The first Mets game I remember was in 1984, when I was nine years old.  The majority of my family liked the Yankees.  So, in an effort to be different, I picked the Mets, and I immediately took to Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden, who were young, exciting, a bit brash and powerful.

Last week, the Mets announced that Strawberry, Gooden, Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson have been inducted in to the team’s Hall of Fame.

I was able to meet up with Strawberry and Gooden at SNY’s studios, to talk about the Hall of Fame, role models in sports, and being my idols growing up watching baseball in the 80s.

To see the full seven-minute interview, click play here; otherwise, scroll down for written transcript:

Matthew Cerrone:  I grew up a huge Mets fan, seeing you guys here together, in these jackets, is a thrill to be quite honest, as you’re really the reason I fell in love with baseball.  At the same time, your careers kind of took a turn at the end, a lot of fans were disappointed, like myself, who kind of felt let down in a weird way.  But, it’s awkward, because you were young men, professional ballplayers trying to find your way.  How do you feel about role models in sports, now, looking back on your careers and how things went?

Dwight Gooden:  Well, for me, role models start at home… Athletes, we’re human as well, we’re gonna make mistakes.  Me and Darryl both were thrown in a similar situation at a young age, lots of expectations, and I felt for the most part we handled it very well.  Obviously, we had some downfalls off the field, but we got our life together and things are going well and you can only learn from your mistakes and share that with kids and hope they don’t make the same mistake.

Darryl Strawberry:  People always say, ‘Athletes are role models,’ but I don’t really think that’s the case.  I think what we do is, we’ve been given a gift, to play sports and excel, and to try and do as well as we can.  It’s like Doc said, role models are made at home, through parents, brothers, sisters, and in yourself… We handled the situation as well as we could have, as young men.  I was 21, of course, and Doc was 19, expectations were high and the sky was the limit for us… You know what it is, I just think you’re naive when you’re that young.  And you think you can do whatever you want to do however you want to do it.  I think we all think that way when growing up.  Our situation just happened to be playing big-league baseball, and being in a major spotlight.  I think every kid will go through something, you see kids in college, at 21, and the different things that they go through, but it’s just we were doing it as professionals, getting paid and we were excelling on the field.  But, there are lessons to be learned, no question about it.  There were lessons for me to learn, and I learned them the hard way.  Do I wish that up on anybody?  No.  I wish they can learn it the easier way. 

Matthew Cerrone:  I know you don’t think you were role models, but you are.  It’s a weird conundrum.  Because, on one hand, you don’t want to be a role model, but, like it or not, you are.  I mean, I’m running around as a kid with a Doc and Darryl t-shirt on, looking up to you guys… my father bought it for me.  So, that’s the reality.  What do you tell your own kids, as they watch sports?

Dwight Gooden:  I have young guys, my oldest son is 23, I also have a five year old, and my other two boys are in to sports now, they’re 13 and 15… So, with them, you just tell them, ‘Learn from my mistakes,’ and I share with them the choices I made.  My biggest problem was trying to please others, trying to fit in, trying to be liked, and, when I would go home, and go back to Tampa, I wanted those guys to know I was the same guy, and I put myself in danger just trying to fit in.  So, basically, I just try to share with them the experiences I went through and help them make better choices… and for them to have someone to talk to, even if it’s not me, someone they’re comfortable with, someone they can share things with, because that was another downfall I had.  I could never share what was going on with me, I just bottled it up inside, because at a young age there was a lot expected of me, especially from my family, where, basically, I was the care taker, because, I figured, if I have a problem I can’t go to them, how are they gonna look at me?  So, a lot of stuff I let build up inside, which with my kids, I try to teach them the opposite. 

Matthew Cerrone:  And yet, here we are, all these years later, and this is great, as Mets fans love you, you’re gonna be in the Mets Hall of Fame, and that’s great.  How does that feel, to sort of come full circle and be back in the family… to hear the fans cheer again, that much be exciting?

Darryl Strawberry:  Well, yeah, it’s definitely exciting for both of us.  I mean, you think about our careers… You look at the fans, and you think of all the support and concern that Mets fans have had for us over the years for me and Doc because they believed in us and they saw what we did as players, and then they believed in us as a person too, but I think they just wanted to see us get our lives together and we were able to do that.  To be able to be sitting here, to be able to say we’re being inducted in to the Mets Hall of Fame that’s an honor…

Dwight Gooden:  It’s a great honor… not only to be inducted, but to be inducted with Darryl… I think we made eachother better.  I know on days when I was pitching, if he hit a home run I wanted to go out and strike out the side… It was a great thing, and we were always there for eachother, whether we needed to talk on the plane or if he’d get on me for something for not doing what I was supposed to do.  For all the things that took place, for it to come full circle and to be in the Mets Hall of Fame is just an honor and privilege…

Matthew Cerrone:  Well, I can tell you, as a fan, I’m thrilled you’re gonna be in their Hall of Fame, but I’m even happier that you’re both doing well and that you’re back in the family again, and that’s great.

Tags: MetsBlog, Matthew Cerrone

 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For all the hype over the years about the Mets' starting pitching, it's worth noting that Jacob deGromNoah SyndergaardMatt HarveySteven Matz, and Zack Wheeler have never pitched a rotation turn together. Not just this year. Ever.

Will it ever happen? And, as importantly, can the Mets really count on that quintet to live up to its promise before the rotation begins to break up?

The clock certainly is ticking. Syndergaard and Harvey have now resumed throwing, at least on flat ground, although their eventual returns will come too late to salvage this season.

But even if the Mets do not try to pull off a Jose Quintana-type deal for deGrom, there is an expiration date on how long this group will remain intact...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone, comedian Steve Hofstetter and SiriusXM's Rob Brender discuss the team's approach at the non-waiver, as well as...

  • The pros and cons of trading Jacob deGrom...
  • What's next for Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard...
  • Shutting down Yoenis Cespedes and his legs...
  • Tim Tebow, and if he'll ever see Double-A, let alone the big leagues...
  • Addison Reed on the Nationals? Lucas Duda on the Yankees?

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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JRSportBrief: Cespedes questions 00:01:16
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR explains why Yoenis Cespedes will not live up to his four-year contract.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about whether Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes will live up to his contract.

Cespedes, 31, agreed to a four-year deal worth $110 million during the offseason after opting out of the three-year deal he signed with the Mets after the 2015 season.

He missed over a month earlier this year due to a hamstring injury and is hitting .271 with a .323 OBP and .480 SLG with nine HR and 22 RBI in 49 games this season.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets LHP Thomas Szapucki, the top pitching prospect in the organization, underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, the team announced.

Recovery time is expected to be 12-to-18 months.

Szapucki, who missed time earlier this year with a left shoulder impingement, had a 2.79 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 27 strikeouts in 29.0 innings (six starts) for Low-A Columbia this season.

The 21-year-old Szapucki appeared on multiple top prospects lists this past winter, as well as 60th on ESPN.com's Keith Law annual overall rankings.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 7/20 00:04:12
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 3-2 win over the Cardinals.

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

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

1) Jose Reyes hit what would've been an inning-ending ground out to first base in the ninth inning, but Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal was slow covering first base, allowing for Reyes to beat the throw as Yoenis Cespedes scored the winning run from third base.

2) Wilmer Flores hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning with the Mets trailing, 2-1. Lucas Duda had given the Mets a 1-0 lead when he homered to right-center field in the second inning.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Wilmer Flores
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Mets are getting lots of interest in closer Addison Reed, with six teams -- with the Brewers potentially among them -- inquiring about a potential trade, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.

The Red Sox are one of the teams interested in acquiring Reed, who "everyone is asking about," Rob Bradford of WEEI reported earlier this week.

In early July, the Boston Globe reported that the Nationals had interest in Reed, but the Mets are reluctant to make such a high-profile trade with their division rival...

 

Tags: Addison Reed
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The Mets (42-50) go for the split of their four-game series against the Cardinals (46-48) on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. at Citi Field on SNY.

Who is starting today for the Mets? 

RHP Seth Lugo (4.50 ERA/4.08 FIP, 1.45 WHIP), who allowed three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five in 6 2/3 innings this past Saturday against the Rockies.

The Mets have won 11 of Lugo's last 13 starts dating back to Aug. 25, 2016, during which Lugo has a 3.49 ERA. Lugo has a 3.09 ERA during his career at Citi Field...

Tags: Seth Lugo
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We Ask Mets Fans...another event 00:01:42
In the latest edition of We Ask Mets Fans presented by StubHub, Mets fans choose which player they would take to another event.

In the latest edition of We Ask Mets Fans presented by StubHub, Mets fans choose which player they would take to another event.

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Josh Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Josh Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets have activated LH reliever Josh Smoker off the disabled list and have designated RH reliever Neil Ramirez for assignment, the team announced Thursday. 

Smoker, who had been on the DL with a left shoulder strain, had been rehabbing with Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton over the last two weeks.

The left-hander has a 7.45 ERA and 1.86 WHIP with 17 walks and 36 strikeouts in 29 innings (22 games) this season for the Mets. He last pitched for the Mets on June 13 against the Cubs, when he allowed three runs in four innings.

Tags: Josh Smoker
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Mets, who would reportedly rather deal Curtis Granderson, have not talked with Jay Bruce about being traded, Kristie Ackert reported July 20 in the Daily News.

Bruce still has a partial no-trade clause in his current contract, which expires at the end of this season, a source recently told James Wagner of the New York Times.

"I came here as a hired gun," Bruce said, according to Ackert. "I know what I am and what situation I am in. This is a business. Don't get me wrong, I love playing the game, I always will. But this is my job. I am a hired gun and I go where I am needed."

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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Jeep Pitchcast: deGrom cruises 00:00:24
Gary and Ron look at how Jacob deGrom controlled the game with his first-pitch fastballs against St. Louis.

Gary and Ron look at how Jacob deGrom controlled Wednesday night's game with his first pitch fastballs against St. Louis. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Collins on infield shakeup 00:02:11
Terry Collins says the return of Neil Walker may result in Asdrubal Cabrera being shifted to third base.

Mets infielders Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker will begin taking ground balls at third base, Terry Collins told reporters Thursday. 

Walker (hamstring) will begin practicing at the position once he comes back from the disabled list. However, Cabrera won't play third until Walker returns to the lineup, according to Collins. Cabrera told reporters that he is willing to slide over to third, a position he's only played once in his major league career.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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Mets RHP Jacob deGrom has heard the chatter surrounding him and a potential trade, but is tuning it out.

"I guess it's a good thing if other teams want you," deGrom told reporters Wednesday night. "But I've got a job to do here, and that's my main focus right now."

After tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball on Wednesday night, deGrom has a 3.37 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 144 strikeouts -- a career-best 10.3 per nine innings -- in 125 2/3 innings (19 starts) this season. He is arbitration-eligible and under team control through 2020, after which he can file for free agency.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets approaching trade deadline 00:05:15
With the trade deadline approaching, Jon and Eamon discuss what the Mets strategy should be going forward on Loud Mouths

The Mets have informed their players - and teams interested in acquiring them - that they plan to rotate their outfielders to balance playing time through the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, multiple sources recently told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

According Rosenthal, the Mets prefer to trade Curtis Granderson over Jay Bruce, who they could hold on to and make a qualifying offer that could potentially net them a compensatory draft pick if he signs with a new team in the offseason. However, for now, Rosenthal adds, neither Granderson or Bruce have drawn significant interest in the trade market.

"If they have the chance to make their organization better by trading me, they would be crazy not to do it," Bruce said on Wednesday, according to the NY Daily News. "I know that they have to look out for their future here. I expect they will do that if they have the chance. I know what can happen."

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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GEICO SportsNite: Trade deGrom? 00:06:18
On tonight's GEICO SportsNite, the BNNY panel recaps Jacob deGrom's dominant outing and debates whether or not the Mets should trade him

The Mets (42-50) have won just four of their last 12 games, including last night's 7-3 win against the Cardinals at Citi Field. With 11 days until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, they are 10 losses back of the D-backs, who lead the final Wild Card spot and are on pace to win 92 games.

To reach 92 wins, the Mets must go 50-20 (.714) the rest of the season.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:15
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 7-3 win over the Cardinals

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

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

1) Jacob deGrom allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to win a career-high seventh consecutive start. The right-hander surrendered seven hits, walked one and struck out three. DeGrom (11-3) failed to complete seven innings for the first time in eight starts.

2) The Mets scored three runs in the first and four more in the second. Yoenis Cespedes singled, doubled and drove in two runs. Jose Reyes had two hits, including a two-run single that capped New York's four-run second inning. Jay BruceLucas Duda and Wilmer Flores had RBI hits. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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The Mets (41-50) play the third game of a four-game series against the Cardinals (46-47) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field on SNY.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

RHP Jacob deGrom (3.48 ERA/3.74 FIP, 1.18 WHIP), who is looking for his seventh straight win. He allowed two runs, one earned on four hits while striking out 11 and walking one in eight innings against the Rockies in his last start. 

DeGrom has a 1.53 ERA over his last six starts and has a 2.03 ERA in 47 career starts at Citi Field. DeGrom's career home ERA is second-best in the majors since 2014, behind only Clayton Kershaw, who has a 1.72 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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 (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets second baseman Neil Walker (hamstring tear) should begin playing rehab games soon and could return when the Mets play the Padres in San Diego beginning on Monday, manager Terry Collins said.

Walker, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 15, recently began running.

In Walker's absence, Asdrubal Cabrera has shifted to second base with Jose Reyes at shortstop.

Walker has hit .270 with nine home runs and 33 RBI through 60 games in his second season in New York. 

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Neil Walker
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FirstData Field in Port St. Lucie during March, 2017 (Credit: Cerrone, MetsBlog)
FirstData Field in Port St. Lucie during March, 2017 (Credit: Cerrone, MetsBlog)

First baseman Jeremy Vasquez is off to a solid start to his professional career.

Vasquez, who turned 21 years old on Monday, is hitting .342 (27-for-79) with four homers and 22 RBI and has a .443 on-base percentage through 21 games with Kingsport. He was drafted in the 28th round last month out of Nova Southeastern University, which had won the 2016 Division II national title.

"All my success so far in Kingsport is all because of the head coach at Nova -- just everything he's taught me this past year," Vasquez said, referring to Greg Brown, a former Astros scout who once signed J.D. Martinez. "Everything I've learned from those guys over there I've translated over here to Kingsport. I'm hitting the ball as well as I've ever hit it. He talks to J.D. Martinez and [Padres infielder] Carlos Asuaje all the time about hitting. I would just say the main thing he taught is using the big part of the field and trying to drive the ball -- not trying to pull everything."

Vasquez has another strong influence in his baseball career. His 24-year-old brother James Vasquez, also a lefty-hitting, lefty-fielding first baseman, was drafted by the Reds in the 25th round in 2015 out of the University of Central Florida. James was promoted to high-A Daytona a month ago and is hitting .275 with six doubles and three RBI in 22 games since arriving in the Florida State League...

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

It's feeling like the Mets may be missing the moment to make a trade. Admittedly, I started today worried they may botch the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, end up stuck with pending free agents and lose out on acquiring prospects and players who could help next season.

However, after talking to people around baseball, I'm slightly less pessimistic.

For starters, according to Ken Rosenthal, Mets GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets are willing to include cash in trades to get better prospects back in deals, sources with knowledge of the team's thinking said.

This is good news. It'll help push things through. And, I'm glad Alderson was able to convince ownership of this approach when the front office held a strategy session earlier this week.

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Steven Matz, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 8, 2015; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Collins (10) against the Washington. Credit: Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2015; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Collins (10) against the Washington. Credit: Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Yoenis Cespedes has struck out twice and is hitless in nine at-bats since missing Sunday's game with the same sore hip that forced him to leave a game early the day before.

It has been 66 at-bats and nearly a month since Cespedes last hit a home run.

Cespedes, 31, missed 37 games earlier this season due to a sore quad and a strained hamstring. He also missed time last season with a sore quad, which he initially tried to play through before ending up on the disabled list.

"There's a little concern there," Terry Collins admitted Tuesday, when asked about how Cespedes has struggled this season. "Obviously, power is huge from the legs. Just looking at the swings, the lower half seems to be fine. He's just not getting the bat out in front."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets first baseman T.J. Rivera (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets first baseman T.J. Rivera (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

The Red Sox are looking to acquire a third baseman and have interest in Mets infielders Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera and T.J. Riveraaccording to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The Sox have also recently been linked in rumor to Martin Prado (Marlins), Jed Lowrie (A's), Yangervis Solarte (Padres), and Josh Harrison (Pirates).

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets were charged with three errors, which led to three unearned runs, during Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Cardinals at Citi Field.

By the end of the game, T.J. Rivera had committed two errors, Jose Reyes misplayed a ground ball and bungled a double-play ball, Asdrubal Cabrera confused his feet on two throws to second, Yoenis Cespedes let a fly ball drift over his head and Lucas Duda dropped a pop up in foul ground. He also struggled to scoop several short hops at first base, but that is mostly due to the consistently poor throws coming to him from Rivera and Reyes.

"It was kind of ugly for us in the beginning," Reyes said.

The beginning? Try the middle and the end, too, Jose...

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Collins, Montero on the loss 00:05:29
Terry Collins and Rafael Montero discuss the rough pitching that has led to back-to-back losses to the Cardinals at Citi Field.

The Mets (41-50) have lost three consecutive games, eight of their last 11 and are 2-3 on their 10-game home stand. With 12 days until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, they are nine losses back of the Rockies, who lead the final Wild Card spot and are on pace to win 92 games.

To reach 92 wins, the Mets must go 51-20 the rest of this season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:41
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

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

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

1) Two errors and several misplays helped the Cardinals score four times in the first two innings off Rafael Montero. The 26-year-old was charged with two earned runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six innings.

2) The Mets committed as many errors in the game -- three, including two by T.J. Rivera -- as hits. Yoenis Cespedes had a first-inning single and Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 with a double and a single.

3) Cardinals starter Michael Wacha allowed three hits, one walk and struck out eight in the first complete game and shutout of his career.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets (41-49) play the second game of a four-game series against the Cardinals (45-47) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field on SNY.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

RHP Rafael Montero (5.77 ERA/3.52 FIP, 1.90 WHIP), who suffered a loss in his last start against the Phillies. He allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two in 6.1 innings. 

Montero has had trouble controlling his pitches this season as he allowed 5.5 walks per nine innings pitched. 

Tags: Rafael Montero
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Mets dealing Duda and Reed? 00:05:40
At what price does it make sense for the Mets to trade Lucas Duda and Addison Reed to the New York Yankees?

The Yankees have reached out to the Mets to express interest in 1B Lucas Duda and closer Addison Reedreports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

The Yankees, who are interested in acquiring a first baseman and late-inning reliever, were scouting the Mets on Monday night at Citi Field, according to the NY Post's Kevin Kernan.

The Mets are reportedly open to dealing any player who is not under team control beyond next season, including Reed and Duda.

Sandy Alderson said July 14 that he's not opposed to trading with the Yankees, despite the two teams not connecting on a player-for-player big-league deal since swapping Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia in 2004.

Tags: Addison Reed, Lucas Duda
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June 16, 2012; Daniel Murphy (28) and Justin Turner (2) talk during batting practice. Credit: Penner-US PRESSWIRE
June 16, 2012; Daniel Murphy (28) and Justin Turner (2) talk during batting practice. Credit: Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Sandy Alderson was ahead of the curve back in the 1980s with Oakland, embracing sabermetrics at a time when it wasn't widely accepted in baseball. Now, is Alderson a step behind?

As this team's homestand opened, Alderson stuck to his long-held belief that defense should not be a primary emphasis when constructing a team. His reasoning: Wins are based on runs produced minus runs allowed. And fielding capability is only a fraction of run prevention, dwarfed by pitching.

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Collins on Cespedes' struggles 00:03:19
Mets manager Terry Collins discusses Yoenis Cespedes' recent struggles at the plate, shares an update on Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard.

Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup Monday night and was hitless, going 0-for-5, after resting his sore hip the previous game.

Trailing 6-3 with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cespedes came to the plate with a chance to tie the game. However, he swung in a 3-0 count and grounded into a game-ending double play.

"He's the home-run hitter, he's the big guy on our team you turn to, and you got him in a great count," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "He's got to get something good to hit, and he just didn't hit it."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Collins, Wheeler on the loss 00:05:21
Terry Collins and Zack Wheeler discuss what went wrong in the 6-3 loss to the Cardinals.

Zack Wheeler was unable to pitch out of trouble in the sixth inning when he allowed four of five batters to reach base during Monday's 6-3 loss to the Cardinals at Citi Field.

"It was my fault," Wheeler later explained. "I should have made my pitches and gotten out of that. Our bullpen, I trust them in every situation. Today, we just couldn't get the job done when we needed to."

After escaping a two-on, two-out jam in the third inning, as well as a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth, Wheeler (3-7) gave up a two-run home run to Paul DeJong and an RBI double to Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright before getting pulled from the game.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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This season, Verizon customers can enter to win unique baseball experiences to every Tuesday Night Baseball home game... all you need is a current Verizon Wireless or Verizon Fios account!

It's better baseball from the Better Network.

To enter, go to SNY.TV/VERIZON or click here for more information...

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GEICO SportsNite: BNNY on Mets 00:04:02
The Baseball Night in New York crew analyzes the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Cardinals.

The Mets (41-49) have lost seven of their last 10 games, including a 6-3 loss to the Cardinals last night. They are eight losses back of a Wild Card spot with 13 days until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 7/17 00:03:33
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Cardinals.

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

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

1) Zack Wheeler breezed through four innings before struggling in the fifth and falling apart in the sixth. The right-hander was charged with four runs on seven hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth but allowed a two-run homer to Paul DeJong in the sixth and an RBI double by Adam Wainwright before he was removed from the game.

2) Hansel Robles allowed a three-run homer to Tommy Pham on his second pitch after his recall from Triple-A Las Vegas following Sunday's game. 

Tags: Lucas Duda, Zack Wheeler
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The Mets (41-48) open a four-game series against the Cardinals (44-47) on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field on SNY.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

RHP Zack Wheeler (4.86 ERA/4,73 FIP, 1.51 WHIP), who allowed two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out five in 6.0 innings against the Cardinals on July 8.

In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Wheeler has struck out 70 batters in 76.0 innings (15 starts) this season.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Matt Harvey talks rehab progress 00:02:31
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey updates the media about Monday?s throwing session and the progress of his rehab session.

Matt Harvey (scapula) and Noah Syndergaard (lat strain) began their respective throwing programs before tonight's game at Citi Field. 

"He looked free and easy," Terry Collins later said about Syndergaard. 

"I really wanted to ramp things up there," Syndergaard said. "That's how good I felt. But I know I don't need to rush it back."

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes leaves the field after being injured against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes leaves the field after being injured against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes  who sat out on Sunday due to a sore hip, is back in the lineup for Monday night's series-opener against the Cardinals at Citi Field.

Cespedes did not play Sunday after he left Saturday night's game with soreness in his left hip after an awkward slide in the outfield.

Cespedes missed 37 games earlier this season due to a strained hamstring and quad soreness.

"I'm just glad there's nothing more serious because it sure looked a lot worse than it turned out to be," Mets manager Terry Collins said before Sunday's game, according to Newsday's Marc Carig. "We're glad that it's only going to be a day, not a week or a month."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets are sellers 00:05:05
Jon Hein and Dan Graca react to the news that the Mets are making Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed, Jay Bruce and Asdrubal Cabrera available.

Mets OF Jay Bruce still has a partial no-trade clause in his current contract, which expires at the end of this season, a source recently told James Wagner of the New York Times.

According to Wagner, Bruce has the right to veto a deal sending him to the A's, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Phillies, Rays, Twins, and Yankees.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Terry Collins said this past weekend that he isn't currently focused on the Wild Card race. Instead, he's preaching to his team a goal of getting to 90 wins.

"You can't just throw up the white flag and say the season is over,'' Collins said before losing on Sunday. "I said going into the break, let's win 51 of the 76 left. That's got to be our goal, get to 90 wins and see where we're at. I don't think for any stretch of the imagination that this is over yet.''

To win 90, the Mets must win 67 percent of their remaining games to go 49-24. In other words, they need to win every series they play, despite winning just half the series they have already played this season.

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 (Frank Franklin II/AP)
(Frank Franklin II/AP)

In the midst of a lost season for the Mets, an unlikely bright note has emerged -- T.J. Rivera. A red-hot July during which he has hit .394 with five extra-base hits over 37 plate appearances has pushed his OPS over .800 and he shows no signs of slowing down. 

Despite going undrafted, Rivera has developed into a solid hitter and has the potential to be a valuable piece of the team going forward.

From the time he arrived in the Mets system, Rivera showed that he could hit. He never batted below .300 at any level and secured the 2016 Pacific Coast League batting title with a .353 average and a .909 OPS. He was never ranked as a top prospect, in part due to his relatively advanced age, but that performance earned him a well-deserved call-up to the big leagues last season, where he slashed .333/.345/.476 in 113 plate appearances.

There were few expectations of a repeat performance from Rivera going into 2017. His walk rate was under 3 percent, he didn't have much power and regression seemed inevitable from a 28-year-old entering his rookie year. Instead, he has been one of their best batters and may be hitting his way into a bigger role in 2018 and beyond.

Tags: TJ Rivera, Maggie Wiggin
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JRSportBrief: Cabrera-Rosario 00:01:14
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR discusses the Mets' decision to keep shortstop Amed Rosario down in Triple-A.

The Mets have hesitated to call up prospect Amed Rosario from Triple-A Las Vegas because of possible turmoil in the big-league clubhouse stemming from Asdrubal Cabrera's lingering unhappiness, reports Bob Klapisch of The Record, citing one person familiar with management's thinking.

Cabrera is reportedly still upset over the team's decision to move him to second base. He publicly sought a trade in June, but soon backed away from the request. Cabrera seeks another opportunity to play shortstop and wants the team to exercise his option for 2018, but Jose Reyes has played at shortstop in every game he's played since June 13.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes
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Collins, Mets discuss 13-4 loss 00:06:01
Terry Collins and Steven Matz break down what went wrong for Matz on Sunday and Asdrubal Cabrera gives his thoughts on Amed Rosario.

The Mets opened the second half by winning two of three games against Rockies this past weekend at Citi Field. New York is seven games below .500 and seven losses back in the Wild Card race with just two weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline...

What's Next

Zack Wheeler (3-6, 4.86 ERA) and the Mets (41-48) open a four-game series against Adam Wainwright (10-5, 5.20 ERA) and the Cardinals (44-47) tonight at Citi Field...

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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz reacts on his way to the dugout in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz reacts on his way to the dugout in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets LHP Steven Matz had one of the worst outings of his career, giving up seven runs and nine hits as he was pulled in the second inning in Sunday's 13-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

"It just wasn't really sharp today," Matz (2-3) said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "I was leaving balls right over the middle of the plate, and they were hitting it."

After allowing four runs in the first inning, Matz left the game after surrendering a three-run home run to Nolan Arenado in the second inning that put New York in a 7-0 hole.

Tags: Colorado Rockies, Steven Matz
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New York Mets relief pitcher Hansel Robles throws during the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets relief pitcher Hansel Robles throws during the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets recalled RHP Hansel Robles from the minors and optioned RHP Chasen Bradford to Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, the team announced.

Robles, 26, went 4-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 21 games in the majors and 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 18 minor-league appearances since he was optioned in late May.

In his last eight outings with the 51s, Robles had allowed three earned runs in 11 innings.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 7/16 00:03:01
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 13-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

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

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

1) Steven Matz was lit up for seven runs and nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts in one-plus inning, the shortest start of his career. The Rockies tallied four times on five hits in the first. Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer in the second. 

2) Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer -- his ninth of the season -- and Lucas Duda hit a solo blast for his 15th of the year. Jose Reyes added a sacrifice fly. Jay Bruce singled and doubled, and was the only Met with more than one hit.

Tags: Steven Matz
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The Mets (41-47) go for the sweep in the series finale against the Rockies (52-41) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field on SNY.

Who is starting today for the Mets? 

Steven Matz (2-2, 3.05 ERA) will try to get back on track after allowing five runs on seven hits against the Cardinals his last time out. He will face the Rockies for the second time in his career. He allowed two runs on 10 hits against the Rockies on July 29, 2016. He has seven wins and a 1.99 ERA in 11 career starts during the day.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Veteran of the Game 00:01:03
US Marine Corps Sgt. George Boecklin was honored as the Veteran of the Game at Citi Field on Saturday.

US Marine Corps Sgt. George Boecklin was Saturday's First Data Veteran of the Game at Citi Field. 

Click here to see all of the veterans the Mets honor throughout the season.

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Jul 15, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) leans over after trying to catch a fly ball against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jul 15, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) leans over after trying to catch a fly ball against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has a sore left hip stemming from his slide in the outfield on Saturday, but Mets manager Terry Collins said he could play if needed. 

Collins said Cespedes will receive treatment to prepare him for Monday night's series opener against the Cardinals.

Cespedes left Saturday night's game in the top of the sixth inning after he felt something in his hip following the slide. Mets manager Terry Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez went out to check on Cespedes, who then left the game. 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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GEICO SportsNite: David Peterson 00:00:42
Mets first-round draft pick David Peterson reacts to officially joining the Brooklyn Cyclones and entering the Mets' farm system.

Cadillac Post Game Extra: 7/15 00:02:57
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

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

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

1) Jay Bruce put the Mets on the board in the first inning with a three-run homer, the first of three home runs on the night for New York. Seth Lugo hit his first career home run in the third inning and Jose Reyes added a solo shot in the eighth inning to extend the Mets' lead to 9-3. Lucas Duda had a double and two RBIs, Travis d'Arnaud went 1-for-4 with an RBI, and T.J. Rivera added a hit and RBI for the Mets.

2) Lugo allowed three runs on seven hits in six and 2/3 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. He held the Rockies scoreless for the first five innings before allowing a pair of runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. Paul SewaldJerry Blevins, and Addison Reed were perfect in relief.

3) Yoenis Cespedes left the game in the sixth inning after sliding awkwardly on a ball hit to the outfield. 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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