Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:01:57
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Tuesday's Twitter poll regarding Dave Eiland's comments about Noah Syndergaard before the Mets' victory.

Juan Lagares matched his career high with four hits and drove in three runs as the Mets broke out of their offensive doldrums with a 12-2 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) The Mets trailed, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth inning before erupting for eight runs over the next two frames. Lagares contributed a pair of singles that produced three runs during the onslaught. Amed Rosario doubled and finished with a career-high-tying three hits and two RBIs while Devin Mesoraco went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer, a single, three walks and four runs scored. Noah Syndergaard drove in New York's first two runs with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly.

2) The Mets entered Tuesday's game with no hits in their last 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position. That was extended to 0-for-23 before Jose Reyes singled to load the bases in the fourth. New York finished the game 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Brandon Nimmo had an RBI single, Asdrubal Cabrera ripped a run-scoring double and Luis Guillorme collected his first Major League RBI with a base hit in the eighth.

3) Although not as effective on the mound as he was at the plate, Syndergaard (3-1) snapped a personal five-start winless streak that stretched back to April 9. The right-hander struck out the side in the first but labored thereafter, needing 103 pitches to complete five innings. Syndergaard was charged with two runs on five hits, two walks and a hit a batter while striking out seven.

4) Seth Lugo and Jacob Rhame combined to allow one hit while striking out five in four scoreless innings of relief.


Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Whatever frustration the Mets have held over the last few weeks, they released Tuesday against the Blue Jays. But as needed and welcome a sight as it was, the key will be building off it and making sure the 12-run outburst wasn't just a one-off like the 14-run game against San Diego was two weeks ago.

Incredibly, the Mets had more hits with runners in scoring position tonight (8) than they did in 61 at-bats this month (7). It's not secret as to why New York has struggled so badly the last few weeks. At the very least, a game like this can perhaps ease some of the pressure that has surely been weighing this group of players down.

Perhaps the only negative on the night, if it can truly be called that, was the performance of Noah Syndergaard. Ignoring his two RBIs, which were surely important, Thor continues to battle inefficiency on the mound that is keeping him from pitching deep into games. After striking out the side in the first, Syndergaard slogged his way over the final four frames to complete his night after five innings. The right-hander has pitched into the seventh once in nine starts and failed to complete at least six innings for the third time. We all know how good Syndergaard is and will be, health permitting, but perhaps we underestimated the effect that missing virtually all last season has had on him.

It's a quick turnaround with tomorrow's 1:10 p.m. start. Dare we ask for consecutive wins for the first time in more than a month?


Highlights from tonight's game...

Video: Syndergaard's double gets the Mets on the board

Video: Amed Rosario's RBI double bounces off the wall

Video: Juan Lagares drives in two runs with single to left

News and notes...

The Mets snapped a six-game losing streak at home and improved to 12-0 all-time against the Blue Jays in New York (9-0 at Shea Stadium and 3-0 at Citi Field). The 12-game home winning streak is the against a single opponent in club history. The Mets defeated the Pirates 14 straight times from April 21, 1986-June 7, 1987.

New York improved to 18-8 against Toronto and is 186-177 (.512) in Interleague play since it began in 1997. They went 7-13 against the American League last year.

The Mets scored more runs on Tuesday night than they had in their previous four games combined (8). It was their largest scoring output since they tallied 14 runs against the Padres on April 29.

Lagares collected his first four-hit effort since last June 6 against the Rangers. It was his fourth career four-hit game.

Rosario is batting .379 (11-for-29) with three doubles and four RBIs in his last nine games.

Syndergaard's five-game winless streak was his longest since a career-high six-game stretch from July 8-Aug. 11, 2016.

Yoenis Cespedes was held out of the starting lineup for the second time in four games due to a sore right quad.

Buddy Baumann and Rhame were both recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the place of Jerry Blevins (paternity leave list) and Corey Oswalt, who was optioned to the minors. Dominic Smith was also officially optioned to Triple-A with the return of Jay Bruce (paternity leave list).

Curtis Granderson returned to Citi Field for the first time since he was traded to the Dodgers last Aug. 19 in exchange for Rhame, who closed out Tuesday's win. Granderson hit .239/.341/.444 with 95 homers in 573 games in three-plus seasons with Mets, who honored him with a video tribute before the game.

What's next...

The Mets (20-18) will try for consecutive wins and a sweep of the series against the Blue Jays (21-21) on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field beginning at 1 p.m. on SNY.

Zack Wheeler (2-2, 5.03 ERA, 31 Ks, 1.44 WHIP) hopes to build on one of his best starts this season in the series finale. The right-hander limited the Reds to one run over six innings and retired 12 straight at one point in a tough-luck no-decision. Wheeler has allowed 11 runs and 23 baserunners in two starts spanning 12 innings (8.25 ERA) at home this season. He has never faced Toronto.

J.A. Happ (4-3, 4.80 ERA, 56 Ks, 1.27 WHIP) toes the rubber looking to snap a two-game losing streak after going undefeated in his previous five starts. The 35-year-old was charged with seven runs and 10 hits in a season-low 3 1/3 innings against the Mariners last Thursday. Happ is 3-2 with a 4.41 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) against the Mets, He has not faced New York since Aug. 14, 2015 when he was with Pittsburgh.


 

Tags: Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard
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Mar 16, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) connects for a two run homer against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 16, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) connects for a two run homer against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Reliever Jeurys Familia will open Monday's Grapefruit League when the Mets take on the Nationals on Monday at 1:10 p.m. on SNY. 

Mets notes

Michael Conforto remains in the cleanup spot after homering in the last two games. He is hitting .255/.314/.468 with three home runs and eight RBI this spring. ... Juan Lagares is back in the lineup on Monday batting second and in center field. ... Robinson Cano enters the game with a .486 average and two home runs. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Washington Nationals
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Alonso homers again in loss 00:01:41
Michael Conforto, Mickey Callaway and Peter Alonso comment on Alonso's power display and improved all-around game this spring

Pete Alonso doesn't lack confidence when he steps in the batter's box. At least, he hasn't shown any signs of it this Spring Training. 

But the knock on Alonso throughout his career in the Minor Leagues is that he struggles defensively. The first baseman has worked hard to erase the stigma, however, and simply play the position better. And he's feeling pretty good about his defensive game as the 2019 season beckons. 

"I'm extremely confident," he told reporters Sunday after the Mets' 10-6 loss to the Nationals. "I mean, I feel like I've done a 180 from 2017 to now, because that was my dark year, so to speak, defensively."

Tags: Peter Alonso
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Alonso, Conforto go deep 00:00:50
Pete Alonso belted his 4th homer of the spring and Michael Conforto also went deep for the 2nd straight day in a loss to the Nationals

Six runs from the Nationals in the first inning set the tone for the game, as they beat the Mets, 10-6, on Sunday at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches. >> Box score

Five things to know about Sunday's game ...

1. For the second straight game, Michael Conforto homered. This time, he drilled a two-run shot off Stephen Strasburg in the third inning. He worked a walked and struck out to raise his Grapefruit League average to .253 with a .782 OPS. 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano
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Feb 24, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 24, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Jacob deGrom was scratched from his scheduled outing Sunday in a "B" game for the Mets due to a stomach illness. 

It's obviously no reason to sound the alarms, and the silver lining here is noteworthy. To keep the 30-year-old on track to start Opening Day in less than two weeks, deGrom will throw Monday on the back fields. Fellow rotation mate Noah Syndergaard will toe the rubber for the other team in the Mets' intrasquad contest, providing an intriguing matchup, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported.

With a pair of games scheduled against NL East rival Washington for Sunday and Monday -- the two days deGrom and Syndergaard were scheduled to pitch, respectively -- the Mets made the conscious decision to shield them from Major League competition for the remainder of Spring Training. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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Leiter returns to Mets 00:01:24
Former Met Al Leiter talks about rejoining the organization as a Baseball Operations Advisor

For Al Leiter, joining the Mets as a baseball operations advisor for the club and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was a no-brainer. 

The 53-year-old met with reporters in Port St. Lucie, where he was attending spring training, on Sunday and said he simply felt like it was time for him to return to the organization he grew up rooting for. 

"There's no other organization that would make sense," Leiter said. "There's no B.S. I loved playing here. I had the majority of my success here, as a Met. It's the right thing. There's no other option." 

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Jacob deGrom (48) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jacob deGrom (48) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The idea of a five-man starting rotation for the ages, as predicted by John Smoltz, among others, is but a memory now, with Matt Harvey gone and Steven Matz more mediocre than elite since his rookie season.

But the Mets might still have the best Big Three in baseball, if Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard all pitch with the dominance expected of them. 

How far can that take them? Pretty darn far, if their history is any indication.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso (20) onnects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso (20) onnects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Hector Santiago takes the mound for the Mets on Sunday as they head to West Palm Beach to face the Nationals at 1:05 p.m. 

Mets notes

Michael Conforto returns to the cleanup spot on Sunday after going 2-for-3 with a home run on Saturday ... Pete Alonso bats second with his team-leading three home runs this spring while Dominic Smith is the DH as he continues to make his case to be on the Mets' Opening Day roster. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso, Washington Nationals
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Mets' bats looks good in loss 00:00:59
Michael Conforto homered and drove in 3 runs, while Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil continued their strong springs in a loss to the Marlins

The Mets jumped out to a 6-0 lead before running into some trouble with their middle relief in a 11-6 loss to the Marlins on Saturday. >> Box score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Michael Conforto had an impressive day at the plate batting cleanup, blasting a two-run shot in the first inning then singling in a run in the third in a 2-for-3 day at the plate with three RBI. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo
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Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Jason Vargas and the Mets face Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins in a Grapefruit League game on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. 

Mets notes

Pete Alonso gets the start at first base and is batting second as he carries a .375 (15-for-40) average and team-leading three home runs into the game ... Robinson Cano (13-for-32) will bat behind Alonso while Travis d'Arnaud (4-for-13) gets the call behind the plate. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Miami Marlins
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Mar 12, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 12, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets think the Nationals have seen enough of their major league pitchers this spring. 

The team revealed on Saturday that they will shield their pitchers from Grapefruit League games so that other teams will not be able to get a good look at them, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. 

Jacob deGrom, who was on schedule to start in Sunday's game against the Nationals, will instead pitch in a "B" game on the back fields of the Mets' Spring Training facility along with Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) reacts after allowing a home run to Miami Marlins designated hitter Lewis Brinson (9) in the first inning of the spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) reacts after allowing a home run to Miami Marlins designated hitter Lewis Brinson (9) in the first inning of the spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets fell to the Nationals on Friday, 11-3, at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla. >> Box score

Five things to know about Friday's game...

1) Steven Matz continued to struggle in what was by far his worst outing of the spring. The left-hander allowed eight runs on seven hits, including four home runs, and a walk in just two innings of work.  

Tags: Steven Matz
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Pete Alonso opens up 00:01:54
Mets prospect Pete Alonso opens up about his journey through baseball, and what he needs to do to take the final steps to the big leagues.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is having a strong spring.

The 24-year-old reflects on what got him to this point in his career and how he can continue to succeed at the next level. 

Tags: Peter Alonso
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Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Steven Matz' struggles are not getting in the way of his optimism. 

The Mets lefthander had by far his worst outing of Spring Training on Friday, allowing eight runs, including four home runs, on seven hits and a walk in just two innings of work in his latest start against the Washington Nationals. 

Matz, though, knows what the problem is and said that it is better he identifies and works through it now rather than when the season starts. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws against the Boston Red Sox at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws against the Boston Red Sox at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Steven Matz and the Mets face Jeremy Hellickson and the Washington Nationals in a Grapefruit League game on Friday at 1:10 p.m. at First Data Field.

Mets notes

Dominic Smith is tied with J.D. Davis for the team lead with eight RBIs. ... Robinson Cano has a .414/.452/.655 batting line with two home runs and six RBIs in 10 games.

Tags: Steven Matz, Washington Nationals
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Pete Alonso hits vs. Cardinals 00:00:30
New York Mets first base prospect Pete Alonso hits two singles against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets tied the Cardinals. 1-1, on Thursday >> Box score

Five things to know about Thursday's game...

1) Zack Wheeler was dominant for a second-straight start, firing 5.1 shutout innings while allowing two hits, walking none, and striking out four. His ERA is down to 2.25.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Peter Alonso, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Checking out Brodie's Bunch 00:01:25
On the Shea Anything podcast, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss the expanded front office staff surrounding Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

Doug Williams and Nelson Figueroa drop an all-new episode of Shea Anything, and they go long on the Pete Alonso vs. Dom Smith debate for first base.

They also go deep on whether or not Amed Rosario will break through with a star-making season in 2019, and try to make sense of the new MLB rules changes.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Peter Alonso
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The NL East is stacked, balanced and expected to be the most compelling division in baseball this season. In large part, this is because the division features several of the league's most dominant starting pitchers and best overall pitching staffs.

For starters, Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Jacob deGrom (Mets) are widely considered to be the top two starting pitchers in all of baseball. According to multiple projection systems and fantasy rankings, the next best 20 pitchers in the league feature an additional five arms from the NL East, including Aaron Nola (Phillies), Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, (Mets) and Patrick Corbin (Nationals) and Stephen Strasburg (Nationals).

In 2018, among NL pitchers producing at least 2.0 fWAR, six were from the NL East, including deGrom, Scherzer, Nola, Syndergaard, Wheeler and Mike Foltynewicz (Braves). Corbin, who was with the D-backs but has since signed with the Nationals, also finished in the Top 10. If extended to the Top 20, two more Phillies join the list (Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez).

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred gestures while speaking during a Major League Baseball owners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred gestures while speaking during a Major League Baseball owners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's desire for more action and less dead time in baseball is at the heart of the rules changes that were announced on Thursday, and with that in mind, here are the three I believe are most noteworthy:

1) The three-batter minimum for relievers, which goes into effect in 2020, and makes for intriguing strategy decisions as well as fewer late-inning pitching changes.

2) A 28-man September roster, as of 2020, which will finally bring an end to the ridiculous practice of essentially having unlimited substitutions in the final month of the season.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox the spring training game at JetBlue Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox the spring training game at JetBlue Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Zack Wheeler takes the hill as the Mets face Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals in a Grapefruit League game on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. in Jupiter, Florida.

Mets notes

Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith are tied for the team lead in hits (13). ... Travis d'Arnaud is 4-for-10 with one home run and two RBIs in his first four spring training games.

Tags: St. Louis Cardinals, Zack Wheeler
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The MLB and the MLB Players Association announced an agreement on Thursday that includes changes to the rosters, game play and the All-Star voting process over the next two years.

In 2019, the changes include:

  • The elimination of August trades, meaning July 31 will be sole MLB trade deadline.
  • The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
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Syndergaard becoming Browns fan? 00:01:22
See what New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard had to say when asked about Odell Beckham Jr. being traded to the Cleveland Browns.

Noah Syndergaard saved his best fastball for after Wednesday's game.

The flame-thrower was asked following the Mets' 2-1 win against the Astros about his thoughts on the football Giants trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns.

"He's special. I don't know what the Giants are doing. We'll find out," Syndergaard said.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Noah Syndergaard, Odell Beckham Jr.
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Mar 8, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 8, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets beat the Astros, 2-1, on Wednesday afternoon in Port St. Lucie >> Box score

Five things to know about Wednesday's game...

1) Noah Syndergaard was a bit wild but largely dominant, firing 5.2 scoreless innings while allowing two hits, walking two, and striking out five, lowering his Spring Training ERA to 1.88.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Seth Lugo, Thomas Robinson, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas

Mets manager Mickey Callaway and GM Brodie Van Wagenen have been consistent this entire offseason stating Jason Vargas would be their fifth starter in 2019.

Against the first batter Vargas faced this spring, he let up a home run. However, he has not allowed a run since, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA 1.08 ERA during his three starts, which is exactly what Callaway had been hoping to see.

"I really think he just needs a regular spring training, which is uninterrupted, to get himself where he needs to be," Callaway told me in January. "The regular schedule allows him to do that to the best of his ability."

Tags: Jason Vargas, Matthew Cerrone
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Cano launches a home run 00:00:17
Robinson Cano hits a shot to center for a home run to put the Mets up 2-0 over the Astros on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie.

Robinson Cano continued his strong Spring Training on Wednesday, launching a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Gerrit Cole to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. The homer was Cano's second of the spring, and as of the sixth inning he's hitting .440 so far.

Tags: Robinson Cano
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Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets (8-10) host the Astros in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m., live on SNY. 

Mets Notes...

Noah Syndergaard looks to bounce back from a subpar outing on Friday against the Marlins. ... Jeff McNeil starts at third base for the third time in four days as it seems more probable by the day that he'll be there on Opening Day. ... Pete Alonso starts at first base as he tries to earn his spot on the roster.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso
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Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports  (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

In an effort to land on the best NL East bullpen, I surveyed several baseball insiders, including three MLB scouts and multiple front office and player development members from the National League.

For what it's worth, their consensus is exactly how I see the final rankings, which are as follows...

5. Marlins

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Best of Tim Tebow 00:01:02
Tim Tebow is done with Spring Training at the Major League level. It was definitely an eventful spring for the outfielder.

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Two-plus years into the Tim Tebow experience -- or is it experiment? -- the outfielder's most notable accomplishment in baseball circles has been turning widespread cynicism about his motives into blanket appreciation for his commitment.

After all, the former Heisman Trophy winner, and now TV star/football god in SEC country, has ridden minor-league buses all over the eastern half of the country for two seasons, making only incremental progress toward prospect status, and still Tebow perseveres.

And so even notoriously hard-bitten major-league scouts preface their harsh analysis of the player with praise for the person.

Tags: Tim Tebow, John Harper
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Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)
Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)

Mets INF Jed Lowrie's rehab has been going really well, and he noted last week that he would be returning to baseball activity soon. Well, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said he has hit the ground running on that front. 

Van Wagenen explained that Lowrie, who is recovering from a knee capsule sprain, is already throwing and hitting as he works his way back to the team.

"Jed has begun his throwing program and he's also done his hitting program," Van Wagenen told reporters at the Mets' Spring Training game on Tuesday. "he's been hitting in the cages both right and left-handed. We're going to try to build that up as the days go forward."

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Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith (SNY)
Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith (SNY)

With Opening Day just over two weeks away, the Mets are dealing with injuries to two infielders and watching as their two main competitors for the first base job -- Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith -- tear the cover off the ball. 

Given the current situation, it's a near-certainty that one of Alonso or Smith will grab the Opening Day job, but the intrigue doesn't stop there -- not with both of them being so young (Smith is 23 years old, Alonso is 24) and full of promise.

Both Alonso and Smith have proven their worth in the minors, and with them appearing to be in prime position to make a big league impact, how will the Mets handle it now and in the future?

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Peter Alonso, Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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Mar 12, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 12, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets had trouble generating any offense against the Marlins in an 8-1 loss on the road on Tuesday afternoon. >> Box score

Five things to know about Tuesday's game...

1) Jacob deGrom got another spring start, and it was a pretty good one for the Mets' ace. The only blip on his line was a two-run homer allowed to Brian Anderson in the bottom of the third inning. Overall, he allowed those two earned runs on six hits while striking out six and walking none over five innings of work.

Tags: Drew Smith, Jacob deGrom, Miami Marlins, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Bashlor, Wilson Ramos
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deGrom is hopeful for extension 00:00:27
New York Mets Cy Young pitcher Jacob deGrom wants to be a part of the team's future and wants to get a deal done with Brodie Van Wagenen.

It was at the beginning of Mets Spring Training that Jacob deGrom gave the team an Opening Day deadline to work out a contract extension, but there has yet to be word of any traction regarding it. But the Mets' ace is still confident both sides can reach an agreement. 

DeGrom has been staying on the outside of the extension talks with GM Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets, telling reporters after his start Tuesday that he is letting his new CAA agent, Jeff Berry, "do his thing." And though there are only 13 games left down in Florida before deGrom kicks off the 2019 season against the Nationals on March 28, he still has high hopes that big paycheck will come his way by then. 

"Being a part of the future is definitely something that I would like to be a part of," deGrom said. "That was a goal of mine so I think we're hopeful so we'll just see what happens.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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A week after former MLB slugger Jose Canseco pledged to help Tim Tebow, the Mets prospect responded. 

"I appreciate it, anybody wanting to work with me is humbling, he's a great one at it," Tebow told reporters after being cut from camp on Tuesday. "But we have a lot of great coaches here."

Canseco, who admitted to using copious amounts of steroids during his career, saw something wrong with Tebow's swing. And he tweeted repeatedly last week about how he wants to help...

Tags: Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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Mickey Callaway mic'd up 00:02:05
Listen in and get the inside story when Mets manager Mickey Callaway wears a microphone during spring training workouts in Port St. Lucie.

SNY mic'd up Mets manager Mickey Callaway at Spring Training.

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Tim Tebow sent to minors 00:01:54
The best of Tebow's media availability after he learned he is headed to Syracuse. He even is asked about the Jets compared to the Mets.

With Opening Day 16 days away, the Mets made their third round of Spring Training roster cuts on Tuesday. 

Right-handed pitchers Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame have been optioned to minor league camp, and Arquimedes Caminero, Andrés Giménez, Dilson Herrera, Rymer Liriano, Ali Sánchez and Tim Tebow have all been reassigned to minor league camp.

None of the players cut from camp on Tuesday were in contention for spots on the roster, and many are expected to begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse -- including Tebow.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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Mar 7, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on from the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 7, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on from the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (8-9) head to Jupiter to take on the Marlins (7-10) on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. 

Mets Notes...

Dom Smith is back in the lineup, batting third and playing first base, while Pete Alonso has an off day. ... Jeff McNeil assumes the leadoff spot but will not need a glove, since he's slotted to DH. ... Veterans Gregor Blanco and Rajai Davis will see action at the corner outfield spots. ... Jacob deGrom is on the mound.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Wilson Ramos
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Pete Alonso reacts to collision 00:00:35
Pete Alonso is making his case to be the Mets' starting first baseman. Today, he had a nasty collision with Josh Reddick at first base.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso stands at 6 feet, 3 inches, and weighs 245 pounds. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick found out the hard way.

Reddick, who is only 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, "lost" that battle when he collided with Alonso at first base trying to reach on a bunt in the fifth inning of Monday's spring training game.

Tags: Houston Astros, Pete Alonso
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Sep 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Drew Smith (62) pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Drew Smith (62) pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

Mets reliever Drew Smith, who seemed on track to be in the Opening Day bullpen, needs Tommy John surgery, manager Mickey Callaway said Monday.

Smith, who had been sent back to New York to be evaluated by team doctors, is out for the season. 

The 25-year-old Smith had been solid so far in Spring Training, tossing 4.0 scoreless innings while walking three and striking out four. 

Tags: Drew Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Tyler Bashlor, Danny Abriano
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Mickey Callaway mic'd up 00:02:05
Listen in and get the inside story when Mets manager Mickey Callaway wears a microphone during spring training workouts in Port St. Lucie.

The Mes lost to the Astros, 6-3 on Monday afternoon in West Palm Beach >> Box score

Five things to know about Monday's game

1. Pete Alonso stayed hot, smoking a double off the wall in left-center field in his first at bat. Alonso went 1-for-3 overall, but his line out in his final at-bat was also a laser -- but right at the shortstop. Alonso's OPS is 1.270.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Feb 18, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) throws during drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 18, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) throws during drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Mets infielder Todd Frazier took a very big step Monday in his return from a strained oblique, with him running, playing catch, and taking grounders in Port St. Lucie, he told reporters.

Frazier had first started running last Sunday, reported NorthJersey.com's Matt Ehalt

Frazier, who has been out since Feb. 26, received a cortisone shot after the injury was diagnosed, and Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said at the time that the MRI that confirmed the injury wasn't "overly alarming."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Peter Alonso, Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso connects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso connects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (8-8-1) travel to face the Astros (8-7) on Monday at 1:05 p.m. in West Palm Beach. 

Mets Notes...

Pete Alonso gets the start at first base while Dominic Smith gets the day off. ... Jeff McNeil is at third base for the second-straight game. ... Brandon Nimmo leads off and plays center field. ... Jason Vargas is on the mound.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob Rhame, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Paul Sewald, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

With Opening Day 17 days away, the Mets made their second round of Spring Training roster cuts on Monday.

Right-handed pitchers Corey Oswalt and Walter Lockett were both optioned to minor league camp.

Neither pitcher was in contention for a spot on the Opening Day roster, and both are expected to open the season with Triple-A Syracuse, where they will be a phone call away if the Mets need an emergency starter. 

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Mar 4, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) hits a single against the Boston Red Sox at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 4, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) hits a single against the Boston Red Sox at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

At one point, Dom Smith was the first baseman of the future for the Mets. Now that mantle has been passed to Pete Alonso, but Smith isn't going down without a fight. 

He's been hitting well this spring, going 1-for-3 Sunday with an RBI to raise his average to .423. And if Alonso winds up heading north with the team following spring training, Smith sees a possible path for him to go along for the ride as well: playing the outfield. 

"I love it," Smith said, according to Anthony Reiber of Newsday. "I'm all in for it. It's something I hope they do. It would add flexibility and would just make our team better." 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso
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Yoenis Cespedes (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Yoenis Cespedes (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes -- who has a long rehab road ahead of him -- will start a throwing program on Monday, manager Mickey Callaway said after Sunday's game.

Cespedes, who has been in Port St. Lucie at times during Spring Training, said on Feb. 15 that he expected to return at some point this season from the dual heel surgery he had last summer. 

"At this moment, I do feel like I will return," Cespedes told the media through a translator. "It may be three months (before the season ends), it may be two months, it may be one month."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Mets shine behind Matz 00:01:30
Steven Matz pitched four strong innings for the Mets against the Cardinals and the Mets bats start to heat up winning 9-1.

The Mets beat the Cardinals, 9-1, on Sunday afternoon at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie. >> Box score

Six things to know about Sunday's game

1. As the first base battle raged on, Pete Alonso (who was the DH) went 1-for-3 with a walk (his OPS is 1.297)., and Dominic Smith (who started at first base) went 1-for-3 with a run scored (his OPs is 1.060)...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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Amed Rosario goes deep 00:00:10
The Mets had a break out inning in the second. Rosario capped off the inning with a 3-run shot.

The Mets are hosting the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Highlights above and below...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Peter Alonso
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Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) doubles in the first inning of the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 27, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) doubles in the first inning of the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets (7-8-1) host the Cardinals (6-7) on Sunday at First Data Field at 1:10 p.m. on WPIX. 

Mets Notes...

Amed Rosario returns to the lineup for the first time since exiting the game on March 4 after getting hit in the hand with a pitch. ... Jeff McNeil gets the start at third base as the Mets prepare for the possibility that neither Todd Frazier or Jed Lowrie will be ready for Opening Day. ... Steven Matz is on the mound. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso (20) onnects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso (20) onnects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso took his baseball-demolishing tour to JetBlue Park on Saturday when the Mets visited the Red Sox, and got some high praise from Sox manager Alex Cora after the game.

Cora, who has some MVP candidates on his roster, said Alonso is "Probably the best hitter in Florida right now," according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald

That praise came after Alonso sent a homer clear out of the ballpark...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Peter Alonso, Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox the spring training game at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox the spring training game at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

In his start against the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, Mets RHP Zack Wheeler looked just like his second-half self from 2018. 

Wheeler pitched four scoreless innings for New York against a Red Sox lineup filled with everyday players like Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts. And he managed to only allow one hit while striking out three in the process. 

The outing was so good that Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez made it a point to cut off his postgame interview with reporters, and give him a silent handshake showing his genuine appreciation for what he watched Wheeler do on the hill.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Brandon Nimmo is feeling good both on the field, and in the kitchen. 

Last week, Nimmo suffered from self-inflicted food poisoning due to what was believed to be undercooked chicken. However, it was actually a stomach virus, which gave relieved the Mets' outfielder.

Now Nimmo is back in the kitchen, but he admits poultry isn't the No. 1 choice when he decides to cook for himself.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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