum and Scott Atchison (at least so far) this year.

It sure would be nice to have a few more Lyle Overbay types.

Finding those hidden gems was supposed to be a Mets front-office strength because of the executives’ small-market pedigrees.

So if you’re looking for reasons why the Mets today sit at 10 games under .500 this early in a season for the first time since 2001, blame the lack of spending. Blame the deliberate pace of building from within. But also blame the lack of identification of placeholders who can contribute at reasonable costs in the interim.

Anyway, the Mets are off today. Then there’s the Atlanta Braves looming this weekend, with Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 5.00 ERA) opposing right-hander Kris Medlen (1-5, 3.02) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.

It’s still five days until Matt Harvey next pitches -- Tuesday against Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees in Flushing in Game 2 of the Subway Series. The Mets are expected to miss CC Sabathia during the four-game set, which is split between Citi Field and the Bronx.

Thursday’s news reports:


Al Bello/Getty Images
Ike Davis is expected to remain with the Mets on Friday.


• Davis is expected to remain with the Mets on Friday, but his days in the majors may be few beyond that without a serious uptick in performance. A scout breaks down Davis’ flaws for ESPNNewYork.com here.

Anthony McCarron in the Daily News asserts Triple-A Las Vegas is the only sensible option. Writes McCarron:

Save Ike Davis, Mets brass. Send him down to Triple-A already.

Not because he’s batting .147 and not because he’s 1-for-his-last-38. Not because a guy who is supposed to be driving in runs has all of nine RBI this season. Not because he screwed up in the field Wednesday and appears to be taking his slump out to first base along with his mitt.

No, demote Davis to get him away from the microscope that is now following every hitch in his swing, every step of his latest disappointed shuffle back to the dugout following another lost at-bat. Take the pressure off him for a few weeks and give him some time to recharge in the heat of Las Vegas.

Writes Tyler Kepner in the Times:

It is little consolation to most Mets fans that Davis is well liked and accountable. Jason Bay was the same way. Production always matters most, but for now, character may be all that is sparing Davis from a demotion.

“It’s not like my teammates are going to tell Sandy not to send me down,” Davis said, referring to general manager Sandy Alderson. “It’s just, if I was a bad teammate, a cancer in the clubhouse, it would be a lot easier. If I was selfish, and every time I got out I brought people down with a bad attitude and stuff like that, then I’m really affecting the team. I try not to let my struggles affect anyone else and, in fact, show more support than if I was going good.”

Read more from columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post.

• Harvey was charged with four runs on a career-high nine hits in 6 1/3 innings but was spared his first 2013 loss when Rick Ankiel drove in the tying run with his third extra base hit of the game. Still, the Mets were swept Wednesday with a 7-4 loss to Cincinnati. The loss dropped them 10 games under .500 for the first time this season. Davis had a critical misplay at first base in the ninth, allowing Brandon Phillips’ grounder down the line to go by him for a tiebreaking double.

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

• Read more on Harvey’s outing in Newsday, the Daily News, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

• After receiving a cortisone injection in his right shoulder and missing one start, Zack Wheeler returned to action Wednesday. He allowed a pair of solo homers and was charged with three runs in five innings, but earned the win in Las Vegas’ 9-4 victory at Iowa. Noah Syndergaard, facing his former organization, was tagged with the loss as Dunedin beat St. Lucie, 5-3. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Read a profile of Double-A outfielder Cory Vaughn, son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn and the reigning Eastern League Player of the Week, here.

• The Mets’ attempt to have a run surrendered in Chicago by Harvey changed from earned to unearned was rejected by MLB.

• Cody Derespina in Newsday compares the Mets and Yankees lineups.

• One holdup to the construction of a stadium at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to house Major League Soccer’s New York expansion team (which will be partly owned by the Yankees) is how much parking revenue the Mets would get at nearby Citi Field, the Times reports.

• After producing two doubles, a triple and two RBIs Wednesday, Ankiel is hitting .323 since joining the Mets, note Anthony DiComo and Chris Iseman at MLB.com.

• Harlem plans to rename a street in Willie Mays’ honor. The question: Which one? Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing wonders if Ike has gone numb, and remembers a spectacular run of pitching by Dwight Gooden. … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that Harvey only reveals what little else the Mets have.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Ricky Gutierrez, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians late in spring training in 2004 and released two months later, turns 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Has the front office done a good enough job identifying low-priced talent for the major league team as placeholders for developing prospects?

Rapid Reaction: Reds 7, Mets 4

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
4:20
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: Matt Harvey, who once every five days gives Mets fans a reason to cheer, is not invincible. He remains unbeaten, though.

Ike Davis, meanwhile, continues to draw the ire of Mets fans.

Rick Ankiel’s third extra-base hit of the game -- a run-scoring triple in the seventh -- knocked out Mat Latos, pulled the Mets even at 4 and got Harvey off the hook for his first loss since last Sept. 12.

The Cincinnati Reds nonetheless ultimately completed their second straight three-game sweep at Citi Field with a 7-4 win on Wednesday afternoon.


Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Matt Harvey ended up with a no-decision, not his first 2013 loss.


Bobby Parnell, who had not allowed a run in May while posting three wins and four saves, surrendered three ninth-inning runs.

With runners on the corners and one out, Brandon Phillips sent a go-ahead RBI double down the first-base. Davis let the ball go by, thinking it was foul, but first-base ump Phil Cuzzi disagreed as Cincinnati took a 5-4 lead. (Davis should have just fielded the ball and let Cuzzi make the call. He would not have had a play at the plate, but would have gotten an out at first.) Todd Frazier followed with a two-run single.

It was Davis’ second questionable play at first base in the series. He also had a crushing obstruction call against him in the series opener when he watched a ball behind him.

The Mets (17-27) fell 10 games under .500 this early in a season for the first time since they were 16-26 on May 19, 2001.

Harvey was charged with four runs and nine hits -- both season highs -- in 6 1/3 innings. His ERA rose to 1.93, although he remained 5-0. Harvey threw 116 pitches, the second-highest total of his career.

He next pitches with an extra day of rest Tuesday at Citi Field against the Yankees, likely against Hiroki Kuroda.

Harvey surrendered a two-run homer to reigning NL Player of the Week Joey Votto in the third inning as Cincinnati took a 2-1 lead. The Mets managed to even the score in the fifth on Daniel Murphy’s sacrifice fly, which plated Ruben Tejada, who had doubled.

With his pitch count rising in a tie game in the seventh, Harvey showed rare mortality. He allowed consecutive one-out singles to Zack Cozart, Votto and Phillips and departed with runners on the corners and the Mets trailing, 3-2. Scott Rice entered for his MLB-high 27th appearance and coaxed a tapper to first base from lefty-hitting Jay Bruce. Votto comfortably scored for the fourth run charged to Harvey and a 4-2 deficit.

Cozart went 4-for-4 against Harvey. No player had more than two hits in a game against Harvey in his previous 19 career major league starts.

Votto’s homer was only the fourth long ball surrendered by Harvey in 10 starts this season. He joined Justin Morneau, Matt Kemp and Clint Barmes.

Murphy’s single in the seventh against Latos scored Tejada and pulled the Mets within 4-3, setting up Ankiel’s game-tying triple. It was Ankiel’s fourth career three extra-base-hit game. The others came with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and ’09.

IKE WATCH: Davis went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout and is now 1-for-his-last-38 (.026).

With Lucas Duda on second base, the score tied at 2 and two outs in the sixth, Davis flied out to the track in center field. He is now hitless in his last 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

In the eighth, Davis walked with one out to push the potential go-ahead run to second base.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets take a day off, then welcome the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves to Citi Field. Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 5.00 ERA) opposes right-hander Kris Medlen (1-5, 3.02) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Morning briefing: Gee gets Wrigley call

May, 19, 2013
5/19/13
6:37
AM ET
CHICAGO

FIRST PITCH: The Mets’ seven-game trip to St. Louis and Chicago comes to a close this afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13 ERA) opposes Cubs left-hander Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03) in the 2:20 p.m. ET rubber game.

Terry Collins indicated Justin Turner should start at first base over Ike Davis, with Juan Lagares manning center field and Anthony Recker behind the plate.

Sunday’s news reports:

Jeremy Hefner surrendered four fourth-inning runs, including a two-run double to opposing pitcher Scott Feldman, and the Mets were blanked into the ninth inning en route to an 8-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field. Rick Ankiel’s two-run homer in the ninth accounted for the only Mets runs.


Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports
Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman delivers a two-run double against Jeremy Hefner in a four-run fourth.


Collins said Hefner will remain in the rotation to face the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Citi Field, and will not be skipped even though the Mets have an off-day Thursday. The Mets are now winless in all eight of Hefner’s starts this season.

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

• Davis met with Sandy Alderson and was informed no demotion is “imminent.” How much time does Davis have to right things? “Everything comes to a head at some point,” Alderson told ESPNNewYork.com. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Wayne Coffey in the Daily News visits Matt Harvey’s hometown of Mystic, Conn. Writes Coffey:

Jesse Hahn, another high school teammate of Harvey’s, is a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. “What’s special about Matt, and he’s doing it right now in the big leagues, is the way he attacks hitters,” Hahn says. “He knows his strengths and doesn’t care what the hitters’ strengths are. He’s going to come after them.”

Harvey is no less aggressive as a hitter, says Hahn, who remembers 400-foot line drives Harvey mashed in high school. “To this day, I’m not sure if any hitter I’ve seen in pro ball has a hit a ball harder than the balls Matt would hit,” Hahn says.

• The Mets asked Major League Baseball to adjust Harvey’s ERA from 1.55 to 1.41. Read more in the Daily News.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post suggests it is a waste of energy to scrutinize how Collins has performed as a manager since no one can win with this collection of talent. Writes Sherman:

You want to argue not enough guys have gotten better under his charge, fine, but I would ask if you see many players with high ceilings in his dugout. If you want to insist craftier strategy would have won a few more games, I will disagree, but still wonder if getting to, say, 77 wins would be making anyone happy.

The strongest argument I believe anyone has is that Collins has failed to change the culture -- that there still are too many Mets who feel like they have accomplished something when they haven’t, or that the roster still has no collective idea what it takes to put aside individualism and alibis and prioritize winning on a daily basis. But this might be more of a problem from the top of the hierarchy down than someone in middle management, like Collins, could impact.

Read more on Collins from columnist David Lennon in Newsday.

Andrew Brown, manning right field, drove in four runs as Las Vegas beat Omaha, 9-4. Closer Jeff Walters surrendered a walk-off grand slam as Binghamton lost to Portland, 10-7. Angel Cuan tossed seven scoreless innings and Aderlin Rodriguez had four hits as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 10-0. Kevin Plawecki twice was hit by pitches and scored and also drove in a run as Savannah beat Augusta, 3-1. Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing assumes Mets marketers won't learn anything from how well the Cardinals and Cubs engage their fans in team identity. … Mets Police has plenty of pics from the Mets fans’ outing to Wrigley Field. … Mets Report writes demoting Davis would not mean the organization is giving up on him.

BIRTHDAYS: Turk Wendell turns 46. … Catcher Rick Cerone is 59.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets skip Jeremy Hefner’s turn in the rotation because his next regular day falls on Thursday’s team off-day? Or is it better for all the starters to get an extra day of rest and stick with a five-man rotation?

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Mets 2

May, 18, 2013
5/18/13
3:59
PM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: Talk about a letdown. The Mets are now 0-9 this season in the game after Matt Harvey starts.

Jeremy Hefner departed after surrendering four runs in the fourth inning and remained winless in 2013 as the Chicago Cubs beat the Mets, 8-2, Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Adam RubinOrange-clad Mets fans who dominated the left-center bleachers at Wrigley Field had little to cheer about Saturday.
The damage in Hefner’s fateful frame included a two-out, two-run double by opposing pitcher Scott Feldman to right-center.

Hefner is now 0-5. The Mets have yet to win any of his eight starts -- matching the second-longest string of losses in one pitcher’s starts to open a season in franchise history.

The Mets lost Anthony Young’s first 10 starts in 1993, although that streak began when he moved to the rotation in June. They were 0-8 in Randy Jones’ starts to open the 1981 season.

Hefner’s final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP. Hefner’s ERA swelled to 5.00.

DEEP THOUGHTS: Long-ball prone Robert Carson, taking over for Hefner in the fifth, surrendered a homer on the second pitch he threw, to leadoff batter Anthony Rizzo. Carson has now allowed seven homers. That is one shy of matching Hefner’s team lead, despite Carson having pitched only 11 innings this season.

IKE WATCH: Ike Davis did not do much to dissuade a looming potential demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas. Davis (0-for-4) combined with Lucas Duda to strand two runners in the first inning. He flied out in each of his first three at-bats, then grounded out to first base to complete a quiet afternoon. Davis also committed a fifth-inning error, when he failed to handle Luis Valbuena’s grounder. Davis is 9-for-75 (.120) as the cleanup hitter this season.

The Mets’ overall offensive malaise continued. They stranded four in scoring position over the first two innings alone against Feldman, who ultimately tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The lone runs came on a two-run homer by Rick Ankiel in the ninth. The Mets have scored three runs or fewer in 10 of their past 12 games.

DEBUTANT: Collin McHugh made his season debut with the Mets after arriving in St. Louis when Scott Atchison landed on the disabled list with finger numbness. McHugh, who had a 2.74 ERA in eight starts with Las Vegas, surrendered three runs in the eighth, in his second inning of work. He allowed a leadoff homer to Nate Schierholtz and a two-run bloop single by David DeJesus.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13 ERA) opposes left-hander Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03) in Sunday’s 2:20 p.m. ET rubber game at Wrigley Field.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Cubs 2

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
5:19
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: Starter Matt Harvey drove in his own damn run.

With the Mets torn between desperately needing a run and also not wanting to pull their ace for a weak and undependable bullpen, manager Terry Collins allowed Harvey to hit with two outs, Rick Ankiel at second base and the score tied in the seventh inning.

Who needed a pinch hitter?


Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
Matt Harvey's bat won the game with a two-out RBI single in the seventh.


Harvey -- with his pitch count at 92 and having retired the last 11 batters he had faced -- gave himself a one-run lead by hitting the ball through the left side of the infield for an RBI single that chased opposing starter Edwin Jackson. That proved the decisive blow as the Mets held on for a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Mets have won two in a row after losing six straight.

Right fielder Marlon Byrd threw out a runner at the plate in the eighth. David Wright and Daniel Murphy earlier produced solo homers.

Harvey improved to 5-0, snapping a streak of four straight no-decisions during which he posted a 1.98 ERA while the Mets scored only six runs with him on the mound.

Harvey’s final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. He threw 106 pitches (78 strikes).

He had retired 14 straight batters, and 20 of 21, until allowing a leadoff single to Darwin Barney in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Julio Borbon then bunted Barney to second. Collins pulled Harvey and inserted heavily used left-handed reliever Scott Rice to face the lefty-hitting David DeJesus.

DeJesus singled to right field, but ex-Cub Byrd -- who had entered the previous half-inning for Jordany Valdespin -- fired a strike to the plate to throw out Barney as he attempted to score from second.

Harvey has now allowed three runs or fewer in 16 straight starts, the fifth-longest streak by a starter in franchise history. The only longer: Dwight Gooden (24 straight, 1985), Johan Santana (21, 2008-09), Tom Seaver (19, 1971-72) and Gooden (17, 1985-86).

Harvey had showed his mortality in the first inning when the Cubs jumped on his fastball. He allowed a one-out single to Starlin Castro, then a double by Anthony Rizzo that put both Cubs in scoring position.

The fielding let Harvey down after that. Shortstop Ruben Tejada ranged to his left to field a grounder from Alfonso Soriano behind the bag, but bounced the throw to first baseman Ike Davis. Davis was unable to scoop it and the ball got by him. Both runners scored as the Cubs briefly grabbed a 2-1 lead.

The official scorer officially ruled it an infield single (very generous) and an E-6 allowing Rizzo to score from second. Both runs were earned because the scorer determined that Rizzo, who otherwise would have been on third base, would have scored on Nate Schierholtz’s subsequently shallow lineout to the strong-armed Ankiel in center field.

Gooden tweeted: “Love the way @MattHarvey33 bounced back after the 1st. Sign of a great pitcher in the making”

HIT, MAN: Davis snapped an 0-for-24 skid with a two-out single in the sixth against Jackson. Davis had struck out looking and grounded into a momentum-killing 4-6-3 double play earlier in the game. Davis’ skid was the longest by a Met this season. Josh Thole had an 0-for-30 streak in 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.61 ERA) opposes righty Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53) at 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday.

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