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Post Game Extra: 8/28/16 00:03:22
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

After scoring 21 runs and winning the first two games of the series, the Mets' bats fell silent in a 5-1 loss to the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

In case you missed it…

  • The Mets had the bases loaded and one out in the first and runners at second and third with one out in the second but mustered one run on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly. New York had only three baserunners after the second inning.
  • In his first Major League start, Robert Gsellman allowed one run on four hits through six innings before things fell apart in the seventh. He allowed three straight hits to open the inning to load the bases. Hansel Robles allowed a two-run double to A.J. Ellis and after intentional walking Freddy Galvis he plunked Peter Bourjos to force in another run. Cesar Hernandez capped the four-run frame with a sac fly off Jerry Blevins.
  • Gsellman (1-1) was charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six-plus frames.
  • Yoenis Cespedes (quad) and Neil Walker (back) were both held out of the starting lineup. Asdrubal Cabrera (left knee soreness) left the game in the bottom of the first after singling.

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

Quotes…

Terry Collins on the Mets' inexperienced pitchers: "These guys are going to pitch at the Major League level. There's no better learning area than to pitch in a pennant race, and learn how to deal with the pressures and the stress of what you got to go out and do your job."

Collins on pushing through injuries: "I mean, you've just got to keep fighting. You've got to keep guys rested and try to keep them as healthy as they can be. And when they can't go, you've got to run someone else out there and hope they come through for you when you need them."

Collins on Gsellman: "He was cruising along. He made some pitches and got some ground balls. He had a pretty low pitch count…and I thought he was pitching pretty good. Unfortunately, he gave up the three hits."

Gsellman on his outing: "I just left some pitches elevated and they took advantage of it. You always take positives out of everything you do. I'll take the positives out of this for my next time out and hopefully we come out with the win."

News and notes…

  • The Mets lost a chance to gain ground in the N.L. Wild Card chase. They remain 2.5 games behind the Cardinals and one back of the Marlins, who come to Citi Field for a four-game series beginning Monday.
  • Jay Bruce singled in his first at-bat but struck out in his next three plate appearances. He's now fanned in seven of his last eight at-bats and is hitting .165 (14-for-85) with 26 strikeouts in 23 games as a Met.
  • Robles did not retire a batter, allowed all three inherited runners to score and was charged with a run. He has surrendered runs in six of his last seven appearances.

What's next…

The Mets (66-64) welcome the Marlins (67-63) to Citi Field for an important four-game series beginning on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY. With Jacob deGrom's turn in the rotation being skipped, Rafael Montero (0-0, 11.57 ERA) will be recalled from Double-A Binghamton to make his first big league start since April 28, 2015. Miami starts the series off with ace Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.91 ERA), who has never lost to New York in seven career starts.

Tags: Hansel Robles

Mets LHP Steven Matz, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to August 15 with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation, is expected to miss only one start.


Video: Steven Matz placed on DL with shoulder soreness


Latest update (Sun., Aug. 28):

Steven Matz will start Thursday in Miami when he will be activated off the disabled list. Matz was originally scheduled to start Wednesday, but the start was pushed back a day to Sept. 1, when rosters expand, meaning the Mets do not need to make a roster move. Bartolo Colon will start Wednesday in Miami.

 

Previous Updates and Reactions

After Friday's game, Terry Collins said that Matz is likely to pitch on Wednesday against the Marlins. Matz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session before Friday's game, after which the team will decide if he's able to be activated and make his scheduled start, Collins told reporters.

Matz was put on the disbaled list retroactive to August 15. He was diagnosed with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation, but no structural damange to his left shoulder, the team later announced.

Collins said last week that the team expects Matz to miss only Thursday's start before rejoining the rotation next Tuesday, the day he is eligible to come off the DL.

Matz played catch on flat ground Saturday in San Francisco and had his shoulder examined by a doctor on Monday, Aug. 21. After throwing, Matz told Bergen Record reporter Matt Ehalt he is "fine," but he did not throw any breaking pitches and his next start will remain up in the air until they get results form the doctor.

In his last start, Matz allowed only one hit in 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Padres.

He has been pitching with a bone spur in his left elbow since at least June. He has been receiving shots of painkillers before each start to combat the discomfort, a team source said to the New York Daily News..

According to Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen sees no evidence that Matz adjusted his mechanics to compensate for elbow pain, which would be one theory why his shoulder may be hurting.

Tags: Seth Lugo , Steven Matz

Asdrubal Cabrera left Sunday's game in the first inning with an injury. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Asdrubal Cabrera left Sunday's game in the first inning with an injury. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left Sunday's game against the Phillies in the first inning with what the team described as a sore left knee.

Cabrera was injured when he collided with Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph after bunting for a base hit. Joseph was leaping to get a wild throw from pitcher Vince Velasquez when Cabrera collided with him.

Cabrera stayed down on a knee for a while after the play as trainer Ray Ramirez took a look at his right arm and elbow. 

Cabrera remained in the game, and advanced to second on Kelly Johnson's single. But Cabrera, who appeared to have trouble running, left the game and was replaced by Wilmer Flores.

Cabrera is 14-for-32 (.438) with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI in eight games since returning from the disabled list Aug. 19. The Mets already were without Yoenis Cespedes (quad) and Neil Walker (stiff back), who also had hot bats coming into Sunday.

Follow the game live on SNY.tv. . . .

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera

Robert Gsellman, shown in spring training, makes his first major league start for the Mets Sunday. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) (Reinhold Matay)
Robert Gsellman, shown in spring training, makes his first major league start for the Mets Sunday. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) (Reinhold Matay)

The Mets look to make it four wins in a row and go for a sweep of their three-game series against the Phillies at Citi Field.

Read the full game preview on SNY.tv...


Phillies Mets
Cesar Hernandez, 2B Jose Reyes, 3B
Odubel Herrera, CF Asdrbal Cabrera, SS
Maikel Franco, 3B Kelly Johnson, 2B
Tommy Joseph, 1B Jay Bruce, RF
Aaron Altherr, RF Curtis Granderson, LF
Jimmy Paredes, LF Alejandro De Aza, CF
A.J. Ellis, C James Loney, 1B
Freddy Galvis, SS Travis d'Arnaud, C
Vince Velazquez, RHP Robert Gsellman, RHP

When and Where: 1:10 p.m. from Citi Field on SNY.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman is scheduled to make his first major league start for New York. It will be the second career appearance for Gsellman, who won his debut on Tuesday by throwing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in place of injured left-hander Jonathon Niese in the Mets' 7-4 victory.


Who's Pitching for the Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA)  fell to 0-4 in seven starts since the All-Star break in his most recent outing on Aug. 21, when he gave up five runs over six innings as Philadelphia fell to the Cardinals, 9-0.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard , Philadelphia Phillies

Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start Sunday: (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start Sunday: (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Phillies enter Sunday with a better record in August than the New York Mets. The Mets, however, are feeling far better than the Phillies heading into the finale of a three-game series at Citi Field.

The Mets will look to complete a sweep of the Phillies - and continue their surge in the race for the National League's second wild card - when the two teams square off Sunday afternoon.

New York hit four homers for the second straight game on Saturday in a 12-1 rout. The Mets have outscored the Phillies 21-5 in the first two contests to improve to 66-63 overall and pull within 2 1/2 games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card.

The Mets, who are 12-13 this month, have scored 50 runs in the last seven games, during which they have gone 6-1. The current hot stretch follows a 34-game stretch in which New York went 13-21 and scored three runs or fewer 18 times.  

Read more at SNY.tv. . . .


Yoenis Cespedes, left, and Neil Walker are out of the Mets lineup Sunday. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Yoenis Cespedes, left, and Neil Walker are out of the Mets lineup Sunday. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Yoenix Cespedes (tight quad) and Neil Walker (stiff back) will not start for the Mets Sunday in their series finale against the Phillies at Citi Field.

Cespedes has six extra-base hits (two doubles and four homers), eight RBI and is batting .355 (11-31) since returning from the disabled list on August 19.

Terry Collins told reporters that Cespedes felt a twinge in his quad while rounding third base after hitting a three-run homer in Saturday's 12-1 win over the Phils.

Walker hit his 23rd home run of the year last night, equaling his career-high set in 2014. Walker is batting .440 (40-91) with three doubles, seven homers, 15 RBI and 19 runs scored since July 27

Tags: Neil Walker , Yoenis Cespedes

Post Game Extra: 8/27/16 00:03:18
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 12-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets hit four home runs for the second straight day to power their way to a 12-1 win over the Phillies on Saturday night at Citi Field.

In case you missed it…

  • The Mets trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the third before scoring 12 unanswered runs. Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Neil Walker all went deep for New York. Jose Reyes and Cabrera each had three hits and scored twice while Walker finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks.
  • Cabrera's third homer in two games gave New York a 2-1 lead in the third. Cespedes' three-run homer with two outs in the fourth opened up a 5-1 edge. The Mets broke it open in the seventh when Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run double and Johnson blasted a pinch-hit grand slam two batters later. Walker added a solo shot in the eighth.
  • Noah Syndergaard (12-7) held the Phillies to one run on two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings to win his third consecutive start. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia.

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

Video: Cespedes' ball stays fair for a home run

Video: Johsnon blows the game open with a grand slam

Video: Walker pads the lead with a solo blast

Quotes…

Terry Collins on the Mets: "There's some confidence in there right now. Some guys are coming through that hadn't been coming through. We've been talking endlessly about not getting hits with runners in scoring position. Right now, we are. It looks like a completely different team…The energy's just different in the room right now."

Collins on the return of Cespedes: "When we got Ces back in the lineup, you could almost hear a sigh of, 'OK, we got our guy back, let's all just calm down, go back to what we do best.' I think you're seeing better at-bats out of a lot of guys. Certainly getting 'Cabby' back was obviously big. Guys look around, and all of a sudden the lineup has gotten a lot deeper in the last week."

Cespedes on the club's mood: "The energy that we're in right now, it's taking us back to the last two months of last season."

Syndergaard on the team's recent play: "There's a great atmosphere in the clubhouse, you got a lot of energetic, veteran guys that are helping guys. All pulling for one another."

News and notes…

  • The Mets have won 12 of their last 14 series against the Phillies. They are 21-9 against them dating back to the beginning of last season.
  • New York's 87 home runs at Citi Field are the most they've ever hit at the ballpark. Last year's team slugged 85 long balls at home. The 2006 team hit a club-record 96 homers at Shea Stadium.
  • The Mets scored nine or more runs for a third straight game for the first time since 2012.
  • Johnson's pinch-hit grand slam was the first by a Met since Ike Davis hit one in 2014.
  • Reyes is hitting .356 (21-for-59) with 13 runs scored, five extra-base hits and five RBIs in August.
  • Since being activated off the disabled list eight games ago, Cabrera is 14-for-32 (.438) with four doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.
  • Cespedes has nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 18 games against the Phillies as a member of the Mets.
  • Since July 27, Walker is hitting .440 (40-for-91) with three doubles, seven homers, 15 RBIs and 19 runs scored. His 23 long balls match his career high set with the Pirates in 2013.
  • Just over a week after he was activated from the disabled list, Justin Ruggiano was placed on the 15-day DL with a sore left shoulder. T.J. Rivera was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

What's next…

The Mets (66-63) will go for a sweep of the Phillies (59-70) on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET on SNY. After earning his first big league win with 3 2/3 innings in relief on Tuesday, Robert Gsellman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first Major League start. New York will face right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA) who is 0-4 with a 6.25 ERA in his last seven starts.

Tags: Kelly Johnson , Noah Syndergaard , Yoenis Cespedes

New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas)
New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas)

Jay Bruce is not in the starting lineup Saturday, which manager Terry Collins said is more of a mental day off for the struggling outfielder. 

Bruce went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Friday's game against the Phillies. On Saturday, Curtis Granderson will start in right field. 

Collins said it is only "human nature" that Bruce has put so much pressure on himself since coming over to New York at the non-waiver trade deadline. 

He's gotten off to a slow start," Collins told reporters Saturday. "He knows it, we know it. It's all about battling through it. I told him to relax a little bit, get something good to hit and put a good swing on it."

Bruce, who has 86 RBIs this season, has hit just .160 with a .244 OBP and .272 SLG in 22 games since joining the Mets.


New York Mets center fielder Justin Ruggiano (1) hits a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti)
New York Mets center fielder Justin Ruggiano (1) hits a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti)

OF Justin Ruggiano has been sent to the 15-day disabled list and the team has called up T.J. Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas, Terry Collins told reporters Saturday.

Ruggiano exited Friday's game after the fifth inning with left shoulder discomfort.

Collins said after the game that Ruggiano, who had injured his shoulder during his first game with the Mets, felt a sharp pain in his shoulder Friday night. 

Collins also Saturday that Rivera has gotten some work in the outfield and could play there if he gets more comfortable. 

Rivera has hit .314 in 11 games for the Mets this season. 

 

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies

New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)

The Mets look to make it three wins in a row as they take on the Phillies in the second game of their three-game series at Citi Field. 

Read the full game preview on SNY.tv...


Phillies Mets
Cesar Hernandez, 2B Jose Reyes, 3B
Odubel Herrera, CF Asdrbal Cabrera, SS
Aaron Altherr, RF Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Maikel Franco, 3B Neil Walker, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B James Loney, 1B
Cameron Rupp, C Alejandro De Aza, CF
Jimmy Paredes, LF Curtis Granderson, RF
Freddy Galvis, SS Rene Rivera, C
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP

When and Where: 7:10 p.m. from Citi Field on WPIX.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61 ERA) - threw eight scoreless innings and allowed just two hits in his last start against the Giants. Is 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in August. Was charged with just one run on five hits on April 18 against the Phillies. 


Who's Pitching for the Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60 ERA) - is 2-2 with a 7.01 ERA against the Mets in his career. Gave up four runs over six innings in his last start against the Mets on July 15. Has a 2.89 ERA in the month of August. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard , Philadelphia Phillies

We ask Mets fans ... Jay Bruce 00:01:34
SNY.tv asks Mets fans if they give the trade for Jay Bruce a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

SNY.tv asks: "Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down to the Jay Bruce Trade?"


 



Post Game Extra: 8/26/16 00:03:10
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 9-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies

Wilmer Flores' grand slam was one of four homers for the Mets, who won for the fifth time in six games, 9-4, over the Phillies on Friday night at Citi Field.

In case you missed it…

  • Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera both went 2-for-4 and hit back-to-back homers leading off the bottom of the first. Cabrera went deep again in the sixth from the left side of the plate and finished with three RBIs. It was the first time in his career he has homered from both sides of the plate in the same game.
  • Flores' grand slam came with two outs in the fifth and followed a nine-pitch at-bat by Neil Walker that resulted in a walk to load the bases.
  • Bartolo Colon didn't surrender a hit until the fifth and allowed one run on two hits through seven innings before faltering in the eighth. Overall, Colon (12-7) was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven-plus innings. He also singled, doubled and scored twice.
  • Walker returned from the Paternity Leave List and went 1-for-3 with a walk. After missing Thursday's finale in St. Louis, Jay Bruce was also back in the starting lineup and struck out in each of his four at-bats.

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

Video: Wilmer Flores crushes grand slam to left center

Video: Asdrubal Cabrera smashes his second HR of the night

Video: Jose Reyes hits a leadoff homer to start the scoring

Quotes…

Terry Collins on Flores' slam: "That moment was huge because we weren't able to break it open [earlier]. We had some opportunities and couldn't capitalize on it…I thought that was certainly the biggest hit of the game for us."

Collins on Colon: "I can't come up with the name of a guy who we could have had who's done a better job than he has. Not only has he been the healthiest of the bunch, he's won big games for us, a lot of big games for us. … You talk about a guy in his spot that eats up innings, this guy does more than eat up innings. You look, he's deep in games, he keeps you in games. I'll tell you, without him, I don't know where we'd be right now."

Flores on the fans asking for a curtain call: "It feels good. They make me feel good every time they do something like that. It's real special."

News and notes…

  • New York has scored 121 runs in its last 25 games, an average of 4.84 per game. They have hit 46 homers in their last 29 home contests and 83 overall in Queens, two shy of the club record at Citi Field set last year.
  • The back-to-back homers by Reyes and Cabrera represented the 10th time New York has done so this season, a club record. It was only the second time in franchise history the Mets opened a game with consecutive home runs. Reyes and Ruben Gotay accomplished it in 2007.
  • Reyes and Curtis Granderson share the franchise mark for leadoff homers with 18.
  • Flores' 10 homers against southpaws are the third most in baseball. He went 1-for-3 against Phillies' lefty Adam Morgan, making him 32-for-93 (.344) with 10 homers versus left-handers this season.
  • Colon's 20 wins at Citi Field are second behind Jon Niese (26) for the most in the ballpark's eight-season history.
  • Cabrera is 11-for-28 (.393) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in seven games since returning from the disabled list. He became the first Met to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game since Carlos Beltran in 2011.
  • Justin Ruggiano was removed from the game in the bottom of the sixth with a sore left shoulder.
  • T.J. Rivera was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Walker.

What's next…

The Mets (65-63) look to continue their hot hitting against the Phillies (59-69) from Citi Field on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. ET on PIX11. Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61 ERA) will be aiming to win his third consecutive game following a six-start winless streak. Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60 ERA) goes for Philadelphia having posted a 2.45 ERA in his last 10 starts and winning six of seven decisions.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Bartolo Colon , Wilmer Flores

New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (7) scores on a RBI double by left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) in the first inning of their MLB baseball game with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)
New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (7) scores on a RBI double by left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) in the first inning of their MLB baseball game with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)

Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs to start Friday's game against the Phillies at Citi Field, which was just the second time in team history that the Mets have accomplished the feat. 

Reyes, batting from the right side, hit a 2-1 pitch into the left field seats off LHP Adam Morgan. On the very next pitch, Cabrera, also batting right handed, hit the ball into the right field bullpen. 

The other time it happened, on July 12, 2007, Reyes was also involved. He and former Mets INF Ruben Gotay hit home runs off RHP Bronson Arroyo of the Reds. 

Gotay, now playing for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, has also hit a home run Friday night


New York Mets third baseman T.J. Rivera celebrates with a teammate after scoring in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field (Mark J. Rebilas)
New York Mets third baseman T.J. Rivera celebrates with a teammate after scoring in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field (Mark J. Rebilas)

INF T.J. Rivera, OF Brandon Nimmo and RHP Gabriel Ynoa have won the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s' team-issued awards for the best player, hitter and pitcher, respectively. 

All three players have made their major league debuts with the Mets this season. 

Rivera, 27, has hit .347 (a Pacific Coast League best) with a .388 OBP and .508 SLG in 99 games with Vegas this season. The infielder, who was just sent down to make room for 2B Neil Walker, hit .314 in 11 games with the Mets. 

Ynoa, a 23-year-old right-hander who was signed by the Mets in 2010, has recorded an 11-5 record with a 4.18 ERA in Triple-A in 2016. 

Nimmo, the Mets' 2011 first-round draft pick, has hit .344 with a .418 OBP and .533 SLG with the 51s this year. In 20 games with the Mets, he has hit .237 with one home run and five RBIs. 

 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo , Gabriel Ynoa

New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)
New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. (Lance Iversen)

The Mets return home to host the Phillies at Citi Field on Friday night.

Read the full game preview on SNY.tv...


Phillies Mets
Cesar Hernandez, 2B Jose Reyes, 3B
Aaron Altherr, LF Asdrbal Cabrera, SS
Maikel Franco, 3B Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Ryan Howard, 1B Neil Walker, 2B
Cameron Rupp, C Wilmer Flores, 1B
Odubel Herrera, CF Jay Bruce, RF
Freddy Galvis, SS Justin Ruggiano, CF
Peter Bourjos, RF Travis d'Arnaud, C
Adam Morgan, LHP Bartolo Colon, RHP

When and Where: 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field on SNY.


Who's pitching for the Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36) - Colon, the oldest player in baseball, will be making his team-high 26th start and will be looking for his 12th win, which would break a tie for the team lead with Noah Syndergaard. If he lasts at least 3 2/3 innings Friday, Colon will also surge past Syndergaard for the Mets lead in innings pitched.


Who's Pitching for the Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21) - If Morgan does not record the win on Friday, he will become the first Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2012 to record just one win through 15 starts in a season.



Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) in the seventh inning against the Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) in the seventh inning against the Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets plan to skip Jacob deGrom's next start, which is scheduled for Monday against the Marlins at Citi Field, Terry Collins told reporters Friday.

"When he's had time off, he's bounced back and been dominant," Collins said.

"I want or be out there," deGrom said, "but I think this will help me in the long run."

DeGrom also said he sees from video that he is again falling off toward first base, after home run throws, which raises his arm slot and makes his pitches flat in the strike zone.

In his last two starts, including Wednesday against the Cardinals, deGrom has given up 25 hits and 13 runs in just 9 2/3 innings, while striking out eight batters. He had been 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in the nine starts prior to last week.

In deGrom's place, Collins said the Mets will consider starting reliever Sean Gilmartin, Rafael Montero, Triple-A prospect Gabriel Ynoa, and Seth Lugo on short rest, among others.


Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com
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DeGrom threw seven innings of three-hit baseball, with nine strikeouts, during his start Aug. 13, which dropped his ERA to 2.30. Since then, he has allowed 13 runs during 9 2/3 innings in two starts. So, what's eating at the Mets' ace and -- more importantly -- can he recover in time to keep the their playoff hopes alive >> Read more.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

Rob Brender is joined by Seth Everett of NBC Sports Radio, to talk about the four middle of the road teams fighting for the second wildcard - plus Mets injuries, baseball in the Olympics, and relocation issues around the game.


Jul 31, 2016; Neil Walker (20) hits an RBI triple to deep right during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Neil Walker (20) hits an RBI triple to deep right during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Mets 2B Neil Walker has been activated from the paternity list, with INF T.J. Rivera sent to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Walker left the Mets after Sunday's win to be in Pittsburgh for the birth of his first child, Nora, who was born early Tuesday morning.

The Mets had promoted Rivera from Triple-A to temporarily replace Walker on the roster. Rivera is eligible to return on Sept. 1 when rosters expand. 

He hit .314 with a .306 OBP and .371 SLG in 11 games with the Mets.

Walker had been the team's hottest hitter, batting .449 with five HR in 12 games, before missing four games with a sore back. 

He returned to the lineup last weekend and had two hits in nine plate appearances.

Tags: Neil Walker

Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the New York Mets will host the 12th annual Taiwan Heritage Day on Sunday, August 28 at Citi Field when the Mets host the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:10 p.m.
 
Pre-game performances start at noon in the Mets plaza as free Taiwanese souvenirs and traditional snacks will be given out next to the stage. People can also experience Taiwanese folkgame at Taiwan's booth near the main entrance. The Chun-Qing Choir, made up of retirees who dedicate their efforts to promote the Taiwanese cultural performing arts, tour around the world and have also performed in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and correction centers throughout Taiwan. Taiwanese mascot "Oh Bear" will appear and interact with Mr. Met and fans throughout the game.
 
SNY's Nelson Figueroa, who played and coached in Taiwan for the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Here's an exclusive look at Nelson's travels to Taiwan last month:

Video: Returning to Taiwan with Nelson Figueroa



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

The Mets (64-63) return to Citi Field tonight, where they'll host the Philadelphia Phillies, who have lost five of their last eight games.

I'm praying the Mets do not take a step backward here. They've got some momentum going, they just won four of five games from the two teams leading the Wild Card, and they've pulled themselves back in to the mix.

Now, they get the Phillies, who they should beat, at home, with their two most reliable pitchers stepping to the mound. This is the time when the Mets should build on what they did out west and string together a nice, meaningful streak. But, it's the Phillies, who they haven't exactly bossed around in 2016 like they did in 2015.



It will help to have Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes all in the same lineup, at the same time, hopefully as soon as tonight. The Mets are certainly aware that the Marlins are coming to town next week, but they can't lose sight of first defeating Philly.

Here are the pitching match ups and other tidbits about this series...

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36) vs. LHP Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21)
Saturday: RHP Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61) vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60)
Sunday: RHP Robert Gsellman (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31)

The Mets are just 5-4 against the Phillies, who they play 10 more times this year.

Neil Walker will rejoin the Mets tonight after a three-day paternity leave.

Jay Bruce is expected back in the lineup after missing Thursday's game with tightness in his right calf muscle. He is hitting .169 with two HR and six RBI in 77 at-bats since joining the Mets on Aug. 1.

Steven Matz is expected to throw off a mound this weekend to determine whether he's able to return from the disabled list for his start Tuesday.

The Phillies traded long-time catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers on Thursday for C A.J. Ellis, a minor league pitcher and a player to be named.

Ellis, 35, is hitting .194 with one HR and 13 RBI during what is the final year of his contract.

Phillies pitchers have a 5.64 ERA in August, which is second-worst in the National League.

Colon is 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA in three starts this season against the Phillies. He is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA through four starts in August.

Terry Collins will speak to reporters at 4 p.m., after which Sandy Alderson will do the same.


This season, during every Mets home game on SNY, you can enter for a chance to win a $25 gas card.
 
Just follow @SNYtv on Twitter and during the 5th Inning look for the SNY 5th Inning Sweepstakes presented by Tri-State Ford question. Tweet your answer to @SNYtv using #SNYFord5thSweepstakes to be automatically entered. One winner will be randomly selected at the completion of each game.

Click here for Official Rules.


Matthew Cerrone | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Last night was a much-needed, awesome win against the Cardinals, who now lead the second Wild Card slot by 3.5 games over the Mets -- with the Marlins and Pirates in between.

It's also worth noting that the Giants, who have lost 8 of their last 11 games, now lead the Cardinals by just one loss for the top Wild Card spot. The point is, despite all of the above teams stumbling through August, the Wild Card race is on in full effect, with five teams -- including the Mets -- eyeing two spots with 35 games to go.



The Mets arrived in San Francisco last Thursday having lost two of three to the D-backs, two games under .500 and six games back of the Cardinals. The season was entering a point of no return.

Thankfully, the Mets split four games with the Giants and took two of three from the Cardinals to go 5-5 on the rough, 10-game, road trip to pull 3.5 games from a playoff spot.

The Mets (64-63) return to Citi Field tonight, where they'll host the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals during the next 10 games.

"We're excited about getting home, the way we are playing right now," Collins said Thursday night.

22 of New York's final 36 games are against the Twins, Reds, Braves and Phillies, all of whom are below .500. This season, the Mets are 27-28 against teams with a losing record.

"I don't care who is playing," Collins said of their remaining schedule. "We got to put some wins on the board, get some streaks going."



The way it stands, the Cardinals are on pace to win 86 games and get the second Wild Card spot. The Mets will finish 85-77 if they win every three-game series and split every four-game series on their remaining schedule, while losing two of three in both remaining series with the Nationals.

In the event they play better than this -- perhaps winning a series from the Nationals or sweeping someone along the way -- they stand a very good chance of leapfrogging the field and getting to the postseason. The thing is, that is easier said than done, especially for a team that is 10-13 in August and 48-56 since May 1.

Nevertheless, "We're still right there," Jose Reyes said Thursday. "It's going to be a fun September."

He's right. It will be fun. But, it will also be difficult. Good luck, boys...


De Aza robs Carpenter of homer 00:00:54
Alejandro De Aza makes a jumping catch over the center field wall to rob Matt Carpenter of a home run in the first inning.

Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza went 2 for 4 with a home run and a career-high five RBIs in a 10-6 win over the Cardinals on Thursday at Busch Stadium.

De Aza hit a two-run single in the fourth inning to give the Mets a 3-0 lead, then blew the game open one inning later with a three-run home run off Adam Wainwright (9-8) to make it 7-0.

"Anything that can help the team win, it feels great," De Aza said after the game. "It's fun to do that now, and every time you can. Every time you hit a home run, it's fun."

De Aza's second multi-hit game of the month helped the Mets draw within 3 1/2 games of the Cardinals for the second Wils Card spot with 35 games to play. 

"This and every game is important," De Aza said, "We're just out there trying to win as many games as we can. Thank God we got that one today. We've got to continue that."


Video: Alejandro De Aza blasts a a three-run home run


Despite being in a 4-for-34 slump over his last 16 games, the 32-year-old De Aza got the start Thursday night with Jay Bruce dealing with a calf injury. Manager Terry Collins said De Aza has accepted his role as a reserve outfielder and has made the most of any opportunity.

"He knows his role," Collins said. "He doesn't have to like it, but he accepts it, and gets himself ready. He didn't stop working. He didn't stop practicing. Any time we had extra BP, he was out. All he needed was a chance to play a little bit and when he got it, he made the most of it."

Tags: Alejandro De Aza , St. Louis Cardinals

 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

The Mets' offense erupted and Seth Lugo tossed five scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 10-6, on Thursday at Busch Stadium to pull within 3 1/2 games of the second Wild Card spot >> Read more


Lugo exited Thursday's game after warming up prior to the sixth inning due to a right calf cramp >> Read more

The Mets might give Jacob deGrom, who has struggled during his last two outings, extra rest before his next start >> Read more

What has gone wrong with deGrom lately? >> Read more

Neil Walker is expected to return from the paternity list on Friday against the Phillies >> Read more

What's on Tap for Thursday, Aug. 26

The Mets (64-63) open a three-game series against the Phillies (59-68) at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY.

Bartolo Colon (3.36 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) starts for the Mets, opposed by Adam Morgan (6.21 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) for Philadelphia.


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.

To see this season's grand total to date, visit mets.com/citi.


Tags: Bartolo Colon , Jacob deGrom , Neil Walker , Seth Lugo

Post Game Extra: 08/25/16 00:03:26
Seth Lugo pitched five strong innings and Alejandro De Aza drove in five runs as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 10-6.

Seth Lugo earned his first Major League win and the Mets' won for the fourth time in five games with a 10-6 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.

In case you missed it…

  • Lugo (1-2) pitched five scoreless innings before he was removed while warming up in the sixth due to cramping in his right calf. In his second Major League start, the 26-year-old allowed two hits and three walks while striking out five. He also singled in the fourth for his first career hit.
  • Alejandro De Aza went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and a career-high five RBIs. He also had a two-run single in the fourth that increased New York's lead to 3-0. De Aza began July with five RBIs for the season.
  • James Loney went 3-for-5 and Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores each chipped in with two hits and an RBI. Rene Rivera doubled and singled in a pair of runs in the ninth.
  • Every position player in New York's lineup reached base at least twice.

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

Video: Alejandro De Aza blasts a a three-run home run

Video: Alejandro De Aza laces an RBI single to center field

Video: De Aza makes a jumping catch to rob a home run

News and notes…

  • New York won their first series in St. Louis since 2008. The Mets are 8-17 at Busch Stadium going back to 2009 and trail the Cardinals by 3.5 games for the second N.L. Wild Card spot.
  • New York hit .301 with 14 homers and scored 55 runs during their 10-game road trip. They scored in double digits for just the sixth time this season.
  • In his first two big league starts spanning 11 2/3 innings, Lugo has allowed three runs on nine hits and four walks with eight strikeouts.
  • Cabrera is 9-for-24 (.375) with four doubles and four RBIs in six games since returning from the disabled list.
  • Jay Bruce did not play one day after leaving early due to a cramp in his right calf.
  • Neil Walker is expected to return from Paternity List leave and be in the starting lineup on Friday night when the Mets open their homestand against the Phillies.
  • Sean Gilmartin was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas for the third time this season. One day after being recalled, Erik Goeddel was optioned back to Las Vegas.

What's next…

The Mets (64-63) head home for a weekend set with the Phillies (59-68) from Citi Field on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY. Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.37 ERA) kicks off New York's 10-game homestand looking for his 230th career win. Philadelphia southpaw Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21 ERA) has a 6.83 ERA during a 13-game winless streak that dates back to May 10.

Tags: Alejandro De Aza , Seth Lugo

Seth Lugo left Thursday's game in St. Louis after pitching five scoreless innings because of a right calf camp. (Jeff Curry)
Seth Lugo left Thursday's game in St. Louis after pitching five scoreless innings because of a right calf camp. (Jeff Curry)

Mets righthander Seth Lugo earned his first major league victory in his second big-league start Thursday. He pitched five scoreless innings before a right calf cramp ended his outing in the Mets' 10-6 win.

Lugo allowed two hits with three walks while striking out five going into the sixth. He stopped while warming up for the inning and was visited by trainer Ray Ramirez, leaving the game soon after.

In the top of the inning, Lugo batted and grounded out. Replays showed nothing unusual as he ran then returned to the dugout.

MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported that Lugo received fluids during the night to alleviate his cramping and the Mets anticipate him making another after the expected return of Steven Matz.


The Mets go for the series win against the Cardinals in the third and final game of the series in St. Louis at 7:15 p.m.

Follow the game here on SNY.tv...

Mets Cardinals
Jose Reyes, 3B Matt Carpenter, 1B
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Jedd Gyorko, 2B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Brandon Moss, LF
James Loney, 1B Stephen Piscotty, RF
Curtis Granderson, RF Yadier Molina, C
Wilmer Flores, 2B Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Alejandro De Aza, CF Randal Grichuk, CF
Rene Rivera, C Greg Garcia, SS
Seth Lugo, RHP Adam Wainwright, RHP

When and Where: 7:15 p.m. ET from St. Louis on SNY


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Seth Lugo (0-2, 3.04 ERA) pitched 6.2 innings in his first career start last week, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out three. Lugo was taken out of the game with two outs in the seventh inning having only thrown 69 pitches. 


Who's pitching for the Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.71 ERA) has allowed a total of 16 earned runs on 20 hits in his last three starts, spanning 14 innings. Wainwright has also had trouble with his command, racking up eight walks in those three outings.

Tags: Seth Lugo , St. Louis Cardinals

The Mets mush Jacob deGrom's next start to get him extra rest, Terry Collins told reporters before Thursday's game in St. Louis.



Latest Update (Aug. 25):

"To me, it looks like he's getting run down," said Collins, who told reporters he is considering whether to push deGrom's next start back in to get him additional rest.

According to Collins, he will meet in New York with Sandy Alderson before making a final decision.

Previous Updates and Reactions

In his last two starts, including Wednesday against the Cardinals, deGrom has given up 25 hits and 13 runs in just 9.2 innings, while striking out eight batters. He had been 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in the nine starts prior to last week.

Collins said Wednesday the Mets would talk Thursday about what to do with deGrom and how to handle the rotation, now that Steven Matz and Jon Niese are on the disabled list.


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

Aug. 25, 9:45 am: Seth Lugo is scheduled to start tonight. Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard will pitch at home, Friday and Saturday, against the Phillies. I assume Robert Gsellman will then make his first big-league start Sunday in that series finale. Then, it's back around, with DeGrom scheduled to start next Monday against the Braves. Steven Matz will hopefully be activated and able to go the next day, when he's eligible to return from the disabled list. However, if Matz is still hurting and remains on the DL, I have no idea what they'll do.

 

I guess they either bring back Logan Verrett from Triple-A or take a shot by promoting Rafael Montero or Gabriel Ynoa, in late August, during a playoff race, with less than 30 games to go in the season. Ugh. What a mess. What the hell happened? Wasn't this season supposed to be all about pitching? I guess it has been, but for all the wrong reasons...

It would be nice to get deGrom an extra day off, or skip him, which is what I think Terry is alluding to by saying he'll talk to coaches about him and the rotation. But, given the options and lack of off-days, there is simply no way to do that right now. And, frankly, if the Mets keep struggling to catch fire, deGrom will have plenty of time to rest in October.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

In this week's MetsBlog Q&Acast, presented by Citi, Matthew Cerrone checks in with WABC radio host Sid Rosenberg to talk about the Mets, their chances in 2016, the difference between covering politics and sports, and Sid's relationship with Doc Gooden.


Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com
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Jacob deGrom threw seven innings of three-hit baseball, with nine strikeouts, during his start Aug. 13, which dropped his ERA to 2.30. Since then, he has allowed 13 runs during 9 2/3 innings in two starts. So, what's eating at the Mets' ace and -- more importantly -- can he recover in time to keep the their playoff hopes alive?

The biggest issue facing deGrom during his recent struggles has been a big spike in hits -- especially hard hits. His 13 runs have come on a whopping 25 hits, including four home runs. His hard-hit rate is up and his line drive rate has spiked.

He's getting knocked around in every possible way. And, his strikeout rate, which was not at the elite level it had been in previous years, has fallen as well. During his last two starts, he's striking out a downright pedestrian 7.5 batters per nine innings.

DeGrom's pitch selection during this rough stretch has been noticeably different. Prior to his August 18 start, deGrom's slider was his most frequently used pitch outside of his fastball, thrown almost 20 percent of the time. Since August 18, though, his slider use has dropped significantly and he has instead thrown more change ups.

Any time pitch selection changes, discomfort is always the first concern, but the good news is that deGrom has had other two-start stretches with fewer sliders and his recent velocity on all of his pitches is comparable to his season average.



"Every time I seem to miss, it seems to go right down the middle," deGrom said after Wednesday night's game, indicating he realizes he is struggling with his command.

His fastball is getting hit the hardest, which suggests he may be overthrowing and letting it get too straight. A likely culprit for deGrom's midsummer swoon is fatigue, though he insisted when talking to reporters that this is not an issue.

"I feel fine," he repeated.

However, it's not unusual for pitchers to go through a dead-arm period in August and he's on pace this season to match his career-high in innings pitched.

Unfortunately, due to injuries, the Mets lack the starting pitching depth at this point in the season to let him skip a start, which limits their options for helping him cope with this challenging period. At this point, the best scenario is likely to hope he can push through it, perhaps with a reduced between-start workload.

The Mets can't afford starts like the one on Wednesday if they want to keep pace for the Wild Card.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

Aug 24, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Jay Bruce (19) walks off the field with manager Terry Collins (10) and a trainer after suffering an injury during the first inning against the Cardinals: Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Jay Bruce (19) walks off the field with manager Terry Collins (10) and a trainer after suffering an injury during the first inning against the Cardinals: Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Mets OF Jay Bruce left Wednesday's game with a cramp in his right calf, which he and his manager, Terry Collins, both later said was only a minor injury.

"It felt like a cramp that wouldn't let up," said Bruce, who expects to play on Thursday.

He hit a double in the second inning off Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, but Collins pulled him from the game after seeing him look hurt.


Video: Asdrubal Cabrera hits an RBI double in the second


"I couldn't afford to have him blow it out, so I took him out," Collins later explained.

According to Bruce, the injury first occurred when he fouled a ball off his leg this past weekend in San Francisco. He didn't feel any pain earlier in the week, but it returned last night, first when running out to his position and later when running the bases.

Bruce entered the game hitless in his previous 12 at-bats.

He's hitting just .169 with two home runs, two doubles, six RBI and 19 strikeouts in 22 games since being acquired by the Mets from the Reds on July 31.


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

The obvious joke here is that when you run the bases as infrequently as Bruce, because he's been so bad, it's not surprising he would come up lame. The fact is, I give him credit and appreciate him wanting to play through it. But, as we've seen with other position players on this team, the balance between pain and impeding performance and actually performing and being in the field is a fine line and moving target. 

I'd like to see Collins put Yoenis Cespedes behind Bruce, to give him some protection and a few more fastballs. Travis d'Arnaud is hitting well, finally, during the last two weeks. Why is he batting eighth? Instead, hit him behind Cespedes. And, again, for the love of Mr. Met, move Curtis Granderson down in the lineup.

The night before, with Granderson out of the lineup, the Mets went wild scoring with Asdrubal Cabrera batting second behind Jose Reyes. The next night, does TC replicate what worked? Nope, of course not. Instead, he moves Cabrera down to sixth and returns Granderson to hitting second. Huge game, with momentum, yet TC gives Granderson (who is batting .180 since the All Star break) the second most at-bats in the game. Oh, right, I was supposed to be writing about Bruce...

Anyway, Bruce is notorious for binge hitting, where he bats .400 and belts seven home runs in a week, while carrying the team on his back. The Mets need that now, especially if Cespedes can join in...

How about that Bruce trade?

In the most recent We Ask Mets Fans, presented by StubHub, SNY.TV asked Mets fans if they give the trade for Bruce a thumbs up or a thumbs down...

Video: We ask Mets fans ... Do you like the Jay Bruce trade?

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Curtis Granderson , Travis d'Arnaud , Yoenis Cespedes

"Win Probability Added (WPA) captures the change in Win Expectancy from one plate appearance to the next and credits or debits the player based on how much their action increased their team's odds of winning," according to FanGraphs.com.

Here are the top five Mets position players, according to WPA:

Rank Player WPA
1 Yoenis Cespedes +8.34
2 Neil Walker +8.32
3 Curtis Granderson +7.40
4 Asdrubal Cabrera +6.43
5 Wilmer Flores +5.33


For lifelong Mets fan Jennifer Schmid, her first-ever trip to Citi Field was an experience she'll never forget. Instead of heading straight to her seat, she took a detour.... to the pitcher's mound!

As the grand prize winner of this year's Citi Perks Sweepstakes, Jennifer got to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Mets' July 31 game. She was among thousands of fans who entered the contest this spring, which involved finding a Mets-themed Citi Bike in New York City and posting a photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CitiPerksSweepstakes.

"It was definitely breathtaking," said Jennifer after her first pitch. "Being on the field was a dream come true. To be able to run out with the actual team when they took the field was unlike anything I had ever experienced."

As for entering the Citi Perks Sweepstakes in the future, Jennifer said, "I would do it again in a heartbeat and anyone else who is a Mets fan needs to do it!"


Jacob deGrom was hit hard again, allowing five runs on 12 hits in 4.2 innings, as the Mets lost to the Cardinals, 8-1, on Wednesday in St. Louis to fall 4 1/2 games behind the second Wild Card spot.


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

The Mets had momentum entering last night, having won three in a row and with deGrom on the mound. To lose, it hurt. It felt like running into a wall. Tonight is a big deal. There is a major difference between being 5 1/2 games back with 36 to play as opposed to 3 1/2.

As I said before the series started, it's not impossible to out-run St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Miami if the Mets take just one or two games in this series against the Cardinals. But no team in baseball has had a stretch this season like the Mets would need over the final month of the season. It will be very difficult. Twenty-two of their final 36 games are against the Twins, Reds, Braves and Phillies, all of whom are having poor seasons. But, why make life any more difficult than it already is for this team? They need to win tonight.


Yoenis Cespedes said he intends to remain with the Mets but hasn't made a decision regarding his opt-out clause >> Read more

Jay Bruce left Wednesday's game in the second inning due to a cramp in his right calf >> Read more

Jonathon Niese will undergo surgery on his right meniscus, while Robert Gsellman takes Niese's spot in the starting rotation >> Read more 

The Mets are no longer seeking to trade for bullpen help >> Read more

What's on Tap for Thursday, Aug. 25

The Mets (63-63) wrap up their pivotal three-game series against the Cardinals (67-58) at Busch Stadium on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. ET on SNY.

Seth Lugo (3.04 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) starts for the Mets, opposed by Adam Wainwright (4.71 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) for St. Louis.


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.

To see this season's grand total to date, visit mets.com/citi.


Tags: Jacob deGrom , Jon Niese , Seth Lugo , Yoenis Cespedes

 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The Mets recalled LH reliever Sean Gilmartin after Wednesday night's game and optioned RH reliever Erik Goeddel to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Goeddel, who allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday, had been activated before the game.

He has a 4.55 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 29 games (29 2/3 innings) for the Mets this season.

Gilmartin has posted a 4.86 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 107 1/3 innings (18 starts, one relief appearance) for Las Vegas this season.

He allowed seven runs in nine innings (five games) for the Mets earlier this seaosn.

Tags: Erik Goeddel , Sean Gilmartin

Post Game Extra: 08/24/16 00:03:37
Jacob deGrom struggled for his second consecutive start and the Mets' bats fell silent as the team took an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals.

Jacob deGrom was roughed up for the second straight outing and the Mets' winning streak ended with a thud in a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.

In case you missed it…

  • deGrom (7-7) was hit hard for the second consecutive start, allowing five runs on 12 hits, three home runs and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. His ERA has risen from 2.30 to 2.96 in his last two outings.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera went 1-for-3 and drove in the Mets' only run with an RBI double in the second.
  • Hansel Robles allowed a run on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. After nine consecutive scoreless appearances, the right-hander has been scored up in seven of 10 outings and five straight.

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

Video: Jay Bruce hits a bloop double to left field

Video: Asdrubal Cabrera hits an RBI double in the second

Video: Curtis Granderson throws out Randall Grichuk at home

News and notes…

  • Despite the loss, New York is 18-10 against the National League Central in 2016 and 2-3 against the Cardinals.
  • The Mets' pitching staff has posted a 6.39 ERA in the first nine games of their 10-game road trip.
  • New York's streak of homering on the road ended at 13 consecutive games, one fewer than the club record set in 1998.
  • Over his last two starts, deGrom has surrendered 13 runs on 25 hits, including four home runs, in 9 2/3 innings. He had allowed 13 runs in his previous 10 starts prior to his last outing on Aug. 18.
  • Cabrera is 7-for-19 (.368) with three doubles and three RBIs in five games since returning from the disabled list.
  • Jay Bruce was removed from the game after hitting a double in the second inning. He was diagnosed with a cramp in his left calf.
  • The Mets placed Jon Niese on the 15-day disabled list and will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Erik Goeddel was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

What's next…

The Mets (63-63) look to end their road trip on a winning note as they face the Cardinals (67-58) in the rubber game at Busch Stadium on Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. ET on SNY. Seth Lugo (0-2, 3.04 ERA) will try and pitch New York to a series win in his second big league start. Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.71 ERA) has not won since July 21, a span of six start during which he's posted a 6.82 ERA.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

Mets RF Jay Bruce left Wednesday's game against the Cardinals in the second inning due to a cramp in his right calf, the team said.

Bruce doubled to left field to lead off the inning, and was removed for precautionary reasons.

He said after the game that he hopes to play on Thursday, according to Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record >> Read more

Bruce is hitting .158 with a .247 OBP and .263 SLG with two home runs and six RBI since being acquired by the Reds on July 31.

Tags: Alejandro De Aza

Yoenis Cespedes (52) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Yoenis Cespedes (52) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

OF Yoenis Cespedes said he intends to honor all three years of his current $75 million contract with the Mets, but a final decision hasn't been made, he told reporters prior to Wednesday night's game.

When asked recently by the Bergen Record's Matt Ehalt if he planned to stay with the Mets, Cespedes replied "yes."

According to multiple reports, Cespedes can opt out his current deal after this season, pocket his $27.5 million from 2016 and become a free agent. Or, he can continue to play for the Mets through 2018, earning $25 million in each of his three seasons (2016-2018).

In the event he opts out, unlike last offseason, Cespedes will be eligible for a qualifying offer, which would give the Mets a compensation pick if he signs with a new team for 2017.

In 155 games since joining the Mets last summer, Cespedes is batting .292 with 42 HR and 108 RBI, while playing left and center field.

He reached 40 home runs in a Mets uniform in fewer games than anyone in franchise history.


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

It's hard to believe he will refuse free agency. This is going to be a very weak free agent market. He's one of the only legit, right-handed power hitters in a game that is starving for offense and entertainment. He'd be crazy to deny himself the opportunity to earn at least double the money with twice the guarantee, especially since at least seven teams with money to spend will have interest - including the Nationals, Giants and Yankees.

But, that's the thing, he's a unique cat. He loves New York. He loves the spotlight. He seems to love the attention he gets from Mets fans. He enjoys spending time and sharing his wealth with his teammates and he clearly loves the lifestyle that comes with winning in this city. I always heard he was a shrewd and savvy business guy, out for every dollar and opportunity. But, what if he isn't? I've come to see him a lot more qualitative than that, so maybe he's telling Ehalt the truth.



I mean, maybe when all is said and done, he'd rather $75 million and three years to show the world what he's about on the biggest stage possible, in New York City, and the ability to be a free agent again at 32-years-old (in two years), as opposed to landing in a lesser city, with less to offer, and less attention, while making an extra $50-70 million and locking in there through, say, 2021? It's possible. If there's a guy that might actually see it that way, I think it could be Yo!

The other option might be to do what ESPN's Adam Rubin has been suggesting, which is to rip up the current deal and simply give him the exact one again. So, Cespedes can sign a new three-year, $75 million deal, but can again opt out after this season, pocket $27.5 million from 2017 and again become a free agent in a year. Or, he can continue to play for the Mets through 2019, earning $25 million each of his three seasons. I like this idea, and hope they explore it...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes

Mets LHP Jon Niese will have meniscus surgery on his left knee on Thursday, the Mets announced. R

Rookie Robert Gsellman will take his next turn in the rotation this Sunday, manager Terry Collins said.

Niese was placed on the 15-day disabled list after he left Tuesday's start against the Cardinals after four batters.

Gsellman threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief after Niese left the game

The Mets called up RHP Erik Goeddel to take Niese's spot on the 25-man roster.

Niese said he has experienced pain in his knee since June, including his prior start in Arizona. He told reporters he felt no pain warming up in the bullpen before Tuesday's start, but felt a pop and a shooting pain down his left leg during the game.

"It progressively got worse and worse," said Niese, who has an 11.45 ERA in six appearances for the Mets this season. "Every pitch, there was just a sharp, shooting pain down my leg. … I've got to get it fixed. I can't keep going out there like that."

Gsellman went 4-9 with a 3.99 ERA in 20 atarts with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas before he made his MLB debut on Tuesday. Gsellman, 23, struck out 88 batters in 115 innings pitched.

On Tuesday, he allowed two hits, three walks and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

"It did happen pretty fast," said Gsellman, who had five minutes to warm up before entering the game with runners on base and Yadier Molina at the plate. "But, I slowed myself down by taking a couple breaths and that helped out a lot. I was a little nervous."

Tags: Erik Goeddel , Jon Niese

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti)

The Mets take on the Cardinals in the second game of a three-game series in St. Louis.

Follow the game here on SNY.tv...

Mets Cardinals
Jose Reyes, 3B Matt Carpenter, 1B
Curtis Granderson, CF Jedd Gyorko, 2B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Brandon Moss, LF
Jay Bruce, RF Stephen Piscotty, RF
James Loney, 1B Yadier Molina, C
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Kelly Johnson, 2B Randal Grichuk, CF
Travis d'Arnaud, C Greg Garcia, SS
Jacob deGrom, RHP Carlos Martinez, RHP

When and Where: 8:15 p.m. ET from St. Louis on SNY


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73) - DeGrom has not allowed a run in the first inning in any of his last 17 starts dating to May 15, which is the longest active streak in the major leagues. DeGrom has not walked more than two batters in any of his last 14 starts. He allowed a career-high eight runs and 13 hits in his last start at
San Francisco.


Who's pitching for the Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24) - Martinez has shut down the Mets in his brief big league career, going 2-1 with a 1.31 earned run average in six career outings. That includes a 3-2 win in the opener of a doubleheader July 26 in New York that saw him last five innings and work out of numerous jams.


The Mets are no longer to trade for a reliever, a person familiar with the team's thinking recently said, according to a Aug. 23 report by MLB.com's Anthony DiComo

However, later that day, Jon Niese was put on the disabled list, 24 hours after Steven Matz was put on the disabled list.

The Mets recently called up Triple-A starting pitcher Robert Gsellman to use in the bullpen, but he's now expected to replace Niese in the rotation.

According to DiComo, the Mets had recently been looking to acquire a right-handed reliever who had cleared waivers and was free to be traded.

Instead, they activated RH reliever Jim Henderson, who had been out since June 18 with multiple injuries. The team's closer, Jeurys Familia, leads the league with 41 saves, and he's been mostly supported by Addison Reed and Hansel Robles in setup roles.

Also, Zack Wheeler is now expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering multiple set backs during his 17-month rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Tags: Addison Reed , Hansel Robles , Jeurys Familia , Jim Henderson

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SNY's Gary Cohen shared the most incredible photo of himself during last night's broadcast, and it quickly became one of the most memorable moments in SNY history...

Video: A photo of Gary Cohen's long hair during the game

I think I may go as 1970s Gary Cohen for Halloween. It's just too awesome not to spread the joy. The win was great. But, this picture is classic...




SNY editor Andrew Vazzano is compiling pictures and memes, like the above, for a follow-up post later today. So, if you have one or know of one, tweet it to him here...


Aug 23, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) pitches in his Major League debut to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Aug 23, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) pitches in his Major League debut to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Mets rookies Robert Gsellman and Josh Smoker combined to throw 5 2/3 innings in relief Monday to help the team extended their winning streak to three games.

Gsellman, 23, was a starting pitcher in the Minor Leagues before joining the team earlier in the day to earn the win in his big-league debut.

He entered the game with one out, runners on first and third and Yadier Molina at the plate. Gsellman allowed both inherited runners to score, but was not charged with any runs in 3.2 innings.

"It was my first time ever coming out of the bullpen, so it felt kind of awkward," Gsellman said after the game. "They told me to be ready when I got here. I just had to take a couple of deep breaths and realize where I was."


Video: Reyes, Collins and Gsellman on Mets' win over Cards


The Mets named Gsellman their Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season. He entered this season among the team's top pitching prospects, according to a list published by MLB.com.

He started the season in Double-A, but was later promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was 1-5 with a 5.73 ERA in nine starts.


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

He's more of a "command guy," less the hard-throwing, dominant, strike out-type pitcher the Mets have been known for promoting the last few years. As we saw last night, he has a heavy, downward fastball, which clocks in the low-90s. It's not the best version of this pitch I've ever seen, but he seems to know when to throw it and where to put it, which I think speaks to his overall strategy on the mound. I also like that he works fast.

He's a big kid standing at 6' 4", so his fastball is seemingly coming down hill, making it a nice contrast to his curve ball and change up, all of which he throws in the strike zone. I bet he'll learn a lot watching Bartolo Colon. And, he'll probably benefit from perfecting his slider under Dan Warthen.

Gsellman gives up a lot of ground balls, which is probably why he struggled in Las Vegas, where the infield is murder on the pitchers and fielders. I've had scouts tell me to expect him to get better as he gets older, because he already has an advanced idea of what he's doing out on the mound. They say he's an ideal fourth or fifth starting pitcher, who could always fall back on a career in the bullpen. He's a nice pitcher, it seems, on the roster at the perfect time...


 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

Rookie Robert Gsellman pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings after LHP Jon Niese left Tuesday's game with a knee injury, and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-4, at Busch Stadium to move within 3 1/2 games of the second Wild Card spot.


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

Last night's win can't be under sold. It was huge. Just think about what we'd be talking about today had they lost. (Yikes.) Instead of being six losses back of the Cardinals, today the Mets are four losses back. It'll seeming be for nothing if they can't close the gap even more today. But, for now, the Mets can enter tonight on the heels of a huge team win, getting nine hits from the top of their order, 8 2/3 innings from their bullpen and averting yet another injury crisis.


Niese was placed on the DL after he left the game. Reliever Erik Goeddel will replace him on the roster >> Read more

The Mets expect Steven Matz, who is on the DL due to shoulder stiffness, to be able to return to the rotation on Aug. 30 when he's first eligible >> Read more

Terry Collins doesn't want his tenure with the Mets to end after this season >> Read more

What's on Tap for Wednesday, Aug. 24

The Mets (63-62) continue their pivotal three-game series against the Cardinals (66-58) at Busch Stadium on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. ET on SNY.

Jacob deGrom (2.73 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), who allowed eight runs on 13 hits during his last start, gets the ball for the Mets. Carlos Martinez (3.24 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) starts for St. Louis.


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.

To see this season's grand total to date, visit mets.com/citi.


Tags: St. Louis Cardinals

Post Game Extra: 08/23/16 00:03:28
Rookie Robert Gsellman filled in for injured starter Jon Niese, and the Mets' offense provided enough support in a 7-4 win over the Cards.

Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera each had three hits and the Mets' bullpen got the final 26 outs to win their third straight game, 7-4, over the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

In case you missed it…

  • Jon Niese allowed two walks and an RBI single before he was removed from the game after just four batters due to left knee soreness. He was charged with three runs on a hit and two walks in one-third of an inning.
  • Robert Gsellman made his Major League debut when he took over for Niese with one out in the first and runners at first and third. He allowed both inherited runners to score but yielded nothing else in 3 2/3 innings to pick up his first big league win. Gsellman (1-0) tossed 75 pitches and surrendered two hits, three walks and struck out two.
  • After the Cardinals tied the game, the Mets went back ahead in the second on consecutive RBI hits from Reyes and Cabrera. Justin Ruggiano added to the lead with his second homer of the road trip. James Loney's RBI flare into left in the ninth gave the Mets a three-run cushion.
  • Wilmer Flores kicked off the scoring with a three-run homer in the first.
  • The Mets' bullpen allowed one run over 8 2/3 innings. Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect ninth for his 42nd save.

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

Video: Wilmer Flores' blasts a three-run home run in win

Video: Asdrubal Cabrera makes diving stop to end the third

Video: Justin Ruggiano hits a monster solo home run

Quotes…

Terry Collins on Gsellman: "It says a lot. That's a tough spot even for a veteran to come out in the first inning…It's very, very impressive."

Collins on Niese: "After the second hitter, I saw him kind of reach down to his left knee. And then, the next guy, I saw him walk off the mound. I told [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen], 'Hey, I think he's limping.' The next hitter, it was definite. And that's when we got Gsellman up. We had to go out, and he said it's killing him, so we took him out."

Gsellman on his Major League debut: "It was my first time ever coming out of the bullpen, so I felt kind of awkward. You still have to take the mound the same way as when you're starting….They told me to be ready when I got here. I just had to take a couple of deep breaths and realize where I was."

News and notes…

  • The Mets have won three straight games for the first time since they reeled off five consecutive wins from June 30-July 4.
  • New York won for just the seventh time in 23 games in St. Louis since 2009. They have not won a series at Busch Stadium since 2008.
  • The Mets improved to 4-4 on their 10-game road trip, during which they are hitting .309 (87-for-282) with 13 homers and 44 runs scored. New York has homered in 13 straight road games, one shy of the club record set in 1998.
  • Reyes is batting .357 (15-for-42) with three extra-base hits, three stolen bases, four RBIs and nine runs scored in 10 games this month.
  • In three games since his return from the DL, Ruggiano has six hits and six RBIs. His 461-foot home run was the longest by a Met in the last two years.
  • Jim Henderson got out of a jam in the seventh in his first big league appearance since June 18.
  • Steven Matz was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 15 with left shoulder tightness and Neil Walker was placed on the Paternity Leave list on Tuesday. T.J. Rivera and Gsellman were promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas.

What's next…

Back over the .500 mark, the Mets (63-62) will look to make it two straight over the Cardinals (66-58) at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night at 8:15 p.m. ET on SNY. Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73 ERA) makes the start looking to bounce back after allowing eight runs and 13 hits in five innings against the Giants last Thursday. St. Louis counters with Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24 ERA), who allowed two runs in five innings to beat New York on July 26 at Citi Field.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Jon Niese

Ron Darling thoughts on Doc 00:06:25
Ron Darling calls in to Daily News Live to discuss the recent reports on Doc Gooden's drug problem and his exchanges with Darryl Strawberry.

Ron Darling calls in to Daily News Live to discuss the recent reports on Doc Gooden's drug problem and his exchanges with Darryl Strawberry.


New York Mets pitcher Jon Niese (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Gregory Fisher)
New York Mets pitcher Jon Niese (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets begin a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Tuesday at 8:15 p.m.

Follow the game here on SNY.tv...

Mets Cardinals
Jose Reyes, 3B Tommy Pham, LF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Stephen Piscotty, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Matt Carpenter, 2B
Wilmer Flores, 1B Brandon Moss, 1B
Jay Bruce, RF Yadier Molina, C
T.J. Rivera, 2B Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Justin Ruggiano, CF Jedd Gyorko, SS
Travis d'Arnaud, C Randal Grichuk, CF
Jon Niese, LHP Jaime Garcia, LHP

When and Where: 8:15 p.m. from Busch Stadium in St. Louis on SNY.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: LHP Jon Niese (8-7, 5.30 ERA) did not look strong in the first start of his return to the Mets last week, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings in the team's 13-5 loss to Arizona. Niese has allowed 10 earned runs on seven hits in his last 5 2/3 innings


Who's pitching for the Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (10-8, 4.11 ERA) struggled in his last outing, surrendering five earned runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings against the Astros. Garcia has allowed four home runs in his last two starts, spanning 13 innings, while only striking out six.


Tags: Jon Niese , St. Louis Cardinals

The Mets will promote T.J. Rivera from Triple-A to temporarily replace 2B Neil Walker, who will be away from the team on paternity leave through the end of the week.

In nine games before being demoted, Rivera, 27, hit .355 with two doubles and three RBI in 31 at bats. He had at least one hit in five of the seven games he started, while playing second and third base.

Rivera has minor-league experience playing all four infield positions, including 34 games at first base.


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

Rivera was one the team's hottest hitters when he was demoted the day the Mets activated Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera. He consistently had nice at bats, was productive, moved guys over, worked counts and hit. So, I'm very interested to see how Terry Collins uses him this time around.

Frankly, there's a case to be made for Rivera to get time at first base. James Loney is hitting just .184 with zero extra base hits the last 14 games, while also playing a shoddy infield. I have no idea what Rivera's fielding skills are like at first base, but he can't be worse than Lucas Duda and his bat would clearly be an upgrade over Loney. At the very least, Rivera and Wilmer Flores could make a nice platoon through the rest of the season.


Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44) greets relief pitcher Jeurys Famillia. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44) greets relief pitcher Jeurys Famillia. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

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

It's fair to say these next three games against the Cardinals are super important. I mean, not only are the Cardinals leading the final spot for the Wild Card. But, there are only 38 games left to play. So, this is it. It's time for the Mets to put on their big-boy pants, stop messing around and sweep a series. Otherwise, they're just killing time...

"Every series is big, you have to grind every single one of these," Terry Collins said this past weekend, when asked about the importance of playing the Cardinals.

He's right. But, let's be honest, beating the Cardinals would be a major step in the right direction.

This is not to say it's impossible to out run St. Louis, and the Pirates and Marlins, if the Mets take just one or two games in the next three days. Obviously, losing three would be devastating. But, if the Mets can move sideways, all is not lost.



The fact is, between now and the end of the season, the Mets play 22 games against the Twins, Reds, Braves and Phillies, all of whom are having poor seasons. But, why make life any more difficult than it already is for this team? I think we'd all rather see them take control of their situation, beat up on the Cardinals, who had been struggling, but have have since won six of their last seven games. It would be the perfect way to make noise, and show the other three teams that New York isn't going down without a fight...

Here are the pitching match ups and other tidbits about the series...

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (8-7, 5.30) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (10-8, 4.11), 8:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73) vs. RHP Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24), 8:15 p.m. ET
Thursday: RHP Seth Lugo (0-2, 3.04) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.71), 7:15 p.m. ET

The Cardinals are playing without SS Aledmys Diaz (broken thumb), RHP Seth Maness (elbow), LHP Tyler Lyons (knee), RHP Michael Wacha (shoulder), OF Matt Adams (shoulder) and OF Matt Holliday (broken thumb), who were all put on the disabled list in August.

The Cardinals lead the National League with 173 home runs this season, 14 of which were hit by pinch hitters.

Yoenis Cespedes hit home runs in three games since returning from the disabled list, making him the quickest player in franchise history to reach 40 home runs in a Mets uniform.

Jay Bruce is batting just .169 with two home runs and six RBI in 19 games since being acquired by the Mets. Also, Curtis Granderson is hitting .184 during his last 30 games.

In place of Steven Matz, who was put on the disabled list Monday, Lugo is making his second major league start. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 6.2 innings against the Giants last week.

The Mets will play this series without Neil Walker, who left the team Sunday and will be placed on paternity leave, returning to the team Friday at Citi Field. T.J. Rivera will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Walker's spot on the roster.

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