What's Your Language?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Hairston, Torres, Francisco, Baxter, Edgin, Acosta, Mejia, Wheeler

Mets News and Notes:

Scott Hairston remains a Met as the trade deadline approaches at 4 p.m. ET today. And Terry Collins expects the same roster tonight, for Game 2 of the series against the Giants.

Andres Torres was greeted warmly by Giants fans, then was forced to leave Monday's game in the eighth inning because he was unable to swing from the left side of the plate due to a right thumb injury suffered three innings earlier. Ex-Met Angel Pagan suffered a hand injury too, although Pagan's apparently was self-inflicted in frustration.

Frank Francisco's rehab assignment for a strained left oblique will resume with scheduled outings Tuesday and Wednesday with Double-A Binghamton. Johan Santana is expected to throw a bullpen session Thursday for the first time since landing on the disabled list.

Mike Baxter had a pinch-hit single in the 10th in his return from a separated shoulder. Baxter should be in the starting lineup tonight against Lincecum.

Josh Edgin picked up his first major league win and Manny Acosta ended up with the save despite issuing two walks and surrendering a run in the 10th.

Jenrry Mejia went three innings and tossed 57 pitches in return to a starting role with Triple-A Buffalo.

Zack Wheeler's Triple-A debut is expected to occur Sunday, after one final start for Binghamton tonight.

Preview: Game 104 - Mets at Giants - Harvey vs Lincecum

New York Mets (50-53) at San Francisco Giants (55-47) 10:15 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
M. Harvey (R) 1 1-0 0.005.11-00.007/26@ARIW5.1301-05.10.00
T. Lincecum (R) 21 4-11 5.886.12-53.907/25SDL4.2751-119.23.20

If the San Francisco Giants want to end their losing streak, Tim Lincecum may not be the perfect option to send to the mound.

Either way, Lincecum gets the nod Tuesday for the Giants in the continuation of a four-game series versus the New York Mets at AT&T Park.

Lincecum is having a down year as evidenced by his 4-11 record and 5.88 earned run average in 21 starts. He has lost three of his past five outings, including Wednesday's 6-3 setback to San Diego in which he allowed five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 4 2/3 innings.

"Hopefully this isn't a step backward," Lincecum said afterward.

The right-hander and two-time NL Cy Young Award winner defeated the Mets back on April 23 this season at Citi Field with five innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory. Lincecum, who is only 2-5 in 10 home starts in 2012, improved to 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against New York.

San Francisco suffered its fifth straight loss in last night's 8-7 setback in 10 innings, as Scott Hairston homered off Giants closer Santiago Casilla and Jason Bay later scored on Rob Johnson's fielder's choice bunt. Casilla was saddled with the loss and starter Madison Bumgarner struck out nine batters and allowed two runs in six innings.

Nate Schierholtz singled in a run in the bottom of the 10th and ended with three hits and two RBI. Marco Scutaro, Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey all finished with two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who are only a percentage point ahead of Los Angeles and 3 1/2 games in front of Arizona for the NL West lead.

Happy Recap: Game 103 - Mets at Giants - Hairston Homers Twice in Mets Win

AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA)

Final 10th12345678910RHE
N.Y. Mets (50-53) «00020004028120
San Francisco (55-47)00101200217161

W: J. Edgin (1-0) L: S. Casilla (4-5)
S: M. Acosta (1)
HR: NYM - S. Hairston (13),S. Hairston (14)   SF - None

Scott Hairston homered twice, including a leadoff shot in the 10th inning off Santiago Casilla, and the New York Mets won a wild 8-7 contest over San Francisco to send the Giants to their season- high fifth straight loss.

Pinch-Hitter Justin Turner doubled home the go-ahead tally during a four-run eighth inning, but the Giants rallied for two in the ninth for a 6-6 tie thanks to RBI doubles from Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz.

In the 10th, Hairston struck a 1-1 curveball over the wall in left-center. Jason Bay walked with one out and Mike Baxter, just activated from the 15-day disabled list, had a pinch-hit single up the middle.

Clay Hensley was summoned from the bullpen to replace Casilla (4-5) and Rob Johnson bunted toward the mound. Hensley looked toward second before firing home late, as Bay scored standing up.

Schierholtz singled in Ryan Theriot with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, but Manny Acosta regrouped and secured his first save of the year by retiring Brandon Belt on a fly ball to the warning track in center field.

"Manny Acosta, two years in a row, has been an outstanding pitcher in the second half of the season. We need him now," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Hairston and Bay each scored three times for the Mets, who won back-to-back contests for the first time since ending June with a four-game winning streak.

The Giants left 15 men on base and fell into a virtual first-place tie with the Dodgers in the NL West.

"It was a wild game. A lot of little things happened. We swung the bats, but made some mistakes and it came back to get us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Hairston's two-run blast to left off Sergio Romo in the eighth tied the game and Turner doubled off the base of the wall in left-center later in the frame to plate Jason Bay. Rob Johnson capped the outburst with an RBI single for a 6-4 lead, but Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin (1-0) couldn't hold the advantage.

Posey's double to the alley in left-center plated Melky Cabrera, and later Schierholtz laced what turned out to be a double to right. Ike Davis, playing in at first base, saw the ball bounce under his glove into the outfield. With the bases full and Marco Scutaro facing a 3-2 pitch, Edgin painted the outside corner to send the game to the 10th.

Scutaro's sacrifice fly in the third gave the Giants the lead, but Ronny Cedeno doubled home two runs in the fourth.

Cabrera's single plated Scutaro in the fifth, and the Giants went ahead 4-2 in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff beat out a potential double play ball to score one run, but he left the game with an apparent leg injury after running hard to first. With runners at the corners, Theriot singled to right to plate pinch-runner Matt Cain.

Game Notes

New York is 3-2 on its season-high 11-game road trip...The Mets came into Monday batting .184 with men in scoring position over their last 13 games, but went 3-for-8 in such situations in the opener of this four-game series...Mets center fielder Andres Torres hurt his thumb while legging out a hit in the fifth inning...Giants center fielder Angel Pagan hurt his right hand punching something after an at-bat...The Giants had a season-high 16 hits...Giants starter Madison Bumgarner had nine strikeouts over six innings, and New York's Jeremy Hefner allowed 10 hits and four runs over the first 5 2/3 frames...Edgin got his first major league win.

Box Score:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup vs Giants - Game 103

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup vs Giants - Game 103:
  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Andres Torres, cf
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Scott Hairston, rf
  5. Ike Davis, 1b
  6. Jason Bay, lf
  7. Ronny CedeƱo, 2b
  8. Rob Johnson, c
  9. Jeremy Hefner, rhp

Game Notes: Game 103 - Mets at Giants

Mets Game Notes: Game 103 - Mets at Giants:

The Mets snapped their two-game losing streak with a 5-1 win at Arizona yesterday...New York is 6-17 in July after posting winning months in April (13-10), May (15-13) and June (15-13) ...The Mets are 3-13 since the All-Star break...New York is 14-19 in the first game of a series, including 6-10 on the road.

New York is 2-2 on its season-high 11-game road trip after splitting four games with the  Diamondbacks...After this series, the Mets will travel to San Diego for three games...The Mets have lost eight of their last 11 road games and are 23-27 overall on the road this year ...David Wright is second in the majors with a .369 road batting average.

The Mets have scored 251 runs on the road, the second-most in the majors...Seattle is first with 258...The Mets are averaging 5.02 runs per game on the road which leads the majors.

Preview: Game 103 - Mets at Giants - Mets Face Lefty Bumgarner

New York Mets (49-53) at San Francisco Giants (55-46) 10:15 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Hefner (R) 4 1-4 5.405.10-23.147/25WSHL6.0620-19.16.75
M. Bumgarner (L) 20 11-6 3.106.17-11.897/24SDND7.0621-121.02.14

The San Francisco Giants only have themselves to blame for losing grip on the National League West lead. Tonight, they hope to bounce back versus the New York Mets in the opener of a four-game series at AT&T Park.

The Giants have lost four straight and sit a percentage point ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for division bragging rights. They were just swept in three games against L.A. and dropped a 4-0 decision in Sunday's series finale.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw hurled a five-hit shutout, while Giants right- hander Ryan Vogelsong was saddled with the hard-luck loss for giving up two runs - one earned - over six innings. Jeremy Affeldt allowed a pair of runs in relief.

"We got two months of baseball to play and a lot of things can happen between now and then. If history repeats itself, this division always comes down to the last couple weeks of the season," Vogelsong said.

San Francisco managed just five hits and was outscored, 19-3, in the series. It is 2-4 so far on a 10-game homestand and hopes Madison Bumgarner can continue his home dominance when he toes the rubber tonight. Bumgarner is 7-1 with a 1.89 earned run average in nine starts at AT&T Park this season, but did not receive a decision his last time out in a 3-2 win over San Diego by the bay.

Mets Nightly News and Notes: Nieuwenhuis, Baxter, Wright, Bay, Hairston

Mets Nightly News and Notes:

The Mets demoted Kirk Nieuwenhuis to Triple-A Buffalo after Sunday's 5-1 win against the Diamondbacks to clear a roster spot for the return of Mike Baxter from the disabled list for the series opener in San Francisco. Baxter had been sidelined since suffering a separated shoulder on a June 1 catch that preserved Johan Santana's no-hit bid.

Nieuwenhuis, who had joined the Mets right after Andres Torres suffered a calf strain on Opening Day, was hitting .252 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 282 at-bats. He had a team-high 98 strikeouts. Nieuwenhuis was only 9-for-his-last-73.

Although David Wright went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, two walks and two runs scored in Sunday's 5-1 win against the Diamondbacks, Terry Collins senses the third baseman needs a day off.

Wright had gone 1-for-12 through the first three games of the series. And he has started every Mets game since May 19.

The Jason Bay watch is at 0-for-22 after the left fielder went hitless in three at-bats Sunday while also walking. Bay's average has slipped to .159.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the hitless streak is two shy of matching Bay's career high -- a 24 at-bat stretch last season with the Mets. Bay's third-longest career streak also came as a Met last year, at 20 at-bats. He has had 18 at-bat hitless streaks three times -- in 2005, 2011 and this season.

Mets officials want to keep their 2012 edition as competitive as possible. So, barring an offer too good to refuse, it appears likely Scott Hairston will remain a Met beyond Tuesday's trade deadline.

There's no doubt Hairston is an attractive piece to a contender, though. He again came through Sunday, going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs as the Mets beat the Diamondbacks, 5-1.

Hairston also is particularly attractive to other teams because he's making only $1.1 million before being eligible for free agency again this offseason.

Happy Recap: Game 102 - Mets at D-Backs - Dickey Picks Up His 14th Win

Chase Field (Phoenix, Ariz.)

N.Y. Mets (49-53) «2000110105101
Arizona (51-51)000001000140

W: R. Dickey (14-2) L: J. Saunders (5-7)
HR: NYM - None   ARI - None

Stuck in a rut for the last month, R.A. Dickey recaptured his pre-All-Star break form and won his National League- leading 14th game.

The knuckleballer tossed seven innings of one-run ball and the New York Mets downed the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-1, in the finale of a four-game set.

Dickey (14-2) fanned eight, scattered four hits, walked three and surrendered an unearned run. He was 1-1 with a 6.49 earned run average in July coming into the contest and had allowed eight-or-more hits in each of his last four starts.

"I just kept telling myself to stay with it. It (knuckleball) was pretty good," said Dickey, who experienced bouts of nausea during the game. "I felt like I had a pretty good knuckleball the whole nine (innings)."

Scott Hairston knocked in a pair of runs for New York, which won for only the third time in its last 17 games.

Joe Saunders (5-7) was charged with four runs on eight hits and three walks in seven innings for Arizona, which has dropped three of its last five on the heels of a five-game winning streak.

"You tip your hat to Dickey, he pretty much baffled us all day," Saunders said.

The Mets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening frame as David Wright ripped an RBI double off the base of the wall in right-center and Hairston blooped a run-scoring double down the right field line.

New York doubled its advantage after plating a run in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Wright led off the fifth with a walk, stole second and came home on Hairston's single to left, while David Murphy's two-out RBI double to left in the sixth made it 4-0.

Dickey, who gave up just a hit through the first five frames, ran into a bit of trouble in the home sixth.

Aaron Hill reached on an infield single with one out and advanced to second on Ruben Tejada's throwing error at shortstop. He scampered to third on a passed ball during Jason Kubel's at-bat, who struck out, and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's liner into center.

Miguel Montero then walked, which brought the tying run to the plate in Chris Young, but Dickey fanned him for the third time to keep it a 4-1 game.

The Mets got the run back in the seventh on Josh Thole's RBI double to left, increasing the margin to 5-1.

Game Notes

Wright's double was his 31st of the season...The Mets were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base, while the D-backs finished 1-for-6 and stranded seven...Time of Game: 2:39.

Box Score:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Davis, Wright, Francisco, Hairston, Cecchini, Thole

Mets News and Notes:

Ike Davis slugged three solo homers, but Chris Young surrendered six runs in four innings and the Mets lost to the Diamondbacks, 6-3, Saturday at Chase Field.

Davis went 4-for-4 with a single and the three homers. His 13 total bases are tied for the second most in a game in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The record-holder: Edgardo Alfonzo, with 16 total bases, on three homers and two singles, in 1999. Davis' 13 total bases matched performances by Darryl Strawberry (1985), Claudell Washington (1980) and Jim Hickman (1965).

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post projects the Mets will sign David Wright to an extension this offseason. The Mets have a team option on Wright at $16 million for 2013 right now.

Frank Francisco's planned appearance with Double-A Binghamton on Saturday was scrapped when the closer felt uncomfortable on his left side. Francisco is rehabbing from a strained left oblique, so the setback signals that it is unlikely the closer will be activated Monday in San Francisco, which appeared the intent. Told by reporters about Francisco's setback after managing Saturday's major league game, Terry Collins said he had bad news of his own to share. But, the manager added, he was in no mood to do so after the loss. Collins then downplayed the gravity of the impending announcement before reporters left the visiting manager's office at Chase Field.

Today's Mets Starting Lineup vs D'Backs - Game 102

Today's Mets Starting Lineup - Mets at D'Backs - Game 102
  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Scott Hairston, rf
  5. Ike Davis, 1b
  6. Jason Bay, lf
  7. Andres Torres, cf
  8. Josh Thole, c
  9. R.A. Dickey, rhp

Preview: Game 102 - Mets at D'Backs - Dickey Looks for Win #14

New York Mets (48-53) at Arizona Diamondbacks (51-50) 4:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
R. Dickey (R) 20 13-2 2.976.07-13.097/24WSHL6.0841-114.15.65
J. Saunders (L) 16 5-6 3.516.04-44.667/24COLW7.0321-119.03.79

R.A. Dickey eyes his 14th win of the season this afternoon when the New York Mets conclude their four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Dickey has nowhere near resembled the pitcher who was an All-Star in the first half of the season and enters tonight's tilt on the heels of another poor showing against the Washington Nationals. Dickey gave up five runs (4 earned) and eight hits in six innings of that one, dropping him to 13-2 to go along with a 2.97 ERA.

"It's tough when things are going on what seems to be a downward spiral," Dickey said. "In order to change it, we have to stand up and own what's ours to own. I could have pitched better. Two strikes, an 0-2 count with two outs in the sixth inning, and five straight hits. Four runs later, we're in a hole that we can't get out of. I've got to make a pitch. Somewhere during that sequence, I've got to make a pitch."

Dickey has now allowed 19 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings, for a 6.49 ERA in five July starts.

Despite his recent struggles the right-handed knuckleballer is tied for the National League lead in wins with St. Louis' Lance Lynn and Washington's Gio Gonzalez, who also pitches on Sunday. Tampa Bay's David Price is the only starter in the league with 14 victories.

Dickey beat the D'Backs earlier in the year and is 1-1 in two starts against them with a 2.40 ERA.

Arizona, meanwhile, will rely on lefty Joe Saunders, who is 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA. Saunders won for the first time in four starts on Tuesday against Colorado, as he allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings. He also struck out nine in the win.

Recap: Game 101 - Mets at D-Backs - Ike Davis Homers 3 Times In Losing Effort

Chase Field (Phoenix, Ariz.)

N.Y. Mets (48-53)010101000390
Arizona (51-50) «12030000x680
W: I. Kennedy (9-8) L: C. Young (2-5)
S: J. Putz (19)
HR: NYM - I. Davis (18),I. Davis (19),I. Davis (20)   ARI - M. Montero (11)

Ian Kennedy hurled 6 1/3 effective innings on Saturday and the Arizona Diamondbacks topped the New York Mets, 6-3, in the middle installment of a three-game series at Chase Field.

Kennedy (9-8) allowed three runs and scattered seven hits to go with nine strikeouts and a walk to earn his third straight win. J.J. Putz made it interesting in the ninth, but nailed down his 19th save of the season against his former team.

"Obviously, Ike (Davis) is swinging the bat really well right now, but Ian pitched really well and got us the win," remarked Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.

Miguel Montero clubbed a two-run home run, Gerardo Parra went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Aaron Hill and Ryan Wheeler contributed RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have won seven of their last nine.

Ike Davis accounted for all the Mets' runs with three solo long balls in the team's 14th loss in 16 tries. New York continued on its crash course with the NL East basement, having stumbled to a 2-13 record since the All-Star break.

"It's bitter sweet for sure," Davis said of his stellar game at the plate. "It's always good to feel good at the plate, but the ultimate goal is to win the game and we didn't, so take it as a positive moving forward but obviously you want to win."

Chris Young (2-5) was saddled with the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in four innings.

Arizona opened the scoring with a run in the first inning when Hill smoked a double to center, scoring Parra, but the Mets got the run right back in the second after Davis led off the frame with a towering shot to straightaway center for his second home run in as many nights.

The D-Backs took the lead with a pair of runs in the second. Montero got the inning started with a walk and came around to score on a double by Wheeler. Parra then singled in Wheeler to make it 3-1.

Davis struck again in the fourth when he got the best of Kennedy after an 11- pitch battle, launching a fastball over the wall in center, pulling the Mets within one.

The D-Backs extended their lead to 6-2 in the home portion of the fourth. Upton started the rally with a single up the middle and Montero brought him home with a shot over the wall in right for his 11th homer of the season. Parra knocked home Wheeler later in the inning, providing the snakes a four- run cushion.

Davis went deep again, leading off the sixth by crushing a hanging curveball for his third bomb of the night and pulling the Mets to within 6-3.

Facing David Hernandez in the eighth, the Mets got their first two men on base via a walk to Wright and a single by Davis. Hernandez battled back though, and induced Daniel Murphy into a 400-foot fly out to center before fanning Jason Bay and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to keep the lead intact.

Putz got Josh Thole to fly out for the first out of the ninth, but Andres Torres reached first on a dropped third strike and Ruben Tejada singled. Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston fanned and Wright came up as the potential tying run, but struck out on a nasty back-leg breaking ball to end the game.

Game Notes

The Mets are 5-17 in July after posting winning months in April (13-10), May (15-10) and June (15-13)...Davis is the 9th Met to hit three home runs in one game. The last player to account for all his team's runs with three solo shots was Steve Finley for the D-Backs on April 28, 2004 against the Chicago Cubs.

Box Score:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Recap: Game 100 - Mets at D-Backs - Mets Back to Basics , Losing 11-5

Chase Field (Phoenix, Ariz.)

N.Y. Mets (48-52)023000000571
Arizona (50-50) «06011030x11130

W: J. Collmenter (3-2) L: J. Niese (7-5)
HR: NYM - I. Davis (17),D. Wright (16)   ARI - None

Willie Bloomquist smacked a run-scoring single as part of a six-run second inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks coasted to an 11-5 rout of the New York Mets in the second test of a four-game set at Chase Field.

Chris Young clubbed a two-run double for the Diamondbacks, who snapped a brief two-game skid. Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton and Henry Blanco added an RBI apiece in the victory.

Josh Collmenter (3-2) allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings to pick up the win. He also contributed offensively with an RBI single. Relievers Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow finished off the rout for the D-Backs.

"It was a lot closer that the score indicates," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We kept adding on though. (David) Wright hit a bomb there, but Josh kept his composure because we needed innings tonight."

Wright smoked a three-run home run and Ike Davis clubbed a solo shot in the loss for the Mets, who have dropped 13 of their last 15 games.

Jon Niese (7-5) was tagged for eight runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and a walk over six innings. He fanned five batters.

"I think there are nights where he really struggles, he just can not make the pitch he needs to make," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Tonight he left some balls up and on the plate and they had some good swings."

The Mets opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning. Davis led off the frame with a long shot to right for the first run, and Andres Torres singled home Daniel Murphy later in the frame.

The Diamondbacks exploded for six runs in the home half to take the lead.

Upton started the hit parade with a one-out single, followed by base hits from Young and Stephen Drew to load the bases. Upton trotted home on a walk by Blanco and Collmenter ripped a single to plate Young.

The turning point of the inning came when Bloomquist topped one up the third base line to Niese, who stumbled to the ball, spun and threw wildly to first. The ball sailed past Davis, kicked off the tarp and rolled into right field, allowing three runs to score. Hill capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to make it a 6-2 game.

Ruben Tejada started the Mets third with a single and Jordany Valdespin followed with a hit before Wright brought everyone home with a towering shot to left, cutting the deficit to 6-5.

Drew started the Arizona fourth with a single and came around to score on a single by Bloomquist later in the inning to extend the lead to 7-5.

Jason Kubel ripped a double to left leading off the D-Backs fifth and scored on a single up the middle by Goldschmidt, widening the margin to 8-5.

Arizona put the game away with three runs in the seventh. Hill and Goldschmidt singled off Mets pitcher Elvin Ramirez around a Kubel strikeout to put two runners on base with two outs. Upton dropped a single in front of Torres in center to score Hill, and Young followed with his towering double into the left field corner to cap the scoring.

Game Notes

The Diamondbacks have scored six or more runs in an inning four times this season...Wright's home run snapped an 0-for-15 slump...Arizona has won seven of their last eight home games against the Mets...Young has hit safely in seven of his last eight games...The D-Backs went 7-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left just two on base, while the Mets went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.

Box Score:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Harvey, Trades, Mejia, Duda, Francisco, Baxter, Batista

Mets News and Notes:

ESPN Stats & Information compiled this summary of Matt Harvey's 11-strikeout outing, which set the franchise record for Ks in a major league debut:

Harvey became the first player in modern baseball history (since 1900) to strike out 10-plus batters and produce two hits as a batter in his major league debut. Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey's 11 strikeouts match the most in a major league debut with fewer than six innings pitched since 1900. Tim Hudson also had 11 strikeouts in 1999, in five innings.

Assistant GM John Ricco acknowledged the Mets' second-half swoon has impacted how the organization is approaching Tuesday's trade deadline. “We’re not as aggressive as we were a couple of weeks ago on the buying, but if there is an upgrade there, we would definitely consider it,” Ricco told Mike Puma in the Post. “We’re talking to everybody, but we don’t have a big name we’re looking to [trade] or looking to acquire.” 

Jenrry Mejia is headed back to Triple-A Buffalo's rotation, even though he continues to project as a reliever in the majors...

Preview: Game 100 - Mets at D-Backs - Niese tries to keep it going

New York Mets (48-51) at Arizona Diamondbacks (49-50) 9:40 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Niese (L) 19 7-4 3.595.23-23.107/22LADND7.0830-121.04.71
J. Collmenter (R) 8 2-2 3.825.22-24.607/22HOUW6.0722-015.01.80

Matt Harvey provided the New York Mets with the lift they sorely needed on Thursday. Now Jon Niese will attempt to give the badly slumping club its first winning streak in nearly a month when he takes the mound for tonight's second test of a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks from Chase Field.

A string of four consecutive victories from June 27-30 had the Mets squarely in contention in the National League playoff race, but the team fell well off the pace after it dropped 15 of its first 19 games in July. New York had lost six in a row and 12 of its last 13 contests entering Thursday's opener of this set, but returned to the win column last night thanks to a dazzling debut by Harvey.

The highly touted pitching prospect fanned 11 Diamondbacks over 5 1/3 shutout innings in his first big league start, setting a new Mets record for strikeouts in an initial outing and leading New York to a 3-1 triumph.

Harvey's 11 K's were also the most by a pitcher in an MLB debut since Washington's Stephen Strasburg racked up 14 strikeouts in his much-anticipated first start against Pittsburgh on June 8, 2010. The 23-year-old, New York's first-round pick in the 2010 Draft, also impressed at the plate, collecting a double and a single in his first two at-bats.

He had tremendous composure," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Harvey. "The velocity through the first four innings, you could tell he was pretty juiced up. He's lived up to exactly what everybody's talked about."

Onetime Diamondback Scott Hairston gave Harvey some early support with a two- run double off Arizona All-Star Wade Miley in the first inning, while Andres Torres tripled in the fourth and came home on Rob Johnson's sacrifice fly for a 3-0 advantage.

Arizona finally got on the board with a run off Mets reliever Jon Rauch in the bottom of the eighth and put two men on against Bobby Parnell in the ninth, but the New York closer struck out Jason Kubel with the tying run aboard to end the contest.

"We needed to hang in there, which we did," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had our opportunities, which we weren't able to capitalize on."

Happy Recap: Game 99 - Mets at D-Backs - Mets Win, Harvey Gets First Win

Chase Field (Phoenix, Ariz.)

N.Y. Mets (48-51) «2001000003100
Arizona (49-50)000000010140

W: M. Harvey (1-0) L: W. Miley (11-6)
S: B. Parnell (3)
HR: NYM - None   ARI - None

Matt Harvey looked sharp on the mound and at the plate in his first major league game.

The 23-year-old right-hander set a Mets franchise-record for most strikeouts in a big league debut with 11, helping New York to a 3-1 win over Arizona in the opener of a four-game series.

Harvey (1-0), who allowed just three hits and walked three in 5 1/3 shutout innings, also had a double and single in his first two at-bats.

Scott Hairston stroked a two-run double in the first inning, part of a three- hit night for the right fielder. Rob Johnson added a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who started an 11-game road trip by snapping a six-game skid. It was their second win in 14 contests.

It was a long journey to the majors for the Connecticut native, who was drafted out of high school in the third round by the Angels in 2007 but did not sign. He re-entered the draft as a junior at North Carolina and was selected seventh overall by the Mets in 2010.

So far this season, Harvey has compiled a 7-5 mark with a 3.68 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 20 starts for Triple-A Buffalo this year. His catcher in his big league debut was Johnson, who was recalled from Buffalo to play in his first game with the parent club since May 30.

The two worked perfectly with Harvey fooling a number of hitters, including Paul Goldschmidt, who struck out three times. Goldschmidt was handcuffed on a rising 91 mph fastball in the bottom of the sixth.

Harvey then walked Justin Upton and left the field after 106 pitches to a standing ovation from his family. His strikeouts were the most in an MLB debut since June 8, 2010 when Washington's Stephen Strasburg fanned 14 against Pittsburgh.

"He had tremendous composure. The velocity through the first four innings, you could tell he was pretty juiced up," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's lived up to exactly what everybody's talked about."

He was also crafty with the bat. Harvey doubled over the head of center fielder Gerardo Parra in the second and bounced a single up the middle in the fourth.

Wade Miley (11-6) gave up nine hits and three runs over 5 1/3 frames for Arizona, which had just four hits and lost its second in a row following a five-game winning streak.

Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy singled before Hairston cranked a one-out double over the head of Upton in right field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the opening inning.

Arizona put two runners in scoring position in the third. Goldschmidt came up with two outs and ran the count full, but was called out after Harvey painted the outside corner.

"He had good life on his fastball and spotted the ball well," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Harvey. "We needed to hang in there, which we did. We had our opportunities, which we weren't able to capitalize on."

Andres Torres tripled in the fourth and scored on Johnson's sacrifice fly to right-center. Parra's strong throw to the plate was a tad late.

Josh Edgin entered to relieve Harvey in the sixth with two men on base, but he retired the next two hitters to escape trouble.

Upton's sac fly to right plated Jason Kubel in the eighth. With Goldschmidt on second, Tim Byrdak was summoned from the bullpen and hit Miguel Montero with a pitch before fanning pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay to cap the inning.

Bobby Parnell walked a pair of batters in the ninth, but had three strikeouts, including freezing Kubel to end the game. Parnell recorded his third save of the year.

Game Notes

Harvey became the first player in modern baseball history (since 1900) to strike out 10 or more and get two hits in his MLB debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau...Prior to Thursday, the Mets had allowed at least four runs in each of their last 13 games, the second-longest such streak in franchise history...Arizona, which left 11 men on base, had won its previous six home games against the Mets.

Box Score:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Byrdak, Thole, Johnson, Nickeas, Francisco, Baxter, Hairston, Wheeler

Mets News and Notes:

Tim Byrdak clashed with Josh Thole and then pitching coach Dan Warthen after surrendering a homer to Adam LaRoche in the homestand finale. The incident helped prompt a postgame team meeting and tongue-lashing from Terry Collins. Getting the sign from the bench, Thole called for a fastball to LaRoche. Byrdak twice shook off Thole wanting a breaking ball, but the catcher continued to call for a fastball. Byrdak eventually threw a fastball over the heart of the plate -- not where Thole set up on the outside corner. LaRoche deposited the pitch into the right-field stands for a two-run homer in the seventh inning to provide the Nats with a four-run lead. In the dugout afterward, Byrdak first had an exchange with Thole, then with Warthen, the latter of which prompted David Wright to intercede. "I don't think anything can get any worse than this right now," Thole told reporters before the Mets departed for Arizona. "I can't wait to get out of here."

The Mets continued to shuffle the roster on the margins. A day after officially demoting Pedro Beato and Lucas Duda, Mike Nickeas was dispatched to Triple-A Buffalo. Fellow righty-hitting catcher Rob Johnson will replace Nickeas. Harvey this week named Johnson as being invaluable in terms of guidance in Buffalo. Johnson undoubtedly will catch Harvey's major league debut considering the Mets are facing Arizona rookie left-hander Wade Miley in the series opener at Chase Field.

Frank Francisco failed to complete an inning with Double-A Binghamton in the closer's first minor league rehab game since straining his left oblique and landing on the disabled DL June 23. Francisco surrendered three hits, including two doubles, and walked one among the six New Britain batters he faced. Francisco's rehab tour twice had been delayed -- by a cranky oblique when he was due to pitch for Class A St. Lucie, then by knee discomfort earlier this week that required a cortisone shot. Mets officials had said Francisco might need as few as two rehab appearances before being activated in Arizona, but that was before Francisco's struggles with the B-Mets on Wednesday. Alderson indicated Francisco was accompanying the B-Mets back to Binghamton, where they open a four-game series against Portland tonight.

Mike Baxter went 1-for-3 and walked twice while logging a full game in right field in Buffalo's 5-4 loss at Louisville. Baxter is now 5-for-11 in three games with the Bisons, after also playing three games with Class A St. Lucie. Baxter's two previous rehab games in the outfield in the minors had come in left field. But Duda since has been demoted, so the exposure to right field makes sense. Baxter actually has appeared in 392 minor league games in right field in his career -- far more than any other position. 

Preview: Game 99 - Mets at D-Backs - Harvey's Debut

New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks 9:40 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
M. Harvey (R) 0 0-0 0.000.00-00.003/25--ND0.0000-00.00.00
W. Miley (L) 16 11-5 3.026.07-22.557/21HOUW7.0412-013.02.77

The New York Mets were initially reluctant to promote their first-round draft pick from two years ago, but desperation is setting in.

The free-falling Mets are calling up highly touted Matt Harvey, hoping that in his major league debut the right-hander can help the team to its first victory in seven contests Thursday night in the opener of a four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

New York (47-51) arrives in Arizona to open a season-high 11-game road trip after losing 5-2 to Washington on Wednesday to cap an 0-6 homestand. The Mets, who last dropped seven in a row overall in April 2011, have lost 12 of 13 to fall seven games out in the NL wild-card race.

"Losing is one thing," third baseman David Wright said. "The way that we're going about it right now is unacceptable."

Wright finished the homestand 4 for 24 with eight strikeouts, and New York was outscored 13-5 from the seventh inning on in its last four.

"We're going to get through it," manager Terry Collins said. "You will see a different team in the next 10 days, the next two weeks."

They're likely going to have a different battery on Thursday with Harvey and catcher Rob Johnson being called up from Triple-A Buffalo.

The Mets have high expectations for Harvey, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, and hope one day he'll become their staff ace. The 23-year-old Harvey, who went 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 20 starts for the Bisons, says he will try to keep calm and not attempt to be a savior for New York.

Pic of the Day: Sought of How I Feel

Recap: Game 98 - Nationals at Mets - My Entire Team Sucks

Citi Field (Flushing, NY)

Washington (58-39) «020100200570
N.Y. Mets (47-51)010000010242

W: S. Strasburg (11-4) L: J. Hefner (1-4)
S: T. Clippard (18)
HR: WAS - M. Morse (7),D. Espinosa (9),A. LaRoche (18)   NYM - I. Davis (16)

Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 over seven solid innings to lead the Washington Nationals past the New York Mets, 5-2, and complete a three-game sweep at Citi Field.

Strasburg (11-4) allowed a run on four hits and did not issue a walk in Washington's fifth straight win.

"When the lights are on and your facing another team, you want to go out there and make your stuff really dirty," said Strasburg. "I think when I take a step back, relax and just let it happen instead of force the issue it helps out a lot."

Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche each homered in the victory. Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless ninth to record his 18th save of the year.

Jeremy Hefner (1-4) made his fourth start of the season and surrendered three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and two walks while striking out seven through six innings to take the loss.

Ike Davis hit a home run for the Mets, who dropped their sixth consecutive game and fell to 1-11 after the All-Star break.

"Once in a while when things go bad you start making excuses, but I don't deal with excuses. I deal with accountability," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I deal with standing up and being a man, being a professional baseball player and playing the game right. This is never about effort and we're going to get back on track."

The Nationals squandered a one-out double by Bryce Harper in the first inning but were able to break through in the second on back-to-back home runs to right field by Morse and Espinosa.

New York answered with a run in the bottom of the second on Davis' leadoff blast just inside the right-field foul pole to make it a 2-1 game.

But Washington regained some cushion in the fourth inning when Espinosa hit a ground-rule double to left field, advanced to second on a Roger Bernadina base hit and crossed the plate on Sandy Leon's dribbler to first base.

The Mets had a chance to get Espinosa out at the plate on the play, but Josh Thole could not hang on to Davis' throw to the plate, allowing Espinosa to slide home safely for a 3-1 edge.

Strasburg, meanwhile, retired 10 straight batters, including a string of five consecutive strikeouts, until Thole slapped a ground-rule double over the head of Morse in left field with two outs in the fifth. Andres Torres would follow with a fly ball to right field to end the inning.

The Nationals then added to their lead in the seventh inning on LaRoche's two- run shot into the right-field bleachers off Tim Byrdak. Harper worked a walk prior to LaRoche's 18th homer of the season.

New York threatened in the eighth when Henry Rodriguez and Craig Stammen combined to walk the bases loaded with no outs, but Washington would limit the damage to just one run on a run-scoring groundout by Jordany Valdespin around a Ruben Tejada liner to center field and David Wright grounder to third to stay on top, 5-2.

Clippard retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the game for the Nationals.

Game Notes

Espinosa extended his hit streak to 11 games...Strasburg improved to 2-0 in three career starts against the Mets...Hefner made his 13th appearance of the season and his first start since June 6. He fell to 0-2 in two career starts against Washington...The Nationals lead the season series between the teams, 9-3...Washington is now 19 games above .500 (58-39) for the first time since 2005.

Box Score:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Preview: Game 98 - Nationals at Mets - Mets Still Looking for a Win

Washington Nationals (57-39) at New York Mets (47-50) 12:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
S. Strasburg (R) 19 10-4 2.855.16-22.647/20ATLND5.1841-012.12.92
J. Hefner (R) 3 1-3 5.855.01-18.006/6@WSHL6.0730-04.110.38

Washington righty Stephen Strasburg tries to bounce back from a rare poor showing when the Nationals go for a sweep in the finale of their three- game set with the New York Mets on Wednedsay at Citi Field.

Strasburg was spotted a nine-run lead on Friday against Atlanta, but struggled with his command and left after allowing four runs and eight hits with three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He didn't get the win, though, as the Braves rallied to win a wild affair in extra innings, 11-10.

"I wasn't striking everybody out and wasn't going 1-2-3, but that usually never happens, anyways," said Strasburg, who was celebrating his 24th birthday Friday. "They're a good team. They were taking a lot of close pitches that they could have swung at but they didn't, so it's really out of my control. I was just trying to pound the strike zone and just missed a little bit tonight."

Amid talk of about shutting him down come September, he's lost three of his last four decisions and is 10-4 on the year with a 2.85 ERA.

Strasburg tossed six scoreless innings to beat the Mets earlier in the year and is 1-0 in two starts against them with a 1.64 ERA.

New York, meanwhile, will rely on righty Jeremy Hefner, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday to replace the injured Johan Santana. Hefner has pitched primarily out of the bullpen for the Mets, but made three starts early on and was 1-2 with a 5.32 in those outings.

Recap: Game 97 - Nationals at Mets - Mets Don't Lose a Beat, Lose Game 5-2

Citi Field (Flushing, NY)

Washington (57-39) «0001040005111
N.Y. Mets (47-50)010000010231

W: G. Gonzalez (13-5) L: R. Dickey (13-2)
S: T. Clippard (17)
HR: WAS - A. LaRoche (17)   NYM - J. Valdespin (7)

Adam LaRoche hit a two-run home run and R.A. Dickey lost a game for the first time in over three months as the Washington Nationals took a 5-2 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Dickey (13-2) came into the game having not lost since April 18 at Atlanta, but he gave up five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over six innings to drop just his second game of the season. He went 11-0 in his 17 games prior to Tuesday.

"There were a lot of things I did right tonight that I've got to be able to take, discard what went wrong and build on what went right," Dickey said. "I'm going to try to do that."

Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with a run scored while Danny Espinosa and Jesus Flores each drove in a run for the Nationals, who have won four straight.

Gio Gonzalez (13-5) snapped a two-start losing streak thanks to a one-run, two-hit outing that also saw him walk two and strike out four over seven innings.

"We're sensing a good vibe," Gonzalez said. "Everyone here is trying to stay positive, swing the bat, defense, catching, bullpen. Everyone is just trying to do their part. Nobody wants to be left behind, especially when the team is taking off like this."

Ronny Cedeno drove in a run while Jordany Valdespin hit his fifth pinch-hit home run of the season for the struggling Mets, who have dropped five straight and 11 of their last 12.

New York's lone win during this skid came on July 19 when Dickey beat Gonzalez in a 9-5 victory in Washington.

The Mets took the first lead of the game in the second inning. Scott Hairston reached base on an error by Espinosa and stole second when Jason Bay struck out for the second out of the inning. Cedeno then punched a single to right and was tagged out at second trying to stretch it into a double, but not before Hairston crossed the plate for a 1-0 lead.

Washington tied the game in the fourth. Zimmerman doubled to lead off the frame and, after Michael Morse popped out, moved to third on a LaRoche groundout. Espinosa then singled to left to make it a 1-1 game.

The Nationals took the lead for good in the sixth. With two outs, Morse singled and LaRoche followed with his 17th home run of the year. Espinosa then singled and Roger Bernadina followed with a slow roller down the first base line that saw him avoid the tag of Ike Davis. Flores then singled to left and Bay's throw to home got by Mike Nickeas, allowing both runners to score for a 5-1 lead.

After the second, the Mets didn't get another hit until Davis singled with two outs in the seventh, but Valdespin continued his pinch-hit magic in the eighth with a leadoff home run off Ryan Mattheus.

Sean Burnett then took over on the hill and set the next three batters down in order.

Tyler Clippard set the Mets down quietly in the ninth for his 17th save of the season.

Game Notes

Valdespin set a Mets record for pinch-hit homers in a single season. The MLB record is seven, set by Dave Hansen with the Dodgers in 2000 and Craig Wilson with the Pirates in 2001...The Nats have taken eight of 11 from the Mets this season...Washington will go for the sweep on Wednesday with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, while the Mets will counter with Jeremy Hefner.

Box Score:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Mets are now Pretenders trying to be contenders

2012 NL Wild Card Standings
Pittsburgh 54 41 .568 - 390 350 92.8 69.2 38.2 41.0 79.1
Los Angeles 53 44 .546 2 379 363 86.2 75.8 26.9 14.4 41.2
Atlanta 52 44 .542 2.5 439 416 87.6 74.4 18.9 28.5 47.4
St. Louis 50 46 .521 4.5 467 383 88.5 73.5 13.7 39.5 53.2
Arizona 48 48 .500 6.5 435 411 82.0 80.0 10.2 7.8 18.0
New York 47 49 .490 7.5 439 440 80.2 81.8 2.9 6.9 9.7
Miami 45 51 .469 9.5 360 430 72.9 89.1 0.2 0.5 0.8
Milwaukee 44 51 .463 10 421 433 76.4 85.6 0.3 2.4 2.6
Philadelphia 43 54 .443 12 410 439 72.7 89.3 0.2 0.4 0.7
San Diego 41 57 .418 14.5 356 421 68.6 93.4 0.1 0.1 0.1
Chicago 39 56 .411 15 349 424 68.2 93.8 <0.1 0.1 0.1
Colorado 36 59 .379 18 456 537 64.5 97.5 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Houston 34 63 .351 21 373 485 59.4 102.6 0.0 <0.1 <0.1

Hey Mets Fans, Last time I posted whether the Mets were contenders, they had a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. The Mets are now listed on Coolstandings.com as pretenders to make the playoffs..

Need a Prayer to make the playoffs
The Mets are expected to win around 80 games now and they have 9.7% chance at making playoffs which is next to nil.. They also have a  lower 6.9% chance at a Wild Card Birth...

Key Stats to why the Mets are not Successful:

The Mets Bullpen is 11-21 with a 5.16  ERA. The Mets bullpen has pitched 265 Innings and given up 282 Hits.. (27 HR's) 172 Runs...  This is the Achilles Heal of this team.. Once they fix this, they will fix the problems of the NY Mets...
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