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GEICO SportsNite: Piazza on HOF 00:02:06
Michelle Yu catches up with new Hall of Famer Mike Piazza on his illustrious career.

Legendary New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former Seattle Mariners center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on Sunday.

Piazza spent eight seasons of his 16-year career with the New York Mets, leading them to the 2000 World Series and hitting a memorable home run in the first game in New York following the 9/11 terror attacks.

"To witness the darkest evil of the human heart ... will be forever burned in my soul," Piazza said, according to the Associated Press. "But from tragedy and sorrow came bravery, love, compassion, character and eventual healing.

"Many of you give me praise for the two-run home run in the first game back on Sept. 21st, but the true praise belongs to police, firefighters, first responders that knew that they were going to die, but went forward anyway. I pray that we never forget their sacrifice."

Piazza, who ended his career with 427 home runs, 1,335 RBIs and 2,127 hits, became just the second MLB player to wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque (Tom Seaver). He was emotional during his induction speech when he spoke of his father.

"Dad always dreamed of playing in the major leagues," Piazza said. "He could not follow that dream because of the realities of life. My father's faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame. Thank you dad. We made it, dad. The race is over. Now it's time to smell the roses."

Griffey, a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, hit 630 home runs and 1,836 RBIs, as he was just three votes shy of becoming the first unanimous selection into the Hall. He played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Mariners. 

"There are two misconceptions about me -- I didn't work hard and everything I did I made look easy," Griffey said. "Just because I made it look easy doesn't mean that it was. You don't become a Hall of Famer by not working, but working day in and day out."


Conforto, Collins and Matz 00:06:21
Michael Conforto, Terry Collins and Steven Matz discuss their reactions to the Mets' win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon in Miami.

New York Mets LHP Steven Matz threw six scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over the Miami Marlins on the road on Sunday to earn his first win in nearly two months.

"It was very, very encouraging," manager Terry Collins said, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert. "His fastball really had late life to it. We saw a lot of swings and misses on his fastball. I thought his changeup and curveball and breaking ball he threw for strikes."

Matz (8-6) started the season 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA, but had been winless over his last nine starts with a 4.73 ERA. But on Sunday, he threw 64 of 99 pitches for strikes and struck out six batters in six four-hit innings for his first victory since May 25.

"I think early on, I was just focused on staying within myself and letting my mechanics take over, not trying to muscle up," Matz said. "That is something I was fighting against and this time I was really focused on staying within myself and it really helped me out."

Matz pitched out of two-on, two-out jams twice, getting Marcell Ozuna to ground into a fielder's choice in the first inning and inducing a Giancarlo Stanton groundout to end the fifth.

"Stanton came up with runners on a couple of different times and it was a matter of not giving in and not giving him that good pitch he can crush," Matz said. "I think that was just kind of the separator today."

Tags: Miami Marlins , Steven Matz

 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

The Mets took two of three games from the Marlins over the weekend in Miami, including a 3-0 win on Sunday >> Read more



The Mets are interested in Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy and two of Milwaukee's relievers >> Read more

Mike Piazza was inducted into the Hall of Fame >> Read more

Piazza joined Matt Cerrone on the MetsBlog Q&ACast >> Listen here

Zack Wheeler is set to face hitters this week as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery >> Read more

Lucas Duda (back), hopes to start a rehab assignment within a few weeks >> Read more

What's on tap for Monday, July 25

The Mets open a three-game series against the Cardinals at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m.

Noah Syndergaard (2.43 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) gets the start against Carlos Martinez (2.83 ERA, 1.13 WHIP).



For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to No Kid Hungry with a $2,000 donation to help fight childhood hunger. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals.


 Visit mets.com/citi to see this season's grand total to date..


Tags: Lucas Duda , Zack Wheeler

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy drives in a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy drives in a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Mets are in the mix for Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and have shown interest in two Brewers relievers, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert.

The Mets, according to Ackert, would have to package a blue-chip prospect along with catcher Travis d'Arnaud for apotential deal. The Brewers rejected a Lucroy-for-d'Arnaud deal straight up, according to Ackert.

Lucroy, 30, is hitting .301 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs, and was selected to his second All-Star Game earlier this month. The Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers are also rumored to be interested in Lucroy.

New York has also expressed interest in RHP Jeremy Jeffress, 28, who has a 2.23 ERA in 42 relief appearances, and LHP Will Smith, 27, who has a 3.86 ERA in 23 relief outings.

Tags: Milwaukee Brewers , Travis d'Arnaud

Post Game Extra: Mets win 00:03:33
Steven Matz won his first game since late May with an outstanding performance across six shutout innings on Sunday afternoon.

Steven Matz pitched six scoreless innings to snap a nine-start winless streak and the Mets finished their nine-game road trip with a winning record after blanking the Marlins, 3-0, on Sunday at Marlins Park.

In case you missed it…

  • Matz (8-6) earned his first win in nearly two months, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six. The southpaw had not won since he defeated the Nationals back on May 25.
  • Jose Reyes opened the scoring with a two-out, RBI triple in the third inning off Marlins starter Jose Urena. The Mets tacked on two more in the eighth on consecutive RBI singles from Yoenis Cespedes and James Loney.
  • Michael Conforto started for the first time in center field and made a diving catch to rob Miguel Rojas of a hit leading off the bottom of the first. He also went 2-for-2 and scored the game's first run on Reyes' triple.
  • Jeurys Familia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his Major League-leading 35th save of the year and his 51st straight successful conversion dating back to last season.

To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.


Michael Avallone, SNY.TV

A good and much-needed series win for the Mets. Steven Matz turned in his best outing in quite some time and was rewarded with a well-deserved win. And while the offense went through its usual tortuous performance, Yoenis Cespedes and James Loney came through in big-time spots in the eighth to make sure New York left town with a win...

The bullpen, which has been spectacular in July and solid the entire season, was strong again with three shutout innings. Addison Reed has turned into one of the top setup men in the game and Hansel Robles might be the man in the seventh for the Mets moving forward. At least he should be, as of now…

The road doesn't get easier in the next few days with the resurgent Cardinals on their way to Citi Field. As Terry Collins said, it's crunch time for the Mets, who really need to break away from this win-one, lose-one pattern they've established the last 15 games.

To follow Mike on Twitter, click here.


Video: Reyes puts Mets up early with RBI triple to left

Video: Conforto makes fantastic diving catch in center

Video: Cespedes provides Mets with insurance in the eighth

Quotes…

Terry Collins on the Mets' important stretch: "I said it coming in after the break this was crunch time for us. We knew we had the Cubs and the Marlins who were playing good. We just couldn't lose any more ground we've got to hang in there until we start to get healthy or we start to really getting it clicking offensively."

Matz on his start: "I think early on, I was just focused on staying within myself and letting my mechanics taking over, not trying to muscle up. That is something I was fighting against and this time I was really focused on staying within myself and it really helped me out."

Collins on Matz: "It was very, very encouraging. His fastball really had late life to it. We saw a lot of swings and misses on his fastball. I thought his changeup and curveball and breaking ball he threw for strikes. He came off in the sixth inning and told [pitching coach Dan Warthen] he was tired and we know that can spell danger. So we got him out of there, but otherwise I thought he had a great game."

Conforto on his diving catch in center field: "That's a good way to have that first play out there, first everything, go down. Just jump right into it. I didn't have time to think. Just react, and it tells you that's what you do out there in center: You just react and you be an athlete."

News and notes…

  • The Mets won their third straight series against the Marlins and improved to 7-5 against the Fish this season.
  • New York returns home for a nine-game homestand. They play 17 of their next 20 at Citi Field.
  • Matz had gone 0-5 with a 4.73 ERA in his last nine starts.
  • Familia tied former Met Jose Valverde for the third-longest consecutive saves streak in history with his 51st straight conversion. Only Eric Gagne (84) and Tom Gordon (54) have more.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the eighth and is now hitless in his last 32 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Gregg Jefferies holds the franchise mark for futility with an 0-for-37 stretch in 1990.

What's next…

After ending their nine-game road trip with a winning record, the Mets (52-45) head back to Citi Field where they'll host the Cardinals (52-45) for three games beginning on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY. Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.43 ERA) will try for his career-high 10th win. St. Louis counters with right-hander Carlos Martinez (9-6, 2.83 ERA), who is 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in his last nine starts.

Tags: Steven Matz

Michael Conforto (30) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) (Noah K. Murray)
Michael Conforto (30) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets and Marlins finish their weekend series in Miami on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Follow the game live on SNY.tv...


Mets Marlins
Jose Reyes, 3B Miguel Rojas, 1B
Curtis Granderson, RF Martin Prado, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Christian Yelich, LF
James Loney, 1B Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Kelly Johnson, 2B Marcell Ozuna, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS J.T. Realmuto, CF
Michael Conforto, CF Derek Dietrich, 2B
Rene Rivera, C Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Steven Matz, LHP Jose Urena, RHP

When and Where: 1:10 p.m. from Marlins Park in Miami.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: LHP Steven Matz (7-6, 3.56) - Matz is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA in three career starts against Miami.


Who's Pitching for the Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (1-1, 6.23)

Tags: Miami Marlins

Mike Piazza works with Mets catchers during training camp Sunday (Andrew Vazzano)
Mike Piazza works with Mets catchers during training camp Sunday (Andrew Vazzano)

Where have you gone Mike Piazza?

OK, we know exactly where the former Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins (for five games), New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Oakland A's catcher will be Sunday afternoon -- getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

But we meant "where have you gone Mike Piazza" in the larger sense, as in, is there an heir apparent to his title as a great hitting catcher?

Piazza, who hit 427 homers in his 16-year career, slugged more long balls than any other catcher in major-league history. His career batting average was .308, and his 162-game averages included 29 doubles, 36 homers, 113 RBIs and a .922 OPS.

"I'm thrilled," Piazza told mlb.com when asked about his impending induction. "I'm nervous for tomorrow. But I'm looking forward to it."

Piazza has earned his legendary status. But suffice to say that no catcher in today's game is close to him in terms of hitting prowess. The closest is Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, but it's not really a fair fight.

Here a look at the offensive numbers of the six catchers who made this year's All-Star Game:

-- American League starter Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals has a career batting average of .278 with 79 homers, 322 RBIs and a .745 OPS. His 162-game averages include 20 homers and 83 RBIs.

-- AL reserve Stephen Vogt of the Oakland A's has a .263 career batting average with 39 homers, 152 RBIs and a .747 OPS. His 162-game averages include 17 homers and 68 RBIs.

-- AL reserve Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles has a career .257 batting average with 109 homers, 409 RBI and a .740 OPS. His 162-game averages include 21 homers and 80 RBIs.

-- Posey, the National League starter, has a .308 career batting average with 114 homers, 491 RBIs and a .857 OPS. His 162-game averages include 22 homers and 95 RBIs.

-- NL reserve Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers has a .284 career batting average with 78 homers, 385 RBIs and a .778 OPS. His 162-game averages include 16 homers and 78 RBIs.

-- NL reserve Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals has a .269 career batting average with 74 homers, 291 RBIs and a .741 OPS. His 162-game averages include 22 homers and 88 RBIs.

Piazza, by the way, never hit .300 or better in his final six seasons. The rigors of catching had clearly caught up to him by then, but he had put up such massive numbers early on that his avearge still was above .300 for his career.

As for the Marlins and Mets, they both have young catchers with some potential:

-- Miami's J.T. Realmuto, 25, has a .280 career batting average with 15 homers, 82 RBIs and a .720 OPS. His 162-game averages include 11 homers and 61 RBIs.

-- New York's Travis d'Arnaud, 27, has a .245 career batting average with 28 homers, 97 RBIs and a .718 OPS. His 162-game averages include 19 homers and 66 RBIs.

D'Arnaud, by the way, grew up a Dodgers fan. He was three years old when Piazza made his Dodgers debut in 1992.

A shortstop in his early years, d'Arnaud patterned his game after Piazza once he converted to catcher. And when Piazza served as a Mets instructor in spring training, d'Arnaud was there to soak up knowledge.

"(Piazza is) an incredible guy," d'Arnaud told ESPN New York. "He had insight on every little thing."

So perhaps it can be said that Piazza is still making a positive impact on the Mets.

But another catcher, anywhere in the majors, who can hit as well as Piazza did for as long as Piazza did .. that's not happening any time soon.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud


Mike Piazza will be inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame during a special ceremony on Sunday, July 24 at 1:30 p.m. ET.



Matthew Cerrone Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

Last year, after it was announced that Piazza recieved enough votes to enter the Hall of Fame, I watched a good hour of his highlights preparing for a post about his career. I intended for it to be about his impact on Mets fans and our experience at Shea Stadium. But, in watching him hit, I found myself again mesmerized by how amazing he was in a batter's box.

It's easy to be bogged down in the world surrounding us as Mets fans, i.e., payroll, stats, results, etc. However, I also love the art of baseball. I love the act of hitting and fielding and throwing and the beauty and genius behind it all. This is why I adore Spring Training. And, after watching those clips in the middle of the night, I was reminded of how Piazza painted us the perfect portrait of a powerful right-handed hitter.

He was literally the best right-handed hitter I ever watched. He is the textbook definition of what a young kid should be trying to do when in the box. His head never moves. He is locked in on the ball the entire time it's in flight. His face never turns, never tips, never throws him off balance. It's like some weird film trick, where his head is isolated and the rest of the image moves. However, it's not fake, it's physical discipline and mental focus at a world-class level.

Similarly, his hands are motionless for such a long time. He lets the ball get so deep in the strike zone, waiting so long to make his move that it often looks like he's hitting it out of the catcher's mitt. And yet, because he could generate so much power in his wrists, in his torque, he could drive the ball the other way, 400 feet over the wall.

If this wasn't impressive enough, it's important to remember he hit like this after doing roughly 300 squats a night catching behind the plate. The guy was up and down, up and down, over and over again -- before the game, after the game, during the game, between innings, all while calling pitches, researching opposing hitters, taking foul balls off the hand, chest and face, and living in the dirt. And, despite the beating, he played all nine innings, because he was always his team's best hitter, needed for a final at-bat in a clutch spot.



It's also important to note that he is still underrated as a catcher. He wasn't great, but he isn't as bad as people like to make him out to be. Sure, he wasn't the best at throwing runners out trying to steal bases. However, given his size, it's easy to see why. But he was well above average at framing pitches and blocking balls in the dirt. Also, starting pitchers threw better to him than his backup catchers, which is probably why they all praised him so much during their time together.

Lastly, and maybe most important, I don't think people realize how hard he worked to keep up his level of performance. There is an old timer I love talking with in St. Lucie who has been working security at the facility since Piazza was training there. He loves to talk about how Mike would get to the ballpark before he would some days and how he was the only active, healthy major league player he can remember getting there early enough to hit before the minor leaguers. I love this story, because it speaks to how much effort Piazza had to put in to being the player that he was.

Thank you, Mike. Thank you for the hard work, artistry and incredible moments. It was an honor getting to watch you play, it was a thrill being able to hang with you a bit this past spring training, and I'm proud that you'll go in to the Hall of Fame representing the Mets.


Tri-State Ford


John Harper talks Mike Piazza 00:03:40
John Harper joins host Gary Apple to discuss where Mike Piazza ranks all-time among catchers and in Mets history.

Post Game Extra: 7/23/16 00:02:24
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 7-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Jacob deGrom lasted just 3 2/3 innings and a less-than-dominant Jose Fernandez was still plenty good enough to lead the Marlins past the Mets, 7-2, on Saturday night at Marlins Park.

In case you missed it…

  • deGrom (6-5) labored from the start and lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings while surrendering five runs on 10 hits and a walk. He struck out five and also allowed a moonshot home run off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
  • The Mets took a 2-1 lead off Jose Fernandez in the third after falling behind a half inning earlier. deGrom led off with a double and came home later in the inning on Yoenis Cespedes' bloop single to right. James Loney followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Curtis Granderson, who had singled. 
  • New York had another chance against Fernandez in the fifth. Trailing 5-2, the Mets loaded the bases with one out on three singles. But Loney flied out to shallow left and Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, making him hitless in his last 31 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
  • Michael Conforto stroked a pinch-hit single in the sixth and played center field for the first time in his career. He made his first career putout in center on Marcel Ozuna's fly out in the eighth.

To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.

Video: deGrom gets his third strikeout in the second inning

Video: James Loney hits sac fly against Marlins

Video: Yoenis Cespedes hits RBI single in the top of third

Quotes…

deGrom on his outing and the home run to Stanton: "I wasn't very good today and pretty much everything I threw seemed to go down the middle and I paid for it. That one's on me. … I saw him hit a ball pretty far over the wall. I don't know what you want me to say. I threw a couple balls down the middle and he hit them pretty hard."

Terry Collins on deGrom: "He's probably tired. Those are stressful innings from the start until he came out of the game, so I'm really not concerned. … He didn't have command of any of his pitches. A lot of balls over the plate, a lot of balls up. Very uncharacteristic."

Cabrera on his 0-for-31 with runners in scoring position: "It's really weird. You don't feel good. It's hard for me…This game is not easy and all I can do is keep working hard and try to get better."

News and notes…

  • Saturday marked the 40th time in 96 games that the Mets have scored two or fewer runs in a game. Only the Braves have done so more often this season.
  • deGrom had a 0.93 ERA in his previous four starts and was coming off a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Phillies in his last outing. Saturday's start was the second-shortest of his career.
  • Granderson and Cespedes had two hits apiece.
  • Fernandez improved to 26-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 37 career starts at Marlins Park.

What's next…

The Mets (51-45) will try and head home with a winning road trip as they face the Marlins (53-44) on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park at 1:10 p.m. ET on PIX11. Steven Matz (7-6, 3.56 ERA), who is winless in his last nine starts and has lost five consecutive decisions, will start the finale on Sunday. Miami sends right-hander Jose Urena (1-1, 6.23 ERA) to the hill for his second start following 16 relief appearances to start the year.

Tags: Jacob deGrom



Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Citi, I talk with Mike Piazza, who will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame next week, and have his number retired by the Mets on July 30.

It took 18 years, but I finally caught up with Mike in the Port St. Lucie dugout during Spring Training, when he talked with me about his love of wine, soccer, what made him a successful catcher and the importance of hard work and focusing on the details in life and baseball.

This was an obvious thrill for me. It's sort of an off-beat, non-baseball interview, where I clearly try to psychoanylze my favorite player of the last 30 years. I hope you enjoy it...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone

 (Brad Barr)
(Brad Barr)

RHP Zack Wheeler is expected to throw to live hitters next week, Terry Collins told reporters Saturday.


Latest update

4:10 p.m.: Collins said Wheeler will first throw to hitters and will then start a rehab assignment around 10 days later

Previous reports: 

Wheeler threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Friday at Marlins Park in Miami. He will next face live batters before starting a minor-league rehab assignment. 

"Some guys go fast. Some guys go slow," Wheeler said, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. "I had a couple of different things done with my elbow than, say, somebody else did that's back already before I am. It's frustrating seeing those guys get out and go at 12 months and I'm still sort of sticking around way behind them. It's frustrating.

"But, at the same time, I guess it's for a reason. You've just got to keep your head down and see what kind of character you have."

Wheeler recently said he is aiming to return to the Mets during August, perhaps as early as the middle of the month, he told the NY Post's Mike Puma.

The 26-year-old Wheeler, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, was shut down for roughly a week last month after being diagnosed with nerve irritation in his right elbow.

Wheeler told Puma that he has thrown from the mound twice since his latest setback, and hopes to face batters soon.

"I've already had two setbacks, so hopefully nothing else arises," Wheeler said. "Hopefully we just go smooth sailing from here."

Wheeler, who had Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, posted a 3.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while striking out 187 batters in 185 1/3 innings (32 starts) in 2014.

Tags: Zack Wheeler

Mets 1B Lucas Duda joined the Mets in Miami on Saturday and hopes to start a rehab assignment within a few weeks, he told reporters.



Latest update

Duda worked on tracking pitches at Marlins Park, and according to reporters, he is aiming to start a rehab in the coming weeks, though the date has not yet been determined. 

"I think in the next couple of weeks it should be healed and I'll be ready to go on an assignment and get back here as soon as I can," Duda said Saturday, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin

Previous reports

Mets 1B Lucas Duda has resumed baseball activity during his rehab from a stress fracture in his lower back on July 20.

Duda took ground balls in the field and swung a bat for the first time since going on the disabled list. 

Duda ran and played catch on Monday, July 18, MLB.com reporter Anthony DiComo said on Twitter.

In a best-case scenario, Duda could begin a rehab assignment in early-August, and return to the team soon after, according to DiComo.


Duda has been on the disabled list since May 23 due to a stress fracture in his lower back.

Duda is hitting .231 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 39 games this season.

Tags: Lucas Duda

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws a pitch during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets defeated the Phillies, 5-0. (Eric Hartline)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws a pitch during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets defeated the Phillies, 5-0. (Eric Hartline)

The Mets and Marlins continue their weekend series in Miami on Saturday night at Marlins Park. 

Follow the game live on SNY.tv...


Mets Marlins
Jose Reyes, 3B J.T. Realmuto, C
Curtis Granderson, RF Martin Prado, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Christian Yelich, LF
James Loney, 1B Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Marcell Ozuna, CF
Neil Walker, 2B Derek Dietrich, 2B
Travis d'Arnaud, C Chris Johnson, 1B
Juan Lagares, CF Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Jacob deGrom, RHP Jose Fernandez, RHP

When and Where: 7:10 p.m. from Marlins Park in Miami.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-4, 2.38 ERA) is coming off a stellar performance in Philadelphia, where he pitched a one-hit shutout. He allowed two runs over seven innings in a win over the Marlins on July 6. He is 3-0 in July with a 1.29 ERA.


Who's Pitching for the Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez (11-4, 2.53 ERA) has not lost in six career starts against the Mets, posting a 1.32 ERA. Has allowed just two runs over 18 combined innings against the Mets at Marlins Park. Comes in 25-1 with a 1.43 ERA at home in his career. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom , Miami Marlins

In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Citi, I talk with former Mets GM Steve Phillips, who hosts "The Leadoff Spot," alongside Todd Hollandsworth, every weekday morning on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio channel.

Phillips was GM when the Mets acquired Mike Piazza from the Marlins for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz. In this interview, we talk about his appreciation for Piazza, his motivation for making the deal, and how he also considered trading for Marlins RHP Kevin Brown and OF Gary Sheffield...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone

 (Caylor Arnold)
(Caylor Arnold)

Despite allowing a run Friday night, Mets closer Jeurys Familia recorded his 50th straight regular-season save to close out the Mets' 5-3 win over the Marlins. 

After blowing a save to the Padres on July 30 last year, Familia has recorded a save in each opportunity during the regular season since that date. 

He becomes the fourth closer in major league history to save at least fifty games in a row, joining Eric Gagne (84), Tom Gordon (54) and Jose Valverde (51). 

Familia, now with 34 saves in 34 chances this season, has a 2.58 ERA 1.26 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings pitched. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia

New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)
New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)

Jose Reyes went 3-for-5, scored two runs and stole a base in his first game at Marlins Park since 2012 in the Mets' win over the Marlins on Friday night. 

Reyes signed a six-year contract with the Marlins in 2011 and spent one season in Miami before being traded to the Blue Jays after the 2012 season. 

Video: Jose Reyes collects RBI single against the Marlins

"No, it doesn't mean anything," Reyes told reporters about his feelings on returning to Miami. "I feel like that was another game." 

Reyes started the game with a lead-off double, eventually stole third base and followed by scoring on Yoenis Cespedes' sacrifice fly. He would add two more hits, including an RBI single. 

The 33-year-old is now hitting .250 with a .298 OBP while also recording three steals in 13 games since rejoining the Mets. 


Post Game Extra: Mets win 00:03:13
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins.

Jose Reyes had three hits and James Loney's two-run homer in the ninth gave the Mets some breathing room in their 5-3 win over the Fish at Marlins Park on Friday night.

In case you missed it…

  • Reyes went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base. He scored twice on a pair of sacrifice flies by Yoenis Cespedes, including the go-ahead run in the seventh after the Marlins had tied the game.
  • Reyes led off the game with a double, stole third and scored on Cespedes' first sac fly. He also singled in a run with two outs in the fourth to give New York a 2-0 lead.
  • Logan Verrett took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning before allowing a game-tying, two-run homer to Christian Yelich. Overall, he surrendered two runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
  • Hansel Robles took over with one out in the sixth and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his fifth win of the season, all of which have come in his last 10 appearances.
  • Addison Reed turned in his 10th consecutive scoreless outing with a perfect frame and Jeurys Familia saved his 50th straight game dating back to last season. The run he allowed was the first in a career-high 17 appearances dating back to June 4, also against Miami.

To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.


Michael Avallone, SNY.TV It wasn't necessarily pretty, but a win is a in. And as far as victories go, it was a pretty important one for the Mets, who not only gained a game on both the Marlins and Nationals, but did so with the enormous shadow of Jose Fernandez looming over them tomorrow… For the first time since he returned to the Mets, Reyes seemed to bring that dynamic which has been missing from the club, namely speed. After doubling to lead off the first and watching Curtis Granderson produce a fruitless out, Reyes stole third and scored on Cespedes' sac fly to give the Mets a lead three batters into the game.

Before Reyes' arrival, that same scenario would more than likely have resulted in no runs thanks to the Mets' complete lack of team speed and woeful clutch hitting. Speaking of which…it remains woeful. Despite two sac flies by Cespedes and a big, two-out RBI single from Reyes, the Mets went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, with eight of those at-bats coming in the first four innings. It's simply beating a horse that is not only dead but now completely decomposed, but the overall approach by New York in these situations borders on comical…

Regardless, a good win in a very important series, which the Mets can now take with Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz upcoming in the final two games.

To follow Mike on Twitter, click here.


Video: Loney crushes a two-run homer against the Marlins

Video: Yoenis Cespedes puts Mets back on top with a sac fly

Video: Jose Reyes collects RBI single against the Marlins

Quotes…

Verrett on Reyes: "He's like a can of RedBull bottled up like a human being, which is something we were missing. You need that high level of energy."

Terry Collins on Reyes: "He produces runs. He gets on base, gets in scoring position. He's still a great base runner and creates havoc when he gets on the bases. People got to worry about him. … I hope he has a lot more [games] like that. That's what we envisioned…He brings some energy. … We got a lot of games to play. He is going to make a big difference in our lineup."

Reyes on his strong game: "I feel very good. I feel like I'm seeing the ball well from both sides of the plate. Hopefully I can continue to be like that. When you have a game like that you have to be consistent and remind yourself what you're doing again to be successful. I've waited for this for a little while. It's always good to set the tone for the guys behind me."

Collins on Verrett's start: "He pitched very well tonight. He really did. In the sixth inning, he just started getting the ball up. The ball that [J.T.] Realmuto hit was up. I thought he could get Yelich with the changeup, but he wasn't going to face [Giancarlo] Stanton."

News and notes…

  • The Mets have won 13 of 20 in Miami and six of their last eight overall against the Marlins. New York moved to within one-half game of Miami in the N.L. East and five of division-leading Washington.
  • Familia became just the fourth pitcher in Major League history to record at least 50 straight saves. Only Jose Valverde (51, 2010-2011), Tom Gordon (54, 1998-1999) and Eric Gagne (84, 2002-2004) are ahead of him.
  • Verrett is winless in his last six starts and is 1-5 with a 4.93 ERA in eight starts this season. He is 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 18 relief appearances.

What's next…

The Mets (51-44) and Marlins (52-44) continue their three-game series on Saturday night from Marlins Park at 7:10 p.m. ET on PIX11. It will be a marquee pitching matchup with New York's Jacob deGrom (6-4, 2.38 ERA) facing off against Miami ace Jose Fernandez (11-4, 2.53 ERA).

DeGrom has a 1.92 ERA dating back to May 27 and has won three straight starts after going 10 consecutive outings without a victory. Fernandez has never lost to the Mets in six career starts, going 2-0 with 1.32 ERA.

Tags: Logan Verrett , Yoenis Cespedes

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Mets continue their road trip in Miami for a three-game set, starting on Friday night.

You can follow the game live on SNY.tv.


Mets Marlins
Jose Reyes, 3B J.T. Realmuto, C
Curtis Granderson, RF Miguel Rojas, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Christian Yelich, LF
Wilmer Flores, 1B Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Neil Walker, 2B Marcell Ozuna, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Derek Dietrich, 2B
Travis d'Arnaud, C Chris Johnson, 1B
Juan Lagares, CF Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Logan Verrett, RGP Adam Conley, LHP

When and Where? 7:10 p.m. on SNY from Marlins Park.


Who's Pitching for the Mets? Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.21) - Verrett took the loss in Philadelphia last Saturday after allowing two runs (both earned) over 6.0 innings. Verrett has now lost six straight decisions, after opening the season with three wins. In one start and one relief appearance against Miami this year, he has shut them out in a combined 8.0 innings.


Who's Pitching for the Marlins? Adam Conley (6-5, 3.61) - Conley allowed three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Sunday, getting a no-decision. Conley has not lost at home since May 22, posting a 1.07 ERA in his four starts since then. Conley faced the Mets on April 13, striking out a season-high nine batters in 6.0 shutout innings.


Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) waits in the on deck circle. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) waits in the on deck circle. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of having Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes split time at third base, the Mets should try to trade for Rays 3B Evan Longoria, the team's former GM, Steve Phillips, told the NY Post.

"I don't think it's a move they make, but it's the type of move that I think they need to consider because it would bring in that big bat, give them a presence in the lineup, a more solid defender at third base and fit the need of the team that helps long-term and short-term," he explained.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Rays are listening to offers for all of their players, including Longoria and RHP Chris Archer.

However, in return for their best players, Tampa is "big-game hunting," and looking for "elite-level players," a league executive recently told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

Longoria, 30, is due roughly $99 million through 2022, at which point he'll be 37 years old. He's hitting .290 this season, with a .337 OBP, 22 HR and 55 RBIs.

The Dodgers and Rangers are the teams who have reportedly shown interest in Longoria.


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

I've heard the Rays are more likely to deal Longoria this winter, since he'll gain 10-5 rights next April, which would allow him to veto any trade.

Plus, as we know, it's easier to create a bigger market -- especially for a third baseman -- in the winter. So, if they're going to deal him now, it's going to be for a massive package that I can't see the Mets meeting -- unless, of course, Sandy Alderson reverses course and decides to trade Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, etc... Outside of those names, I can't see how the Mets keep Tampa on the phone, let alone pull off a trade with them...


A general view of Marlins Park before a game between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins. (Steve Mitchell)
A general view of Marlins Park before a game between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins. (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets finish out their road trip with a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami.

Probable pitchers:

  • Fri., July 22: RHP Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.21) vs. LHP Adam Conley (6-5, 3.61) 
  • Sat., July 23 RHP Jacob deGrom (6-4, 2.38) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (11-4, 2.53) 7:10 p.m. 
  • Sun., July 24 LHP Steven Matz (7-6, 3.56) vs. RHP Jose Urena (1-1, 7.52) 1:10 p.m.

Thunderstorms are in the forecast all weekend, so there's a chance the roof is closed for every game the Marlins and Mets play this weekend.

Verrett has a 0.69 ERA against the Marlins, allowing just one earned run over 13 innings (three games, two starts), though he has never pitched at Marlins Park.



Mets C Travis d'Arnaud grew up idolizing Mike Piazza, who will be wearing a Mets hat when he's inducted in to the baseball Hall of Fame this Saturday.

"I pretty much just tried to do everything like him, and imitate him in every way possible," d'Arnaud told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

D'Arnaud has been able to work one-on-one during Spring Training with Piazza, who the Mets have invited to camp to be a special catching instructor.

"I felt like a little kid at the candy store," d'Arnaud told DiComo about getting advice from Piazza. "My mouth wouldn't stop moving, just asking him questions about every little thing, and he was there for every question. He had an answer for every question, a response for every little comment I said, every little thing about the game. It just helped me learn even more about the game."


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

D'Arnaud's respect for Piazza was evident watching him during spring training. He was always locked in on everything Mike said, standing straight on, paying close attention to detail. It was fun to watch, 1) because it's good for Travis to learn from one of the best, but 2) because I can't imagine how awesome that must be...

It's easy to forget these guys -like all of us - were once kids, playing backyard baseball, dreaming of being in the big leagues. Now, here's d'Arnaud - just 15 years removed from being a Little Leaguer - standing shoulder to shoulder, mask to mask, with his idol, who is essentially a colleague. That's pretty awesome and when you can see that type of moment isn't wasted on the younger player it makes seeing it that much more special.

In case you missed it this past spring, here are some pictures of them working together, the details of which you can read by clicking here...




Tags: Travis d'Arnaud

With Mike Piazza's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, here are five fun facts about the catcher with the most home runs in his career...

1. Piazza hit 427 home runs during his career, 220 of which came with the Mets. In his career, 105 of his homers came at Shea Stadium.

2. Piazza hit seven walk-off home runs in his career, four with the Mets (and three with the Dodgers).

3. He hit 396 home runs as a catcher, 18 as a DH, 8 as a first baseman and 5 as a pinch hitter.

4. Piazza hit his most home runs against Jason Schmidt, Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine: Six each.

5. He hit 44 home runs against the Phillies, the most in his career against any one team. He also hit 38 home runs against the Braves, 34 against Colorado and 14 against the Mets.



In early July, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters he will begin exploring the trade market for pitching in advance of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline.



Latest Update...

July 22, 6:10 a.m.: The Mets are monitoring relievers Joe Smith (Angels), Chris Withrow (Braves) and closer Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers), among others, Mike Puma reported for the NY Post.

According to Puma, though the Diamondbacks will almost certainly trade Tyler Clippard, "the Mets are unlikely to seek a reunion given that the veteran righty is signed through 2017."

July 22, 5:30 a.m.: "The reality is as you move through the season, bullpens get taxed," Mets assistant GM John Ricco said, according to Newsday's Marc Carig. "Certainly, this year, we're looking toward fortifying in that way."

Previous Reports...

It's a buyer's market for relief pitching, but a seller's market for starting pitchers, MLB insiders said in mid-July.

The trade market for relievers is expected to be stocked with options that shouldn't cost marquee prospects, Carig wrote on July 21 in Newsday.

"If the Mets do anything, it will be to add a back-end starting pitcher or reliever and maybe a bench player to round out the roster," MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone wrote on July 21.

"In regards to the pitching staff, they'll most certainly make a legit effort to get a starting pitcher," Cerrone added. "However, I think they'll find it less expensive and maybe more helpful to get one or two versatile, experienced relievers, such as, Brad Hand (Padres), Sean Doolittle or Ryan Madson (A's), David Robertson (White Sox), Huston Street (Angels) or, dare I say it, Clippard."

Tags: Tyler Clippard

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Mets and the rest of the NL East teams were off on Thursday...



The Mets have moved their retired numbers to the top of Citi Field > Read more

Matthew Cerrone explored what the Mets will likely do before the trade deadline > Read more

What's on tap for Friday, July 22

The Mets open a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami at 7:10 p.m. on Friday.

Logan Verrett (4.21 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) gets the start against Adam Conley (3.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP).

Zack Wheeler is expected to be at Marlins Park where he'll throw off a mound for team officials. Wheeler is reportedly at least a month away from rejoining the Mets roster as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery.



For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to No Kid Hungry with a $2,000 donation to help fight childhood hunger. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals.


 Visit mets.com/citi to see this season's grand total to date..




Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

If the Mets do anything, it will be to add a back-end starting pitcher or reliever and maybe a bench player to round out the roster, before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.

I don't see them acquiring a big hitter or front-line starting pitcher because they really don't have the prospects needed to make that level trade. Also, there aren't a lot of elite, immediate-impact type guys available, according to people around baseball.

For what it's worth, in the event the White Sox decide to sell, MLB reporter Jon Heyman believes they could look to deal 3B Todd Frazier. I have no idea what it will take to get him, but I assume Sandy Alderson would be interested. Frazier is all power, much like the rest of Alderson's lineup, plus he plays third base, as well as some first base and outfield, while being arbitration eligible each of the next two seasons.

Personally, if the Mets are going to give up prospects for a hitter, I'd rather see them give up less and get, say, A's 3B Danny Valencia or Angels 3B Yunel Escobar. Escobar, in particular, has developed in to a guy that routinely puts the ball in play, and 'moves the line,' which is what the Mets need more than anything right now.



In regards to the pitching staff, they'll most certainly make a legit effort to get a starting pitcher, such as Jeremy Hellickson (Phillies) or Matt Moore (Rays). However, I think they'll find it less expensive (seller's market) and maybe more helpful to get one or two versatile, experienced relievers, such as, Brad Hand (Padres), Sean Doolittle or Ryan Madson (A's), David Robertson (White Sox), Huston Street (Angels) or, dare I say it, Tyler Clippard (D-Backs).

I had my doubts the Mets would even do any of the above, but after hearing Terry Collins riff Wednesday about the state of his staff, it's clear the man needs help and it's not coming to him from inside the organization...

"Right now with [Matt Harvey] being down, we don't know what our options are," Collins said, after losing two of three to the Cubs. "You bring up a guy and all of a sudden now your bullpen is short. We're trying to be careful with those guys, not overworking them. Now when you shorten your bullpen, you have to push your starter farther. There are a lot of dynamics that go into it. You never have enough pitching.''

Bingo! "You never have enough pitching," he said, which is why I fully expect Sandy Alderson to do something to build up the roster, because everyone - including his manager - knows they need it.


Starting tonight at 8PM, SNY will celebrate Hall of Famer Mike Piazza prior to his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Mike Piazza's Road to the Hall of Fame presented by Tri-State Ford will look back at some of the top moments from Piazza's career with the Mets including his first game, his home run after 9/11 and his induction into the Mets Hall of Fame.


The Mets will retire Mike Piazza's No. 31 during an on-field ceremony July 30 at Citi Field.

In honor of the event, the team moved their retired numbers to the top ring of the ballpark...

"The combination of our increased attendance coupled with the retirement of Piazza's number brought to light the need to enhance the visibility for all of our retired numbers, which were frequently obstructed in their previous location," the Mets said in a statement.


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

This is pretty awesome. Well done, Mets. I love that this is happening...

I'm actually more excited for Piazza's number to be retired than I am to see him inducted in to the Hall of Fame.

I've been to the Hall of Fame twice. But, I go to lots of Mets games and, more importantly, I hope to take my daughters to lots of Mets games. And so, being able to point to No. 31 and tell them about Mike, tell them about how great he was, why he mattered, and talk about the late 90s, early 2000s teams, is all more important to me -- as a Mets fan -- than some plaque in a museum 200 miles away.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Piazza is going in to the Hall of Fame. I'm just more interested in seeing his number retired and what that means for the Mets and Citi Field going forward...


Flurry of Worry for the Mets? 00:03:11
The Daily News Live panel discuss what the Mets need to be worried about moving forward.

The Mets start a stretch of 12 straight games Friday, the first of which is against the Marlins, who they trail by one game in the race for the second NL Wild Card.

"They're playing very, very well," Terry Collins said of Miami. "We've got to go win two. We've got to make up some ground. There's no doubt it's going to be a big weekend for us."



The Mets will enter play Friday having lost six of their last nine games, and 35-36 since April.

After facing the Marlins this weekend, the Mets travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals, who they are tied with at 50-44.


Terry Collins: "This is what this time of year brings. When you're in a pennant race, they're big games against big teams against good pitching. That's why the game's great and that's why it's fun."

Kelly Johnson: "It's going to be like that for the rest of the year. How many series are we going to play that are going to have no bearing? They're all going to have some sort of bearing. We're just going to have to go out and win as many as we can."

Wilmer Flores: "We've just got to win every game that we play. It doesn't matter if it's an important series or not. We've got to win. That's it."


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

Johnson is right. The stress we feel this week is the stress we're going to feel the next 68 games. There is no Yoenis Cespedes to acquire before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Matt Harvey is not going to miraculously take the field, and the same can almost certainly said for David Wright -- and it could potentially be the case for Lucas Duda and Zack Wheeler.

In other words, the rest of this season is going to be a grind. I see no evidence that this roster will go on a monster run like they did in 2015, nor do I see any major acquisitions coming on board to help. And, that's okay. As is, these guys have the ability to get to and win a World Series through the Wild Card. I believe they're capable of going 36-32, or better, which is what it'll likely take to sneak in...

Their chances improve, of course, if they acquire help in the bullpen and back of the bench. But, in either case, it's not going to be easy.

The remainder of this season will be a wild, exhausting, dramatic tooth-and-nail fight with multiple teams right through the last game of the season.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

Bartolo Colon allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 6-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field >> Read more



Zack Wheeler, who is still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will throw for Mets coaches in Miami on Friday >> Read more

Michael Conforto could play center field this weekend, but is more likely to debut there next week >> Read more

Lucas Duda took ground balls and swung a bat on Wednesday as he continued to rehab his back injury >> Read more

Jim Henderson has been forced to restart his rehab assignment due to a hamstring issue >> Read more

What's on tap for Thursday, July 21

The Mets are off on Thursday.

They open a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami at 7:10 p.m. on Friday.

Logan Verrett (4.21 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) gets the start against Adam Conley (3.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP).



For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to No Kid Hungry with a $2,000 donation to help fight childhood hunger. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals.


 Visit mets.com/citi to see this season's grand total to date..



Post Game Extra: 7/20/16 00:02:28
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Bartolo Colon allowed six runs for the second time in three starts and the Mets were blanked until the eighth inning in a 6-2 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

In case you missed it…

  • Colon (8-5) allowed two runs in the first and then a pair of home runs to Anthony Rizzo before he was lifted with two outs in the fifth. He was charged with six runs on eight hits and two walks and hit a batter in 4 1/3 innings.
  • Wilmer Flores' two-run homer in the eighth accounted for the Mets' only runs.
  • New York went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and didn't score on either hit. Kelly Johnson reached on an infield single that moved Travis d'Arnaud from second to third. In the fourth, Johnson singled again but James Loney was thrown out at the plate on a terrific throw by Jason Heyward.
  • Johnson went 4-for-4 and d'Arnaud had two hits, including a double.
  • Yoenis CespedesNeil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera were all given the day off on Wednesday.

To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.

Video: Wilmer Flores goes deep in the eighth

Video: Ball goes through Colon's legs, Reyes makes the play

Quotes…

Terry Collins on Colon's struggles: "There are days I don't see Bartolo throw 15 balls in five innings. Certainly uncharacteristic. But you're going to have blips like that once in a while. … We have no other options right now. Right now, if he was 53, he would be out there pitching."

Colon on his start: "I think mentally I wasn't all there today, and I paid the consequences."

Flores on his playing time: "When you're feeling good at the plate you want to be out there every day. But I'm trying to find ways to stay ready."

Collins on the upcoming Marlins series: "We've got to go win two. We've got to make up some ground. There's no doubt it's going to be a big weekend for us. … That's what this time of year is about. If you're in the race, it's a string of good games against good teams and great pitching. That's when it's fun.

News and notes…

  • The Mets completed their season series against the Cubs with a 5-2 record.
  • New York is just 5-10 in their last 15 road contests.
  • The Mets scored just five runs during the three games against the Cubs. Flores was responsible for three of them. He is hitting .341 with seven homers and 13 RBIs in 13 games this month.
  • Johnson enjoyed his first four-hit game since May 27, 2013 when he was with the Rays. He's hitting .339 in 29 games with the Mets since he was re-acquired on June 8.
  • Colon has a 7.36 ERA in his last three starts and has not completed six innings in any of them. In that span, he has surrendered 15 runs -- 12 earned -- on 22 hits and five home runs in 15 1/3 innings.

What's next…

The Mets (50-44) are off on Thursday before starting a three-game set against the Marlins (51-42) on Friday night from Marlins Park at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY. Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.21 ERA) kicks off the series for New York looking for his first win in five starts. Miami sends southpaw Adam Conley (6-5, 3.61 ERA) to the mound in the opener.

Tags: Bartolo Colon , Wilmer Flores

New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

The Mets go for the series win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday at 2:20 p.m.

Follow the game live on SNY.tv...


Mets Cubs
Jose Reyes, SS Ben Zobrist, RF
Curtis Granderson, RF Kris Bryant, 3B
Wilmer Flores, 3B Anthony Rizzo, 1B
James Loney, 1B Willson Contreras, LF
Travis d'Arnaud, C Jason Heyward, CF
Kelly Johnson, 2B Addison Russell, SS
Juan Lagares, CF Miguel Montero, C
Michael Conforto, LF Javier Baez, 2B
Bartolo Colon, RHP Kyle Hendricks, RHP

When and Where: 2:20 p.m. at Wrigley Field on SNY


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11 ERA) was solid in his first appearance since the All-Star break, surrendering zero earned runs on four hits in 5.2 innings. Over his last 10 starts, Colon has only given up more than two earned runs once.


Who's Pitching for the Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA) has looked great in his last three appearances, allowing zero earned runs and seven hits in 13.1 innings. Over his last 31 innings pitched, Hendricks has allowed only three earned runs.

Tags: Bartolo Colon

Jim Henderson left Saturday night's loss to the Braves after 10 pitches. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jim Henderson left Saturday night's loss to the Braves after 10 pitches. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets reliever Jim Henderson is now suffering from a hamstring issue and will need to restart his rehab, NY Post reporter Mike Puma said on Twitter.

Henderson was first put on the 15-Day disabled list June 19 with right biceps tendinitis.

In 31 appearances for the Mets this season, he was 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA, while striking out 30 batters in 21 innings.

Henderson received a non-roster invitee to spring training from the Mets, then made their Opening Day roster. Prior to this year, his last full big-league season was in 2013, when he saved 28 of 32 opportunities, after which he needed multiple shoulder surgeries and missed 23 months.

Tags: Jim Henderson

Mets OF Michael Conforto has been doing pre-game work in center field, at the request of Terry Collins.



Most Recent Update...

July 20, 1:29 pm: Terry Collins said Wednesday it is possible Conforto could see time in center field during the team's three-game series against the Marlins in Miami this weekend.

However, it's more likely Conforto plays corner outfield in Miami then makes a move to center field when the team returns home next week to play the Cardinals.

"Miami is a tough place to play your first game in center field," Collins added.

Previous Reports and Reaction...

Yoenis Cespedes agreed to play center field this season, but his preference is to remain in left while his right knee continues to be less than 100 percent healthy. 

In an effort to keep Cespedes in left and Granderson in right field, and keep Conforto's bat in the lineup, Collins recently asked Conforto and Jose Reyes to workout playing center field before games.

In his first career game playing right field July 19, Conforto made a terrific throw to get Jake Arrieta trying to score at home plate.


Matthew Cerrone | Snapchat | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

July 20: I think Conforto can do it. He's athletic, but he's also really aggressive in the field. The key will be how he adjusts to seeing the ball hit directly at him. Again, because he plays hard, but has so little experience, I worry we'll see a lot of catchable balls falling short or going over his head. In time, though, I think he'll adjust >> Read more.

Tags: Michael Conforto

In honor of Chicago's throwback day at Wrigley Field, the Mets will wear authentic, polyester, 1986 road uniforms during Wednesday's game against the Cubs...



"They look great, but they're super hot," Bartolo Colon said of the uniforms, when asked about them by ESPN's Marly Rivera.

Terry Collins made a similar comment, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin.


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

They are pretty sweet looking. However, it's currently 92 degrees in Chicago, which means it'll be close to 100 degrees on field when these guys take the field. In other words, they're going to be crazy hot in these jerseys. I am pretty sure this will have no impact on the game. But, what if it does? I mean, it's the Mets, so... you never know.

By the way, I know I'm not the only person thinking of this Seinfeld episode, right?


Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera are all getting the day off Wednesday when the Mets play the rubber-game of a three-game set with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Terry Collins told reporters before the game that he wanted Cespedes to get two days off in a row to help rest his right knee.

"We know his leg is, by far, not close to being 100 percent," Collins explained. "You saw it last night. We saw it last night. It's going to be hot today. We do not need him to blow that out in a day game after a night game, especially with a day off tomorrow. So, we thought the extra day might help him. It's not going to make him 100 percent, but it's got to get him better."

The Mets are off Thursday before starting a three-game series with the Marlins in Miami on Friday.

"It's really big for us," Collins said, when asked if facing the Marlins in a big series.

The Mets currently trail the Marlins in the race to win the NL East...


Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Neil Walker , Yoenis Cespedes

New York Mets first baseman James Loney (28) celebrates the final out of Atlanta Braves second baseman Jace Peterson (not pictured) in the ninth inning at Turner Field. (Jason Getz)
New York Mets first baseman James Loney (28) celebrates the final out of Atlanta Braves second baseman Jace Peterson (not pictured) in the ninth inning at Turner Field. (Jason Getz)

Matthew Cerrone | Snapchat | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

Mets infielders and pitchers should be thankful James Loney is at first base. He's played very well in the field since joining their team in early June.

Last night, in the ninth inning, the Mets up a run with the bases loaded and no outs, Loney threw home on Matt Szczur's fielder's choice to get a key out. He then made a terrific scoop on a ball in the dirt from Neil Walker to complete a game-ending double play.

This past weekend, he made a calm and accurate throw home to peg a runner taking an extra base; he had a terrific pick up off a ball in the dirt, thrown by Jacob deGrom on a bunt up the third base line; and he snagged a hard-hit ground ball to his right, sliding smoothly to catch it then make a clean throw to deGrom for the inning's first out.



These are all plays I am not certain Lucas Duda would've completed had he been in there.

In case you missed it, Duda ran and played catch on Monday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list in May, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo said Tuesday.

The Mets need Duda's power, no question. But, he is likely to be out until at least mid September, considering he'll need a lengthy rehab assignment before returning to a) big-league action, and b) a heated pennant race.

In the meantime, while Loney may only have a quite four home runs in 41 games, 16 RBI and a vanilla .283 average, he's brought a level of stability and confidence to an infield (and cut off throws) with guys out of position and learning on the job. He's been a terrific, calming force and that shouldn't be overlooked just because he isn't on pace to hit 40 home runs.

Tags: James Loney , Lucas Duda , Matthew Cerrone

Familia finishes off Cubs 00:00:42
Jeurys Familia converts his 33rd save by getting Kris Bryant to hit into a 5-4-3 double play in the ninth to remain perfect on the season.

Jeurys Familia pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth inning to earn his league-leading 33rd save of the season and preserve a 2-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

"I just always try to calm down when I have situations like that -- bases loaded, no out," Familia said after the game. "I try to throw my sinker down, make sure if they make contact it's a ground ball, and believe in myself."

In the ninth inning, Familia walked the first two batters he faced. He then allowed a bunt single to Javier Baez that loaded the bases with no one out.

Mets 1B James Loney threw home on Matt Szczur's fielder's choice to get the first out, and Familia continued a stretch of 17 straight scoreless innings (across 17 consecutive outings) by getting Kris Bryant to ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.

"That's what I'm looking for," Familia said. "I felt great. I knew I could get a double play ... I knew I could do it and the game would be over."

Familia has two more saves this season than Miami's A.J. Ramos (31) and has saved 49 straight games dating back to last season. Despite allowing eight hits and 10 walks over his last 17 games, he has struck out 19 batters and held the opposition to a .154 batting average.

"He's got the great sinker," manager Terry Collins said. "He knows he can keep the ball on the infield. I hate to have him walk guys, but he's confident when he does. There's a reason why he's got all those saves. ... I think he's as good as there is in baseball."


Matthew Cerrone | Snapchat | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

8:39 am: First of all, what an amazing game to watch. It was a thriller, in what was an important game. To win today, this afternoon, before getting on a flight to Miami, having again taken a series from the Cubs, which be huge for this squad. To lose last night, and be looking at a possible sweep, before traveling to face a division rival that is ahead of you in the standings, makes for a much different morning. The Cubs had a few chances last night to pull ahead, and they didn't, which is becoming a reoccurring theme for them against the Mets. So, again, nice win... 

In regards to Familia, it may not always be pretty, but he gets it done... again and again. Last night was the second time in a month that the Cubs loaded the bases against him, trailing by a run, only to see Familia get out of the jam. The Cubs have been incredible hitting with runners in scoring position, especially with the bases loaded, yet Familia continues to get the better of them...

Tags: Jeurys Familia

New York Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard didn't show any signs of arm fatigue in a no-decision in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"My arm felt really loose and fluid, even later in the game," Syndergaard said, according to MLB.com's Anthony Dicomo, after giving up one unearned run, allowing seven hits and striking out eight batters in 5 2/3 innings.

Syndergaard, who is 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA over his last four starts, pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first inning and a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the second inning. The lone run he allowed came on a wild pitch and throwing error by catcher Rene Rivera.

"The fatigued arm obviously is gone," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "But, I'll tell you what he had to do. he had to work hard. He had to work very, very hard. His command wasn't like we normally see it. He had to work. And I like it. … He didn't throw his arms up and say, 'Not tonight.' He really worked hard. I thought it was really a good outing for me -- not the best outing, but a good outing for him."

Collins had Syndergaard start for the first time since July 8 to give him more days off after he battled arm fatigue. On Tuesday, he touched 100 mph on the radar gun in the first inning and threw 105 pitches.

"He looked great," Rivera said. "He was feeling good."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard

 (Caylor Arnold)
(Caylor Arnold)

Jeurys Familia escaped a bases loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday as the Mets beat the Cubs, 2-1, at Wrigley Field >> Read more



Lucas Duda, who has been out since May due to a back injury, resumed baseball activity on Monday in St. Lucie >> Read more

Former Mets prospect Brant Rustich, who dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome, weighed in on Matt Harvey's surgery >> Read more

Jose Reyes and Michael Conforto have begun getting reps in center field >> Read more

What's on tap for Wednesday, July 20

The Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago at 2:05 p.m.

Kelly Johnson is expected to start at second base, as Neil Walker gets the day off, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday.

Bartolo Colon (3.11 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) gets the start against Kyle Hendricks (2.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP).



For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to No Kid Hungry with a $2,000 donation to help fight childhood hunger. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals.


 Visit mets.com/citi to see this season's grand total to date..


Tags: Bartolo Colon , Jeurys Familia , Lucas Duda , Matt Harvey , Michael Conforto , Noah Syndergaard

Post Game Extra: 7/19/16 00:03:31
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Jeurys Familia worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth by inducing a double play from Kris Bryant and the Mets held on for a 2-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night.

In case you missed it…

  • Familia got two quick strikes on the first batter in the ninth before losing control and throwing nine straight balls,which resulted in two walks. With two runners on and nobody out, Javy Baez's bunt attempt looked as if it would roll foul but Jose Reyes made an ill-advised decision to pick the ball up and threw too late to first, loading the bases with nobody out. Familia got Matt Szczur to bounce to James Loney, who got the out at the plate before Bryant grounded into a game-ending, 5-4-3 double play.
  • Rene Rivera's two-out, RBI single in the ninth scored Neil Walker with the go-ahead run, putting New York in position to steal a win. It was Rivera's third hit of the night.
  • Syndergaard maneuvered his way through 105 pitches over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just an unearned run on seven hits and two walks while striking out eight.
  • Reyes legged out his 100th triple as a Met and scored on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly, which tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the sixth.
  • The Cubs' only run came when Syndergaard's wild pitch allowed Willson Contreras to race to third and score when Rivera threw wildly past Reyes.
  • Michael Conforto made his first Major League start in right field and threw out Jake Arrieta at the plate to end the fourth inning. Although originally ruled safe, the Mets successfully challenged the play.

To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.

Video: Rene Rivera hits RBI single in the ninth to take lead

Video: Familia gets Bryant to groundout in game ending DP

Video: Curtis Granderson hits sac fly to tie the game

Quotes…

Familia on escaping the ninth: "I just always try to calm down when I have a situation like that. I try to throw my sinker down, make sure they make contact for a ground ball and believe in myself. … I don't feel nerves anymore, like when I first started closing. What I try to do is find myself and trust in what I can do. … I felt great. I knew I could get a double play easy on him. He's slow running and the groundball is a little harder. I knew I could do it and the game would be over."

Terry Collins on his closer: "He is a special guy. A couple of years ago, he would have walked the next guy. He would have backed off the fastball…He went back and went to work. Nobody is more frustrated that he gets in those situations than he is, but he's a special guy. That's why I think he is as good as there is in baseball. There's a reason he has all those saves."

Collins on Syndergaard: "The fatigued arm obviously is gone. But I'll tell you what he had to do: He had to work hard. He had to work very, very hard. His command wasn't like we normally see it. He had to work. … He got us to at least where we had to get -- deep in the sixth inning. Was he as sharp as he can be? No. But for the 10 days off, I thought it was a good outing. The big discussion is: We don't think he needs to keep throwing that hard. But that's what he is. His velocity was good throughout the whole game. That was a good sign."

Syndergaard on his start: "To be able to compete in games like that when you go out there and you don't necessarily have your best command, they're fun to be able to compete in, because it really shows your true colors and your competitiveness. Overall, it was a great team win."

News and notes…

  • The Mets defeated the Cubs for the fifth time in six games this season and for the ninth time in 10 games overall going back to last year's NLCS. New York had lost eight consecutive regular season games at Wrigley Field since 2013.
  • New York is just 3-for-33 with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break after going 1-for-5 on Tuesday night. They improved to 6-24 when they do not homer.
  • New York improved to 19-11 in one-run games and 16-6 against the N.L. Central.
  • Familia's 49 straight saves matched John Axford for the fourth-longest streak in Major League history.
  • Hansel Robles pitched two scoreless innings of relief and has a 1.99 ERA in his last 16 appearances since June 1.

What's next…

The Mets (50-43) and Cubs (56-27) conclude their series from Wrigley Field in a Wednesday matinee at 2:20 p.m. ET on SNY. Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11 ERA) gets the ball for New York, a winner in six of his last seven decisions. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA) brings a 1.70 ERA in his last 10 appearances into Wednesday's start for Chicago.

Tags: Jeurys Familia , Noah Syndergaard , Rene Rivera

New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets look to even up the series with the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.

Follow the game live on SNY.tv...


Mets Cubs
Jose Reyes, 3B Tommy La Stella, 3B
Curtis Granderson, CF Kris Bryant, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Anthony Rizzo, 1B
James Loney, 1B Ben Zobrist, 2B
Neil Walker, 2B Willson Contreras, LF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Jason Heyward, CF
Michael Conforto, RF Addison Russell, SS
Rene Rivera, C Miguel Montero, C
Noah Syndergaard, RHP Jake Arrieta, RHP

When and Where: 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field on SNY


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56 ERA) struggled in his last start on July 8, as he gave up three earned runs on four hits and three walks in only 4.2 innings against the Nationals before leaving the game due to arm fatigue. After an extended rest that included sitting out his first All-Star Game, Syndergaard says he feels good to go.


Who's Pitching for the Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.68 ERA) has not looked sharp in his last three outings, allowing 15 earned runs on 21 hits in 16.1 innings total. Arrieta has not had great control lately, surrendering 12 walks in his last four starts. 


Tags: Noah Syndergaard

Matt Harvey sits in the dugout. (AP)
Matt Harvey sits in the dugout. (AP)

Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

Matt Harvey's season is officially over after having surgery Monday to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. The trapped nerves had been causing numbness and discomfort in his pitching arm and shoulder, he said in early July.

Harvey ended the year 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts.

People close to the team and player all say Harvey will be 100 percent by Spring Training. However, how he'll throw, and what type of pitcher he'll be, remains a mystery...

Josh Beckett, Chris Carpenter, Noah Lowry, Chris Young, Jaime Garcia, Shaun Marcum, and a handful of other big-league pitchers, all had similar surgeries to correct similar issues. However, none of them returned to being the same pitcher they had been. And, in some cases, like Lowry, it essentially ended their career.

That said, "This is not a death sentence," according to former Mets prospect Brant Rustich, who underwent the procedure in 2010. Rustich said he made the mistake of pitching with TOS for ten years before it was diagnosed. However, had it been identified and corrected earlier, as is seemingly the case with Harvey, it could have saved Rustich's career.



"When the doctor saw my nerves in surgery, he told me I pitched far too long with TOS," Rustich explained, noting that the more a pitcher throws with TOS the more nerve damage is done.

According to Rustich, he did nothing about his TOS because he thought pitching with nerve pain and numbness was part of the experience.

"I ruptured a tendon in my middle finger because I gripped the ball so tight, because I couldn't even feel the baseball," he explained. "As we get bigger, as men when we age, it can make TOS worse as our chest/thoracic gets larger. Harvey is nowhere near where I was in my stage of TOS and that's why I feel he can get it corrected and come back better next year."

I'm told by experts that TOS surgery should not have a direct impact on velocity, especially for a guy like Harvey, who is just 27 years old. However, it almost always impacts a player's balance, which can throw off his command, which can often impact velocity as guys start tinkering with their mechanics.

Worst-case scenario, Harvey may need to learn how to live without his dominant fastball, as was the case for most of the guys mentioned above when they returned. It's also possible Harvey bucks the trend and finds more velocity and better command, because the issue has been resolved, though the track record of success above is limited.

Tags: Matt Harvey

Terry Collins (10) looks over the lineup in the dugout prior to a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins (10) looks over the lineup in the dugout prior to a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

The Mets have played 92 games and scored the third-fewest runs in the National League. They're last with a .207 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Last night, for instance, they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in a loss to the Cubs.

To be fair, Jon Lester was terrific. Unlike when the Mets faced him last week, Lester had total command of his cutter, which is his biggest weapon. So, even with a few more sluggers in the lineup, I don't know that last night's results would have been different.

"We have guys who have done this, who have driven in runs," Terry Collins said after the game, as if trying to convince himself more than any one else. "You're looking at three or four guys who have all driven in a lot of runs in their careers."

He's right. The Mets do have a lot of good players - not great, but good enough to outscore what their pitching staff will allow. Yet, they're not...



Jose Reyes has played every day since being promoted in early July, but batting only .225. Asdrubal Cabrera's last hit with a runner in scoring position was late May. Neil Walker, who has played almost every day this season, is batting .185 with just five extra base hits since June 5. Curtis Granderson was hot for two weeks, but now he's not... again. And, is Kelly Johnson even on the team any more? Where did he go?

Frankly, I can't imagine what must go through TC's mind each afternoon when filling out the lineup card. It can't be easy and probably feels like staring at the world's biggest puzzle. But, instead of putting pedal to the metal and hoping 'guys get going,' as they say, the least he can do is play the guys who are actually hitting...

For instance, given the above, why did Wilmer Flores have only nine at bats during the five games prior to Monday, when Flores has four home runs in his last seven games? I'm not saying this one move will save the season, but I see no benefit in benching the guy that's hot for someone who isn't.



The point is, aside from Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets have a team of utility guys and role players. And it takes a unique level of confidence and command to make this type of roster work over the course of a season. Joe Maddon did this incredibly well for several seasons in Tampa. Royals manager Ned Yost, and even Collins, did it well last year. But, this year, Yost and Collins are struggling to put their puzzles together. The managers are the same, but some of the players are different. I'm not going to pretend I know the answer. But, I do know the clock is ticking, the parts aren't fitting and the Mets are on the outside looking in on the last Wild Card slot, so something has to change...


Tags: Matthew Cerrone

Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) react after winnig a baseball game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) react after winnig a baseball game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Conforto practiced fielding fly-balls in center field before Monday's game, Terry Collins told reporters in Chicago.

Conforto has only played left and right field during his three-year professional career.

"I think he's a better outfielder than people give him credit for," Collins said of Conforto. "And, we've got two veteran guys who are alongside him. I think they can help him."

Similarly, this past weekend, Jose Reyes, who has never played outfield during his seventeen-year career, did some pre-game work in center field as well, according to Newsday's David Lennon.

"I'll be an athlete," Conforto said, when asked about the possibly switching positions. "I'll go make plays and do whatever I can if they need me out there."


Yoenis Cespedes agreed to play center field when he signed a three-year deal this past winter.

However, prior to Monday's game, Collins said he is leery of continuing to play him there because the position may be bothering Cespedes's legs.



"We're taxing his body pretty heavily by putting him in center field, and we need him to hit," Collins explained. "I just think, if he's in left field where he's comfortable, and there's not so much emphasis on the defensive side, that he'll go back (to being) a big production guy."

The day before, Cespedes told reporters his legs are only "80 percent," and he'd prefer to stay in left field, which is less physically demanding and where he won a Gold Glove in 2015.


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

Juan Lagares is a Gold Glove center fielder. But, the Mets clearly want Conforto and Cespedes in the lineup at the same time when facing a right-handed pitcher, so TC's choices are limited.

My hunch is they'll do this dance for a week or so, then - before we know it - Cespedes will be back in center, regardless of what's going on with his knees. I understand them wanting to try and force an ideal scenario. But, my fear is that Conforto will be overwhelmed and see his hitting suffer, which would be a shame after finally regaining his swing and confidence following a month-long demotion to Triple-A. Now, he's back, but having to learn a new, important position. This seems foolish, which is why - in time - I bet TC reverts back to positioning that worked for them last summer.

By the way, Granderson has started more than a thousand games in center, but he hasn't played there since 2012. And, based on his range and arm in right field, I'd say his days up the middle are done. Also, it's easier to ignore the fact that Alejandro De Aza is on the roster, and I'm also choosing to ignore the idea of Reyes in center field until I actually see it happen.

Tags: Michael Conforto


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Collins and Matz on loss to Cubs 00:06:24
Mets manager Terry Collins and pitcher Steven Matz discuss the 5-1 loss to the Cubs on Monday night.

New York Mets rookie LHP Steven Matz gave up four runs in five-plus innings in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

Matz is winless in his last eight starts dating back to June 1, going 0-5 with a 5.20 ERA and allowing 57 hits in 45 innings.

"I'm battling, battling, battling and then I make one mistake," Matz said. "It seems like that's kind of what's been going on with me here the past five starts or so. I've just got to have better focus when the big hitters are up in the lineup."

The Mets were 7-2 through Matz's first nine starts this season, but are 2-6 during his last eight.

"I'm noticing mistakes," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's about making pitches. When you face quality hitters like those guys … you've got to make pitches. You've got to make them chase."



Matz said he is healthy, insisting that the bone spur in his elbow was not an issue. Instead, he cited poor execution for Monday night's results.

"I just think it's making the mistake to these big hitters in the middle of the lineups," he said.


Matthew Cerrone | SnapchatFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

He is struggling to command his change-up, and it's killing him. The one he threw to Anthony Rizzo, which he clobbered for a three-run home run, was an absolute meatball. I'm not sure what is going on with him, but it has to change. I don't know if it's him worrying about the bone spur in his elbow -- which he'll have removed this winter -- or if it's as simple as being a bit rusty and out of rhythm, but he's clearly not pitching like he was earlier in the season. The repertoire is there. He's using all of his pitches and working quickly; he's just not throwing well enough to put away big league hitters.

He had the bone spur issue pop up, a bad start, the All-Star break and then last night. It's a bone spur; it's not a torn ligament or something, so my bet is he feels fine tomorrow. He'll likely throw a bullpen session and hopefully feel fine again. After that, he'll have a normal week of five days' rest with his regular routine. I hope he regains his confidence and tackles his next start the way he's capable of doing.

Tags: Steven Matz , Matthew Cerrone
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