Valentino Pascucci, something of a cult hero in certain segments of Mets fandom, was looking for a job hitting baseballs. Instead, he found a job teaching others how to hit them, as the hitting coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Mets Single-A affiliate.

Pascucci, who turned 35 last November, was coming off a 30 home run season, split between Reynosa in the Mexican League and Camden in the Atlantic League, bopping 15 in each. But he and his 191 Triple-A long balls and career .266/.390/.493 line in over 1,000 games could not find a job on a Major League team’s 40-man roster or in Japan.

And so, it was time for a change. Truthfully, the Mets have had their collective eyes on Pascucci as a coaching candidate since at least 2011 and 2012 when Pascucci was still playing for the team's Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.

“It started back a couple of years ago with [Minor League Field Coordinator] Dick Scott,” Pascucci said, “We talked about what I wanted to do when I was done playing – if there was an opportunity to coach, they would love to have me back as a coach in the organization.”

This year there was. After Pascucci's preferred Japanese team went with another hitter, Pascucci and Scott got back together and finalized a deal in mid-January.


The Philosophical FitPascucci drew a walk in 15.5 percent of his minor league plate appearances and hit 301 doubles and 281 minor league homers. His style, represents, pretty closely, the kind of patient, powerful hitters the Mets are looking to develop.

Mets Hitting Coordinator Lamar Johnson, who oversees the minor league hitters and hitting coaches, talked about Pascucci, the hitter: “When you watch him play, and watch him hit, he does everything you would like a hitter to do. A guy like that, with that kind of discipline, that kind of plate coverage, and that kind of power, hey. He’s perfect for what we’re trying to do.”

Pascucci hit like a Mets farmhand, even before he was a Met.

“I kind of fit in with the Mets philosophy,” he said. “They want you to get a good pitch to hit. If you get it, drive it. If not, recognize it, [and] lay off it. Most of my career, I think I did a pretty good job of that.”

Johnson liked that Pascucci, did not just wait for his pitch, but he did damage when he connected: “He was a guy that would get good pitches to hit and when he got good pitches to hit, he would drive them. What he did at the plate was our main philosophy: always get a good pitch to hit.”

Even though he stood 6'6" and north of 200 pounds, with tremendous power, Pascucci took pride in using the whole field.

“Keep it to the big part of the field, the hits will come.” he said he always told himself. “I stayed to the big part of the field. Hit a lot of balls to right-center. It’s that old saying, 'Hard in, soft away.' I know guys are going to try to do that to me, so I just stayed looking out over the plate … recognizing offspeed and laying off of it was a big part of my game."

Where other hitters, particularly guys his age, were skeptical about drawing walks, Pascucci saw their value.

"I knew if I could draw a walk and get on base, then we’d have a runner on base, and the next guy would have a good chance, with a double, we’re scoring," he said, likely making wise baseball fans weep for joy.


A Different Kind of Hitting Coach.

Pascucci represents a departure from other Mets minor league hitting coaches in that he was a more successful, more powerful hitter than most of the other hitting coaches and managers in the system. He has more professional American home runs than the other seven managers and hitting coaches for the Mets full-season affiliates combined. It’s "Scooch" 281 – everyone else 103.

Pascucci represents modern baseball.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;Level;Yrs in Minors;HR;HR/Yr;Career MiLB SLG;MiLB AVG;MiLB Iso;

George Greer;AAA;4;32;8.0;.402;.275;.127

Luis Rivera;AA;6;1;0.2;.297;.259;.038

Joel Fuentes;A+;5;4;0.8;.316;.260;.056

Valentino Pascucci;A;13;281;21.6;.481;.266;.215

Wally Backman;Mgr AAA;6;13;2.2;.377;.297;.080

Pedro Lopez ;Mgr AA;13;49;3.8;.359;.247;.112

Ryan Ellis ;Mgr A+;5;2;0.4;.317;.251;.066

Luis Rojas;Mgr A;1;2;2.0;.352;.240;.112

[/sny-table]

One of these things is not like the others: Pascucci. He is the only one with an isolated slugging percentage above .130, and his was a healthy .215 in the minors.

The power comes second for Johnson, because, before you can be a power hitter, "You’re a good hitter first."


Now A Teacher

Pascucci went from looking for a job as a player in to walking into Spring Training as a coach just four months later.

“It was weird walking into the other lockerroom,” he said in Port St. Lucie. “There are some young players that were here my last year with the Mets. My last year in Tiple-A was 2012 with the Mets, so a lot of the guys knew me.”

Pascucci cannot teach his charges to be replicas of himself. Instead he has to figure out how to improve 25 guys. This is the hardest part of being a hitting coach. As he explained the challenge: "Just watching all the guys, learning all the personalities. … Communication with them is just going to be the key.”

Johnson, with over two decades to his credit, knows that learning personalities is perhaps more important than teaching mechanics.

“That’s going to be the toughest thing for all hitting coaches," he said. "Getting to know [the hitters] as individuals, what they need everyday and being there for them, especially times when things are not going well. You've got to be like a dad, a philosopher – you've got to be all that to those guys. Getting to know the players is the most important thing."


And the Kids?

The Gnats have the Mets’ last two first round picks, SS Gavin Cecchini (2012) and 1B Dominic Smith (2013) on the team.

Smith confesses he didn’t know who Pascucci was early in Spring Training.

“When I first saw him, I thought he was a pitching coach, because he didn’t say too much to us,” Smith said.

That changed quickly.

“He knows what he’s talking about. He’s really helping me become a better hitter,” he said.

Already, his charges are starting to sound like mini-Pascuccis.

Smith:

“He just really wants to emphasize for me, and a lot of the hitters in the lineup, to stay up the middle and in the opposite field. A lot of pitchers in minor league baseball work the outside half, so that’s what we have to be looking for and ready to hit. We have to learn how to drive those balls on the outer half because they don’t come in too many times, and if they do, our hands are quick enough to get to the inside pitch.”
Cecchini:

“Pascucci, what a great hitter he was, is always preaching stay up the middle, stay up the middle, stay on balls. Look for something out over the plate.”
Pascucci’s instructions -- and it’s early yet -- have been straightforward. Cecchini likes it.

“He’s been great," the shortstop said. "He keeps things simple. Its not so much things with your hands, or your feet or your load. Everyone has a different swing. He just works with you, and your routine and [focuses on] your approach.”

Pascucci's two big league periods as a player lasted 74 plate appearances with the Expos in 2004 and 11 plate appearances with the Mets in 2011. In between, he played in Japan, Albuquerque, New Orleans, Lehigh Valley, Portland, Camden and Buffalo, where he hit 126 home runs on US soil and more in Japan. He hit 47 more in 2012 and 2013. Still, that didn't get him there.

His third time through is most likely going to arrive when his pupils take the big guy's teachings up to the big leagues.

Tags: Analysis, Val Pascucci, Toby Hyde

In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, SiriusXM's Rob Brender and I try our best to be upbeat and positive in our assessment of the Mets, while talking about...

  • The awesomeness of Michael Conforto...
  • How this season is feeling like every Batman movie...
  • Who goes to the bench when Yoenis Cespedes returns...
  • The impact of missing Seth Lugo...
  • The more surprising Rivera, T.J. or Rene...
  • Terry Collins and running a beleaguered bullpen...

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

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Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver doesn't follow the team closely anymore, but was irritated when told of Noah Syndergaard's desire to throw harder.

When Bill Madden of the NY Daily News told Seaver that Syndergaard's lat injury might have been caused by working out too much in an effort to increase his velocity, Seaver rolled his eyes.

"What's with these guys and this obsession today with velocity?" he asked Madden. "How about just pitch! Learn how to pitch! Because eventually that velocity will be harder and harder to maintain on a consistent basis."

Seaver then noted that the most important pitch for a pitcher is "strike one."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Zack Wheeler limited the Pirates to three runs on seven hits in six innings on Saturday night, but was unable to pitch the seventh due to a blister, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

Wheeler (3.83 ERA) struck out five batters and walked two, throwing 94 pitches on the night. He was dealt a no-decision after the the Mets lost, 5-4, in extra innings.

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May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Mets (20-27) will wrap up their series with the Pirates (23-27) at 8:08 p.m. on Sunday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Matt Harvey (3-3, 5.36 ERA) will face off against 23-year-old Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 6.69 ERA).

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Collins, Wheeler, Reed on loss 00:06:21
Mets manager Terry Collins, starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and closer Addison Reed react to the Mets' 5-4 loss to the Pirates on Saturday.

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

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

1) John Jaso tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and came through with the game-winning single in the 10th. Addison Reed blew his second save of the season and Josh Edgin couldn't get out of a bases-loaded jam that rookie Tyler Pill created in the 10th.

2) Zack Wheeler allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. He was removed after developing a blister on his pitching hand.

Tags: Addison Reed, Zack Wheeler
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) will be shut down until at least Tuesday after experiencing soreness in his right quad while running the bases during a rehab game with St. Lucie on Friday night, the team announced.

The Mets will keep Cespedes in St. Lucie until he is cleared to play again. He was not in the lineup for Single-A St. Lucie on Saturday after going 0-for-2 in his first rehab outing on Friday night.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)

Mets RHP Tyler Pill will start Tuesday at Citi Field against the Brewers barring a rainout over the next couple of days, according to Matt Ehalt of The Record.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old was called up on Friday as the Mets sent the struggling Rafael Montero down to Triple-A Las Vegas. 

Tags: Tyler Pill
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The Mets (20-26) will play game two of their three-game set against the Pirates (22-27) on Saturday evening (7:15 p.m. ET) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets won on Friday evening against Pittsburgh, as Jacob deGrom pitched 8.1 innings and Neil Walker drove in four.

The Mets are 4-6 in their last 10 games and they snapped their six-game losing streak on Friday night. ... They are tied for second in the majors with 132 runs scored this month. ... The Mets are 9-11 on the road so far this season.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Jason Getz)
(Jason Getz)

Memorial Day typically is the first valid measuring stick for the direction of an MLB team's season. And let's just say the Mets will not be receiving rave reviews come Monday.

Even with an 8-1 win on Friday in Pittsburgh behind a two-homer, four-RBI game from Neil Walker and Jacob deGrom becoming the first starting pitcher with the Mets to exceed seven innings this season, the team possesses an unsightly 20-26 record and has spotted the Nationals a 7½-game lead in the NL East.

If you want the glass-half-full prognosis, Yoenis Cespedes began a rehab assignment on Friday with Class A St. Lucie, going 0-for-2 with a walk and playing six innings in left field, and Steven Matz and Seth Lugo make what may be their final rehab starts on Sunday for Las Vegas and Binghamton, respectively. So impact reinforcements may be on the way.

Yet while the returns of Matz and Lugo should alleviate the need for more than one start from newly promoted Tyler Pill, and should even supply an extra arm to the bullpen, the fact remains that Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia will be sidelined for months and Matt Harvey has yet to resolve his woes. So the reality is the Mets face a serious uphill battle to resurrect their season...

Tags: Addison Reed, Curtis Granderson, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Jacob deGrom throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  (AP)
Jacob deGrom throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (AP)

Jacob deGrom guided the Mets to a 8-2 victory over the Pirates on Friday night, as he recorded 10 strikeouts and gave up just one run on six hits in 8.1 innings of work. 

DeGrom's outing marked the longest by a Mets pitcher so far this season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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May 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
May 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets (20-26) will play game two of their three-game set against the Pirates (22-27) on Saturday evening (7:15 p.m. ET) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. 

Zack Wheeler (3-2, 3.74 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets after giving up two runs on four hits (five walks/five strikeouts) in his last outing against the Angels on May 20. 

Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.36 ERA) is looking to rebound from a disastrous outing versus the Braves, as he gave up five runs on 10 hits on May 22.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:13
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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

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

1) Neil Walker homered twice and collected three hits and a season-high four RBIs to pace the Mets' 12-hit attack. Lucas Duda had two hits and drove in two runs for the second straight game. Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce drove in the other runs for New York.

2) Jacob deGrom became the first Mets hurler to pitch into the ninth inning since he tossed a complete game July 16 against the Phillies. DeGrom tossed a season-high 118 pitches over 8 1/3 innings, and allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out 10.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Neil Walker
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today

Terry Collins has the support of Fred Wilpon and the rest of the Mets ownership group and remains "entrenched" as the manager of the team, according to a report from Newsday

Collins' on-field decisions have frustrated some members of the team's front office, but with Wilpon's support, Collins is not on the hot seat at this point. 

The manager is in the final year of his contract.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Steven Matz (flexor strain) and Seth Lugo (elbow) will continue their minor league rehab assignments on Sunday with AAA and AA respectively. 

Matz (flexor strain) pitched four innings and allowed five runs and five hits in a rehab start Tuesday night with Triple-A Las Vegas. It is possible he is activated from the disabled list early next week if all goes well over the weekend.

In High-A St. Lucie, Lugo (elbow) allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in three innings during his second rehab start earlier this week.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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The Mets (19-26) open a three-game series against the Pirates (22-26) on Friday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets lost two of three games to the Padres earlier this week at Citi Field.

The Mets are 3-7 over their last 10 games. ... They are fifth in the majors with 124 runs scored in May. ... The Mets are second in the majors with 43 runs scored in the first inning this season. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Jacob deGrom, (3.56 ERA/3.23 FIP, 1.31 WHIP), who had his start on Thursday skipped due to the threat of inclement weather, will be on the hill on Friday.

deGrom tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing four hits, walking three, and striking out nine last Friday against the Angels.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)

The Mets have promoted RHP Tyler Pill to the big-league roster and sent RHP Rafael Montero back to Triple-A to Las Vegas, the team announced prior to Friday's game.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Pill, who wear No. 56 and be available for Friday's game, RHP Seth Lugo was moved to the 60-Day Disabled List.

Pill, who turns 27 on Monday, was 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine combined starts between Triple-A and Double-A this season. He allowed 51 hits, issued 15 walks and struck out 26 batters.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto's All-Star bid 00:04:24
Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo discuss Michael Conforto's success so far this year and why he should be a National League All-Star.

The last time a player was voted to start the All-Star Game despite not appearing on the ballot came in 1974, when Steve Garvey of the Dodgers won a write-in campaign and appeared for the National League at first base. In fact, only one other time in major league history did a write-in candidate win the balloting: outfielder Rico Carty of the Braves in 1970.

So the odds are stacked against Michael Conforto being voted to start for the National League in Miami on July 11, when the 88th All-Star Game comes to Marlins Park.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today
Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today

Mets rookie RHP Paul Sewald continued his stellar pitching Thursday night, throwing three scoreless innings.

Sewald, who turns 27 today, entered in the top of the fourth inning after starting pitcher Rafael Montero was pulled from the game. Sewald allowed just one hit and one walk, while racking up four strikeouts in three innings. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Seth Lugo
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Alderson on frustrating season 00:03:36
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson discusses how he is coping with the team's current struggles with health and consistency.

The way Terry Collins has been handling the bullpen is frustrating some people in the team's front office, sources recently told NY Post reporter Joel Sherman.

Sherman's colleague, Mike Puma, was told by team sources that Sandy Alderson has specifically been irked by...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matt Harvey, TJ Rivera
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Nelson Figueroa on Montero nod 00:01:05
SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discusses Terry Collins' decision to start Rafael Montero in place of Jacob deGrom on Thursday night.

After being notified three and a half hours before the game that he would be starting, Rafael Montero struggled mightily against the Padres, picking up his fourth loss of the season.

Montero threw 87 pitches in only three innings, allowing three runs and five hits.

The 26-year old walked three batters, all in the first inning, which helped lead to San Diego jumping out to an early 2-0 lead.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today

The Mets were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Thursday night and managed to score only three runs against the last-place Padres and Dinelson Lamet, who was making his big-league debut.

Lamet allowed just one run and three hits in five innings, while racking up eight strikeouts in his debut, including three against Michael Conforto.

"It's definitely frustrating," Conforto said after the game about the team's production.

Read More

This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate $2,000 to No Kid Hungry. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals, meaning each Citi donation provides up to 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/onedollar.

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Collins, Conforto on Mets' loss 00:05:11
Mets manager Terry Collins and outfielder Michael Conforto share their thoughts on the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres in the series finale.

The Mets (19-26) travel to Pittsburgh and begin a three-game series Friday night with the Pirates (22-26) at PNC Park at 7:10 p.m.

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 4.56) will be pitching with an extra day of rest after the Mets bumped his start a day to avoid a possible rain-shortened outing on Thursday. In his last start, he allowed no runs on four hits in seven innings against the Angels...

Read More

Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/25 00:03:43
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres.

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

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

1) Rafael Montero labored his way through 87 pitches in three innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked four batters, including three in the first inning. Paul Sewald and Josh Edgin combined to pitch five scoreless innings in relief, but Addison Reed allowed the Padres to score an insurance run in the ninth inning.

2) Lucas Duda hit a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets on the board, then drove in the team's second run with an RBI single in the eighth. Michael Conforto tied his career-high with four strikeouts, but came through on a base hit in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to ten games.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets (19-25) will finish their three-game series against the Padres (17-31) on Thursday night at Citi Field. The series is split as the Padres won last night, 6-5, thanks to a go-ahead homer in the eighth by Hunter Renfroe. 

Michael Conforto has reached base safely in eight of his 10 plate appearance this series which includes two home runs. This month, he leads the NL in slugging percentage (.750), extra-base hits (15), and is tied for most runs scored (24). 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Rafael Montero, (8.10 ERA/5.38 FIP, 2.52 WHIP), who is filling in for Jacob deGrom. With the threat of inclement weather, the Mets pushed deGrom's start back to Friday.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets are pushing back Jacob deGrom's start to Friday due to anticipated inclement weather and will have Rafael Montero start on Thursday night against the Padres at Citi Field, manager Terry Collins said.

It has been raining in New York City for the majority of Thursday, and the forecast calls for rain on and off during the game, which is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler
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 (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

 

The Mets activated SS Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb) from the 10-day DL prior to Thursday's game and optioned C Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Cabrera went 2-for-5 in a rehab game Wednesday night for Double-A Binghamton.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is back in the lineup Thursday after missing Wednesday's game due to back tightness.

He left Tuesday night's game against the Padres after the bottom of the fifth due to the back issue.

"We have enough guys hurt right now, so being cautious I think is the right move," Bruce said about sitting out on Wednesday. "I fully expect to be back in there tomorrow." 

Bruce said Monday's off-day and "not doing too much" might have contributed to his back tightening up on him.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com were live from Citi Field today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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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)

Based on what happened before Wednesday's game, it appears the team's management is not letting Terry Collins talk to reporters about the player injuries.

In response to the directive, a source the NY Post's Ken Davidoff that Collins was "downright irate."

Collins was more or less vague Wednesday when asked about Jay Bruce, who was out of the starting lineup due to a back issue that pulled him from a game the night before.

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Blevins on his bullpen role 00:04:03
Steve Gelbs sits down with Jerry Blevins to discuss his recent success despite his heavy workload.

The bullpen and the way Terry Collins is handling it is such a collective mess right now, it's actually difficult to write about in a coherent and constructive manner.

The whole situation is mind numbing.

Last night, Collins and his team held a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but the bullpen faltered late, blew the lead and the game and the Mets lost, 6-5, to the Padres.

Read More

JR Sport Brief: Vote Conforto! 00:01:34
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR champions the effort to vote Mets OF Michael Conforto into the All-Star Game

Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with two walks, a run scored, and an RBI during Wednesday's loss against the Padres after hitting two home runs during Tuesday night's 9-3 win.

Conforto is now one home run shy of Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper, who lead the National League with 14 home runs. He is also fourth in OPS...

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Collins, Gsellman on loss 00:04:22
Manager Terry Collins and pitcher Robert Gsellman reflect on the Mets' disappointing 6-5 loss.

Tonight at 7:10 pm, the Mets (19-25) and Padres (17-32) conclude a three-game series at Citi Field. 

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56 ERA) will start for the Mets after throwing seven shutout innings against the Angels in his previous start.

For the Padres, Dinelson Lamet will make his big league debut. He was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

Read More

Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/24 00:03:40
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 6-5 loss to the Padres.

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

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

1) The Mets blew a 5-1 lead to the lowest scoring team in the National League. Josh Smoker allowed a monstrous go-ahead home run to Hunter Renfroe leading off the eighth inning. It was the second straight game Smoker surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced.

2) New York led 5-3 with two outs and nobody on in the seventh, but Fernando Salas allowed a single and consecutive walks to load the bases. Neil Ramirez yielded a game-tying single to Wil Myers, who missed a grand slam by inches. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Wilmer Flores
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May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Terry Collins was vague Wednesday when asked about the timetables regarding injured players on the team. 

While Collins and the team had previously been open with discussing injuries, they have recently taken an approach where they do not give a timeline for a player's return. 

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The Mets (19-24) play Game 2 of a three-game series against the Padres (16-31) on Wednesday night at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Padres last night, 9-3.

Michael Conforto became the first Mets player to record three RBI in the first inning last night after launching a leadoff homer and picking up a two-RBI single. He hit another solo shot in the fourth inning, finishing the day 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI and two runs scored. 

He has five home runs and 10 RBI in his last eight games. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Robert Gsellman, (6.75 ERA/4.56 FIP, 1.73 WHIP), who is back in the rotation after being skipped last week. Gsellman was struggling as a starter, which prompted his move to the bullpen where he has made two appearances. He has thrown three total innings in two appearances allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out three and walking one. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

LHP Tommy Milone has a sprained left knee and has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Wednesday.

LHP Josh Smoker will likely make his first Major League start in Milone's place on Saturday, although RHP Rafael Montero is also a possibility, reports Newsday's Marc Carig

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Travis d'Arnaud has been activated off the disabled list after pitcher Tommy Milone landed on the DL with a sprained left knee, the team announced Wednesday. 

D'Arnaud, who had been dealing with a bone bruise, went 0-for-4 and caught nine innings for Triple-A Las Vegas during his rehab assignment on Tuesday night.

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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In his fourth season in the upper levels of the Mets minor-league system, things are finally clicking for 26-year-old right-hander Tyler Pill.

Pill, a fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Cal State Fullerton, opened the season without allowing an earned run in his first 34 1/3 innings between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.

After limiting New Orleans to one run in 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, Pill now boasts a Pacific Coast League-leading 1.96 ERA.

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Rosario gets ready for Mets 00:00:32
SNY checks in with New York Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, as he gets ready for the big leagues at Triple-A in Las Vegas.

On a team filled with young talent, Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario stands out - not just for his incredible talent, but for the pure joy he has playing the game.

"If you didn't know anything about baseball and were watching this game, I'm pretty sure you would know who the best player on the field is," a veteran American League scout told me this past weekend as we watched Rosario play in a game for Triple-A Las Vegas.

"It's the kid at short," he added. "And, he just happens to be the youngest guy out there."

Rosario, 21, was recently ranked the fifth-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and the best prospect in baseball by ESPN.com's Keith Law.

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Jeep Pitchcast: Chacin struggles 00:00:24
Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets.

Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets. 

"In honor of Matthew Broderick, this was Jhouly's Chacin's day off today," SNY's Ron Darling said. "He got nickeled-and-dimed, he got hit out of the ballpark."

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Matt Harvey's mechanics 00:03:22
Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple break down some of Matt Harvey's mechanical issues on the mound and discuss how they can be addressed.

Despite being staked early to a 7-0 lead, Matt Harvey (3-3) labored through 103 pitches and five innings Tuesday against the Padres, though he still managed to get his first win since April 11.

"Obviously, he wasn't real sharp tonight," Terry Collins said after the game. "He just didn't have his command. It wasn't very good. His velocity was down. ... He had to work hard to get through the fifth inning and he did that. There is a space for that in the process of getting better. There's nothing wrong with it, being able to go out there and battle your butt off and keep your team in the game."

It was Harvey's first time pitching in Citi Field since being suspended three games on May 6 for missing a Saturday afternoon game against the Giants. He was greeted with a mix of unenthusiastic cheers and jeers by the roughly 20,000 fans in attendance.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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This season, during every Mets home game on SNY, you can enter for a chance to win Mets tickets and be featured as the Mets Trivia Drive contestant live on SNY.

Just follow @SNYtv on Twitter and during the 5th inning look for the SNY 5th Inning Sweepstakes Presented by your Local Ford Dealers question.

Tweet your answer to @SNYtv using #SNYFord5thSweepstakes to be automatically entered to win.

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Collins, Conforto, Harvey on win 00:06:25
Terry Collins, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey discuss the team's seven-run eruption in the first inning and Harvey's shaky outing.

The Mets (19-24) continue their series against the Padres (16-31) tonight at Citi Field.

Robert Gsellman (2-3, 7.12 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) will start for the Mets for the first time since allowing six runs in a start against the Brewers.

Jarred Cosart (0-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) will make his fourth start and second for the Padres since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Tags: Matt Harvey, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/23 00:05:02
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling recap the Mets' 9-3 win over the Padres.

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

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

1) The Mets scored seven runs on eight hits in the first inning, bookended by Michael Conforto's leadoff homer and two-run single. Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores had a sacrifice fly and RBI single, respectively, and Lucas Duda hit a two-run double. Conforto went deep again in the fourth and Duda added an RBI single in the seventh.

2) Conforto notched his second multi-homer game of the season and drove in a career-high four runs. He and Duda both finished 3-for-4, while Flores and Neil Walker had two hits apiece.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto
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The Mets (18-24) open a three-game series against the Padres (16-30) on Tuesday night at Citi Field. The Mets, who were off on Monday, took two games out of three from the Angels this past weekend. 

With a win tonight, Terry Collins will secure his 500th win with the Mets. Davey Johnson (595) and Bobby Valentine (536) are the only managers to have more wins in Mets history.

The Mets have adjusted their starting rotation as Robert Gsellman is scheduled to throw Wednesday, followed by Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, with Saturday's starter to be determined.  

Tags: Matt Harvey
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New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday, June 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday, June 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Back at the winter meetings in December 2013, Curtis Granderson officially signed with the Mets for four years, $60 million. He then took a playful jab at his former employer based in the Bronx...

"A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans," Granderson said during his introductory press conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "So, I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there."

Granderson rarely has said anything provocative during his time in Queens. But, as his four-year contract approaches its expiration at season's end - and as Granderson's age seemingly begins to catch up with him - the Mets unequivocally have gotten their money's worth from the deal.

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Mets have optioned RH reliever Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled LH reliever Josh Smoker, it was announced Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Robles, who has a 6.23 ERA in 21 2/3 innings (21 games) this season, had gotten hit especially hard lately.

He allowed 12 runs (including four home runs) during his last three appearances, spanning just 2 2/3 innings...

Tags: Hansel Robles, Josh Smoker
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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

RHP Seth Lugo will make a rehab start for High-A St. Lucie tonight, the Mets said.

Lugo, who pitched for team Puerto Rico during the World Baseball Classic, has been out all season due to a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. He tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings for St. Lucie on May 18 during his first rehab game.

He had started his rehab by pitching in extended spring training.

Lugo, 27, had a 2.67 ERA (4.33 FIP) and 1.09 WHIP with 45 strikeouts and 21 walks in 64 innings (eight starts, nine relief appearances) for the Mets in 2016 during what was his rookie season...

Tags: Seth Lugo
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