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 (Gregory Fisher)
(Gregory Fisher)

Mets LHP Jonathon Niese exited Tuesday night's game with one out in the first inning due to left knee pain, which the team said he didn't feel while warming up in the bullpen prior to the game.

He faced four batters, walking two, inducing a hard-hit fly out to left field, and allowing an RBI single to right field to Brandon Moss, who was the last batter he faced. Niese was charged with three runs.

Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game that Niese was dealing with a left knee issue.

Niese was replaced by Robert Gsellman, in what is his major league debut. 

He has an 11.45 ERA for the Mets in six appearances since being acquired on July 31.

 

Tags: 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

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 (Tuesday, Aug. 23):

The Mets expect Steven Matz to miss only Thursday's start before rejoining the rotation next Tuesday, the day he is eligible to come off the DL, Terry Collins told reporters before Tuesday night's game.

Matz is dealing with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation.

Seth Lugo will start in place of Matz against the Cardinals on Thursday.


Previous Updates and Reactions

Steven Matz is headed to the disbaled list retroactive to August 15, as first reported by MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Matz was diagnosed with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation, but no structural damange to his left shoulder, the team later announced.

To fill the spot on the roster, the Mets have called up RHP Robert Gsellman from Las Vegas. Gsellman will, at least initially, pitch out of the bullpen.

Gsellman began the season with Double-A Binghamton, where he earned a 3-4 record with a 2.71 ERA and 1.085 WHIP in 66.1 innings. After being called up to Triple-A, the 23-year old has gone 1-5 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.479 WHIP in 48.2 innings.

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

First off, this stinks for Matz. Again, he's hurt. Again, he's on the disabled list. In 18 months, he's had a variety of issues that will make him a consistent question mark going forward. But, that's for another day. In the meantime, the Mets have a Wild Card to try and win and a rotation to fill...

In place of Matz, the Mets could bump up Bartolo Colon. But, he never seems to throw well on short rest, and it actually messes with him in subsequent starts. So, this may be a bad idea. In either case, Seth Lugo should get a chance to stay in Matz's slot, since he pitched well he's one start and has also looked good all season in relief.


Matz played catch on flat ground Saturday in San Francisco and will have his shoulder examined by a doctor on Monday, NJ.com's Matt Ehalt reporterd Aug. 20.

After throwing, Matz told 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.

Matz missed his start Friday, Aug. 19, because of shoulder discomfort, manager Terry Collins told reporters the week before. Rookie reliever Seth Lugo started in his place.

"I was throwing on flat ground and I felt a little twinge in my shoulder," Matz said after his previous start. "There's some discomfort in there. I think you go through stuff all the time throughout a season, but it didn't respond the way I'd like it to. ... It's just discomfort. I'm really not worried about it."

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

Matz 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

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.



Sandy Alderson has no plans to make a change at manager this season, but Terry Collins hopes to back in 2017, the two men told reporters during the last week.



Latest Update (Tues., Aug. 23):

8:40 am: Terry Collins wants to return as manager of the Mets in 2017, he told Newsday's Marc Carig.

"If I'm back - and hopefully I am - I'll go after it the same way," said Collins, who has one year left on his contract. "And if I'm not, I will say thanks a million for the fun, great relationships, and I'm going to walk away with a smile on my face."

Previous Reports

Alderson has no plans to make a change at manager, despite the team's poor play one year after reaching the World Series, he told two reporters in San Francisco during mid-August.

"I don't expect any change," Alderson told Carig. "The short answer is he is staying, because we think that it's in the best interest of the organization."

"There are no present plans to make any changes," he also told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.


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

Aug. 19: First of all, Sandy is always smart to talk in the present, and the above quotes are no different. However, while he can say whatever he has to say today, no one will convince me Terry's job isn't on the line. It has to be. And, frankly, it better be. I don't expect anyone to get fired during the season, no matter how had things get. But, if the Mets fail to get to the postseason a year after making the World Series, I think it's very possible Collins is replaced, despite what Sandy is saying right now >> Read more.


Darryl Strawberry believes Doc Gooden is again using cocaine and fears his former teammate is back to being a "complete junkie-addict," he told Daily News reporter John Harper.



Latest Update (Tues., Aug. 23):

Gooden contacted the NY Post to refute Strawberry's comments and put the focus on his former teammate.

"He's trying to take the heat off himself," Gooden told the Post. "He's cheating on his wife. He's having an affair with people. … I call him Lucifer. … [Going public] was a weak shot, and he did it to make himself look better, because he is running a drug rehab."

Strawberry later reitterated his comments about Gooden, talking again to Harper on SNY's Daily News Live.

Video: Darryl Strawberry leads fight to help Dwight Gooden

"He's an addict and he's still using," Strawberry told Harper on air. "Dwight, this is not my problem. This is your friend. ... I'm trying to save your life. Because, if you don't get it, you're going to lose your life. That's the challenge we're facing. ... He needs to look in the mirror at himself and say, 'I have a serious problem with drug addiction, and I need real help.'"

Previous Reports

Gooden was a no show for a WFAN event with Strawberry last week, which has since fueled public statements from his son and former girlfriend, who support Strawberry's claims.

"I've been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won't listen," Strawberry told Harper. "He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies. The condition Doc is in, it's bad, it's horrible. It's like cocaine poison."



According to Gooden, he did not attend the WFAN event because he was tending to minor health issues, he explained to Harper in a text message this past weekend.

"I have to try something before he's dead," Strawberry concluded, according to Harper. "I feel like I've got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him."


The Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins were all off Monday, leaving the NL Wild Card race unchanged since the weekend...

Also on Monday, Steven Matz was put on the disabled list retroactive to August 15 with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation. RHP Robert Gsellman will be promoted from Triple-A to pitch in relief and take Matz's spot on the roster. Seth Lugo is expected to remain in the rotation.

Neil Walker left the Mets after Sunday's win to be in Pittsburgh for the birth of his first child. The Mets will promote T.J. Rivera from Triple-A to temporarily replace Walker on the roster.

Mets LH reliever Jerry Blevins was unavailable Saturday. Terry Collins said Blevins has a forearm strain, Blevins said he does not.

Lastly, Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry are in a hyperbolic, public dispute over Gooden's rumored drug use, which you can read more about here.

What's on Tap for Tuesday, Aug. 23

The Mets (62-62) begin an important, three-game series against the Cardinals (66-57) at Busch Stadium on Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. ET on SNY.

Jon Niese (8-7, 5.30 ERA) remains in the rotation for his second start since returning to New York. Fellow LH pitcher Jaime Garcia (10-8, 4.11 ERA) kicks off the series for St. Louis having won three straight and six of his last eight decisions...


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: Jerry Blevins , Jon Niese , Neil Walker , Steven Matz , Yoenis Cespedes

Aug 21, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports (Lance Iversen)
Aug 21, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports (Lance Iversen)

Noah Syndergaard had tossed 98 pitches and threw eight scoreless innings Sunday against the Giants, but told pitching coach Dan Warthen that it would be better to send Juerys Familia out for the ninth inning.

"I thought it would be the best decision to hand it over to the best closer in the game, get a win, get back on the bus and head to St. Louis," Syndergaard told reporters.

Familia faced four batters, didn't allow a run and locked down the win for his 41st save of the year.

"I'll tell you what, though, he showed me something," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Syndergaard. "He came off and said, 'It's too late in the year to be a hero. I'm getting a little tired.' A lot of guys wouldn't have said that. They would've taken it upon themselves. That's what we wanted to hear."

Syndergaard, who allowed just four baserunners and none beyond first base, pitched past the sixth inning for the first time since July 3.



"The past month and a half, I felt like today was the first day I went out there and actually relaxed and had fun," he later explained. "I just kept things simple. The last month and half, I've been trying to think too far ahead in advance."


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

In case you hadn't noticed, Familia entered Sunday having blown three of his last seven saves. I'm sure Syndergaard was being honest about his strength. But, also, by doing what he did and saying it the way he said it, especially in public to reporters, he's showing an awesome sign of support for his closer, who is not having the best time of late. Nicely done, Noah...

By the way, remember all the rush-to-judgment, ignorant talking heads in early 2015 that told us Syndergaard was too immature to succeed at the big leagues? No? Let me refresh your memory...

It was based on his spring-2014 slip up eating lunch in the clubhouse during an intrasquad game, followed by his fall-2014 comments about understanding why Sandy Alderson had yet to promote him to the big leagues and how he agreed with the decision because he didn't pitch well enough to earn a trip to Queens. In the case of eating lunch during a practice game, which he was lectured about by David Wright, Syndergaard copt to the error, plead ignorance and never made the mistake again. To me, that was anything but an immature reaction. Similarly, I thought his remarks about himself and Alderson were incredibly mature and uniquely wise, especially for a then-21 year old.

The way I see it, he's not immature. Instead, he's seemingly incredibly self aware, which may explain some of the above 'incidents,' and why he did what he did last night against the Giants.



This is a rare quality, let alone for young men in his position with rare physical talent. Yet, despite the constant accolades, and potential for an inflated ego, he always speaks with patience, humility and a sense of humor and with a context for how he fits in to the situation and what it means to him physically and emotionally and the people around him.

The only other player I saw like this was Billy Wagner.

The point is, Syndergaard is thoughtful and self aware. These qualities will help make him a unique leader on his team (if it hasn't happened already) and let him navigate his success and failures in a way that other pitchers on his staff will not be able to do. I'm thankful he's on the Mets.

If you're looking for something to watch on Monday night ...

This season, Syndergaard has been staring in the SNY original web series The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola. In the latest episode, he spends the afternoon working in the Mets Clubhouse Shop...

Video: The Amazin' Life: Noah's New Job

To see previous episodes, including a behind the scenes look at his horse ride with Yoenis Cespedes during Spring Training, and his afternoon dressed as Thor in Time's Square, click here.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard

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 left the Mets after Sunday's win to be in Pittsburgh for the birth of his first child.

The Mets will promote T.J. Rivera from Triple-A to temporarily replace Walker on the roster.

Walker's wife, Niki, is scheduled to be induced on Monday.

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 this past weekend and had two hits in nine plate appearances.

Terry Collins said Walker is expected to rejoin the Mets on Friday.

Tags: Neil Walker

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?"


 



Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LH reliever Jerry Blevins was unavailable Saturday, Terry Collins said this past weekend.

According to Collins, Blevins had forearm tightness, so he didn't want to him to pitch.

However, Blevins twice told reporters this is not true.

"It's just a normal thing," Blevins said, according to the Daily News. "It was a scheduled day off."

Blevins said he typically has his forearm wrapped after he pitches, as he did after his appearance on Friday, when he threw 10 pitches and allowed two hits to the Giants.


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

Ugh. It's these sort of mistakes and miscommunications that seem to be happening a lot this season, not just with injuries and off days, but whether to review a play, who is available, who isn't, who is fast and who is not, and so on. It's not just Terry, though. For the most part, while he's ultimately responsible, a lot of this information comes from his bench coaches and veteran leadership. So, either he's not hearing it, or they're not telling him.

I'm not going to say why exactly there's seemingly been a lot of confusion on Terry's bench this season, but it's certainly an issue.  And, this is something that must be considered and reviewed by Sandy Alderson when reviewing his staff for next season. I mean, maybe these sort of mistakes had been happening in previous seasons and we're only noticing now because the team is expected to be a contender? Whatever it is, the Mets have less margin for error now, especially when one game can mean the difference between getting to the postseason. In either case, it has to be looked in to...

Tags: Jerry Blevins

Cespedes' homer in the third 00:00:52
Yoenis Cespedes hits a solo home run to deep center field off Matt Moore in the third inning, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Yoenis Cespedes returned from the disabled list this past weekend, hit three home runs, drove in five runs of his team's 12 runs and helped the Mets salvage a four-game series split against the Giants.

"I haven't had anybody that the ball comes off the barrel like that," manager Terry Collins said of Cespedes. "I saw Barry [Bonds] for a lot of years in Pittsburgh. He hit a lot of home runs, but the ball just jumps off [Cespedes's] bat."

Cespedes first injured his quad on July 7. Instead of going on the disabled list, he played through the injury, but hit only .229 with one home and eight RBI, during which the Mets were 9-13. He had been hitting .299 with 21 home runs in 78 games before the injury.

"As we've seen, when he's healthy, he's got all the talent in the world," Collins added.


Video: Collins, Cespedes and Walker on huge win over Giants


In the 154 games he's played with the Mets since being acquired from the Tigers last summer, Cespeds is batting .290 with 42 HR and 108 RBI.

He is the fastest Mets player to reach 40 home runs in their uniform. Carlos Delgado held the previous record, reaching 40 home runs in 175 games.

"We've had a tough, tough time," Terry Collins said after the game. "But, if you're going to win, your good players have got to play good."


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

The Mets clearly botched the handling of Yo's quad, which he had been dealing with for nearly a month. As a result, they'd paid a bigger price than just playing without him for 14 games in July. Instead, they ended up playing roughly 40 games either without him or with him hurt, during which they were 15-24 and lost major ground in their effort to get back to the postseason.

In the end, more than any other move, injury, decision, etc., this could prove to be the most important reason why the Mets end up short of October. We'll see... It's not just the Mets. Yo is very much complicit in how things were handled and how they progressed, as well. They now have 38 games to redeem themselves. I hope they can do it... Yo Gotta Believe!!!

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes

 (Lance Iversen)
(Lance Iversen)

The Mets won two of three games over the weekend from Giants in San Francisco, including a 2-0 win on Sunday night when Noah Syndergaard tossed eight scoreless innings. The two teams split the four-game series including Thursday's game.

Looking at the playoff picture, the Cardinals also won two of three to keep the Mets five losses back of the final Wild Card spot with 38 games to play. The Marlins swept the Pirates and are just 1 1/2 games back of St. Louis



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

Basically, the Mets will need to go, say, 25-13 between now and the end of the season, which must include winning two of three against the Cardinals this week. If they do this, they have a shot to get in to the playoffs; anything less will likely leave them short.

Can they go on this level run? Yes, if Yoenis Cespedes hits like he did in San Francisco. And if Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are flawless. And if Steven Matz is healthy and pitches to his potential. And if the bullpen finds a second wind. But it'll take all things coming together to compete with these three other teams. It's possible. It's attainable. The talent is there. But it's not going to be easy, especially for a Mets team that is nine games under .500 since May 1.

Here's what else happened this past weekend...

Matz, who missed his last start due to shoulder soreness played catch on Saturday, and later said he felt 'fine.' He'll be examined by a doctor in New York on Monday before the Mets determine whether he'll make his next start >> Read more

Neil Walker will go on paternity leave Monday with his wife expected to give birth to the couple's first child >> Read more

Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera were activated from the DL prior to Friday's game >> Read more

The Mets activated RH reliever Jim Henderson from the disabled list Saturday and sent reliever Erik Goeddel to Triple-A Las Vegas >> Read more

What's on tap for Monday, Aug. 22

The Mets are off on Monday.

They open a three-game series with the Cardinals, who lead the final Wild Card spot, on Tuesday in St. Louis at 8:15 p,m. ET. Jon Niese (5.30 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) will start against Jaime Garcia (4.11 ERA, 1.32 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.

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


Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Jon Niese , Neil Walker , Noah Syndergaard , Steven Matz , Yoenis Cespedes

Collins, Syndergaard on win 00:06:12
Terry Collins and Noah Syndergaard discuss the 2-0 win over the Giants to split the series in San Francisco.

Noah Syndergaard pitched eight dominant innings and Yoenis Cespedes' two-run homer snapped a scoreless tie to lead the Mets past the Giants, 2-0, on Sunday night at AT&T Park.

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

In case you missed it…

  • Jeff Samardzija no-hit the Mets through six innings until Curtis Granderson's leadoff double in the seventh. Cespedes followed with his third homer in two days and his 25th of the season.
  • Syndergaard (11-7) matched zeros with Samardzija, allowing two singles and two walks while striking out six to win his second consecutive start.
  • The Giants attempted two steals against Syndergaard and Rene Rivera, neither of which were successful. Opponents came into the game with a Major League-high 40 stolen bases against Syndergaard.
  • Jeurys Familia pitched around a Buster Posey single in the ninth for his 41st save.

News and notes…

  • New York won the season series from San Francisco, 4-3, for just the second time since 2009. The Mets finished 13-21 against the National League West.
  • The win was the 900th of Terry Collins' career and the 456th with the Mets. He's the 10th active manager to reach 900 victories.
  • It was the Mets' first shutout since blanking Miami on July 24.
  • Syndergaard pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since July 3. His last scoreless start was on May 28 against the Dodgers when he pitched 2 1/3 innings before he was ejected for throwing behind Chase Utley.
  • Cespedes has 42 homers in 154 games as a Met. He became the fastest player in franchise history to reach 40 homers with his first blast on Saturday. Carlos Delgado held the previous mark reaching 40 home runs in 175 games.
  • Jay Bruce went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch, leaving him 12-for-71 in 19 games as a Met.

Quotes…

Cespedes on the Mets: "I just hope that everyone has it in their head that we can keep going out there, we can keep winning and have fun and keep playing well."

Collins on his club's struggles and moving forward: "We've had a tough time. But if you're going to win, your good players have to play good. What Noah did tonight, what Ces has done the last couple of games, we ride those guys. Hopefully, this is the start of what we've been looking to do. We're getting some guys back and we've got to keep working."

Syndergaard on his outing and recent trouble: "For the past month and a half, I feel like it was the first time I felt relaxed and had fun out there. I kept things simple. The past month and a half, I've been trying to think too far ahead in advance."

What's next…

Back at the .500 mark, the Mets (62-62) are off on Monday before beginning a three-game series against the Cardinals (66-57) at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night at 8:15 p.m. ET on SNY.

Jon Niese (8-7, 5.30 ERA) will take the ball in the opener in his second start since returning to New York. Fellow lefty Jaime Garcia (10-8, 4.11 ERA) kicks off the series for St. Louis having won three straight and six of his last eight decisions.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard , Yoenis Cespedes

Noah Syndergaard is looking for his first win against the Giants. (AP)
Noah Syndergaard is looking for his first win against the Giants. (AP)

The Mets look to split their four-game series when they meet the Giants in San Francisco at 8:05 p.m.

Follow the game here on SNY.tv...

Mets Giants
Jose Reyes, 3B Denard Span, CF
Curtis Granderson, RF Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Brandon Belt, 1B
Jay Bruce, RF Brandon Crawford, SS
Neil Walker, 2B Hunter Pence, RF
James Loney, 1B Joe Panik, 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Gregor Blanco, LF
Rene Rivera, C Trevor Brown, C
Noah Syndergaard, RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP

When and Where: 8:05 p.m.from AT&T Park in San Francisco on ESPN.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 2.76 ERA) has faced the Giants twice (both at Citi Field) and lost both games, allowing eight runs in 11 2/3 innings. The 6.17 ERA is Syndergaard's highest among teams against which he's started at least twice.


Who's pitching for the Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (10-8, 4.24)  has struggled even more against the Mets than Syndergaard has against San Francisco. He has faced New York nine times in his career, three times as a starter, and has come away with an 0-3 record and 8.72 ERA.

Tags: San Francisco Giants

Aug 20, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets 52 left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a RBI double in the first inning of their MLB baseball game with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports (Lance Iversen)
Aug 20, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets 52 left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a RBI double in the first inning of their MLB baseball game with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports (Lance Iversen)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Mets will send ace Noah Syndergaard to the mound on Sunday in an attempt to split their four-game series with the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants will counter with 10-game winner Jeff Samardzija in the game that has been picked to be televised nationally by ESPN on Sunday night.

The Mets had lost four of five on their trip and were experiencing pitching issues before veteran Bartolo Colon helped turn things around with 6 1/3 strong innings in Saturday's 9-5 win.

The Giants had opened the series with 10-7 and 8-1 wins.

But that was before Yoenis Cespedes got his power swing working again.

After a 15-day stint on the disabled list and a one-hit return on Thursday, the slugger bombed a pair of home runs to highlight Saturday's win.

The first of the two home runs went 457 feet, one foot shy of the being the longest hit at AT&T Park this season. >>Read more at SNY.tv. . . .

Tags: Noah Syndergaard , Yoenis Cespedes

Jay Bruce is struggling to find answers at the plate since joining the Mets.
Jay Bruce is struggling to find answers at the plate since joining the Mets.

Jay Bruce, who has strugged at the plate since joining the Mets, was not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game in San Francisco. He entered in the eighth as a pinch hitter for Josh Smoker and walked in the Mets' 9-5 win.

Bruce is batting .174 (12-for-69) with two home runs and six RBI in 17 games with the Mets since arriving from Cincinnati Aug. 1. He is still fourth in the National League with 27 homers and 86 RBIs.

"He's really pressing and trying to do some things, which comes with the territory when you're a star and you come to a new team," Terry Collins told reporters after Friday's game in San Francisco, when he went 0-for-4 in an 8-1 loss. "You want to do everything you can to help."

Bruce hit into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play in the eighth inning Friday with runners at first and second. TV cameras caught him screaming into helmet in the dugout.

"It's been really frustrating," Bruce said after Friday's game. "As a major league baseball player - a guy who really truly believes I can make an impact, and I have for a long time - to go out there and not contribute much has been frustrating so far. But we have 40 games left. Terry and I talked about it. He's going to give me a day tomorrow. Just have to stick to it. When the next opportunity arises, be ready for it. I look forward to those opportunities, and so I'll be ready."


Post Game Extra: Mets top Giants 00:03:25
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 9-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Yoenis Cespedes homered twice and drove in three runs in support of Bartolo Colon and the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Giants at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon.

In case you missed it…

  • In his second game back from the disabled list, Cespedes went 3-for-5, doubling home a run in the first and smacking a pair of solo homers. He leads the team with 24 long balls and 62 RBIs.
  • Leading 3-2 in the sixth, the Mets scored four times to open up a five-run lead. Justin Ruggiano had an RBI single and Alejandro De Aza slugged a three-run homer off Jake Peavy. Wilmer Flores added an RBI single in the ninth.
  • Hansel Robles walked two of the three batters he faced, both of which scored when Addison Reed allowed a two-run double and a run-scoring groundout in the eighth inning.
  • Colon allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk while fanning five in 6 1/3 innings.
  • Neil Walker returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with lower back stiffness. He scored twice and went 2-for-4 with a double to give him 12 multi-hit efforts in his last 20 games.

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

Video: Yoenis Cespedes blasts a solo homer to center

Video: Yoenis Cespedes hits his second home run of the day

Video: Alejandro De Aza hits a long three-run homer

Quotes…

Terry Collins on Cespedes: "He's so dangerous in the middle of our lineup and he makes such a big difference. It's nothing against anyone else but he's tough to replace. So, it's nice to have him back. … "When he's there, it makes it easier for other guys behind him and takes pressure off. They kind of feed off what he does."

Cespedes on his health: "When I'm up at the plate to bat, I'm able to swing better now that I have that strength back in my leg."

Walker on Cespedes' presence: "Guys behind him, we know we're going to have opportunities when he's swinging the bat that way. It was his show today."

News and notes…

  • The Mets improved to 2-4 on their road trip and 3-3 against the Giants this season.
  • New York entered August with a record of 31-1 when scoring five or more runs. They had lost seven of 10 games when scoring at least five runs this month before Saturday's win.
  • After allowing five more runs - three from the bullpen - the Mets have a 7.56 ERA on the road trip.
  • Cespedes' first home run traveled an estimated 457 feet, the longest by a Met since 2014.
  • Walker is expected to leave the team after tomorrow night's game and head home to be with his wife for the birth of their child.
  • The Mets activated Jim Henderson from the 15-day disabled list and optioned reliever Erik Goeddel to Triple-A Las Vegas. Henderson has been out since June 21 with right biceps tendinitis and then a strained hamstring.

What's next…

The Mets (61-62) will try and salvage a split of their four-game series with the Giants (68-55) at AT&T Park on Sunday night at 8:08 p.m. ET on ESPN. Coming off his first win in six weeks, Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 2.76 ERA) takes the mound looking to win consecutive outings for the first time since he won three straight decisions from June 3-22. San Francisco will counter with Jeff Samardzija (10-8, 4.24 ERA). After compiling a 2.54 ERA in his first 10 starts, the veteran right-hander has a 5.73 ERA in his last 14 outings.

Tags: Bartolo Colon , Yoenis Cespedes

Neil Walker hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray (USA Today))
Neil Walker hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray (USA Today))

Second baseman Neil Walker will leave the team after Sunday night's game to join his wife in Pittsburgh for the birth of their child. 

Walker will go on paternity leave and miss the Mets' three-game series with the Cardinals. He is expected to rejoin the team Friday when the Mets start a weekend series with the Phillies at Citi Field. 

The Mets have not indicated who will replace Walker while he is away from the team. 

Walker, who had battled back stiffness the last four days, will return to the lineup and play second base Saturday against the Giants. 

In 14 games in August, Walker has hit .397 with five home runs. 

Tags: Neil Walker

New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets look to end their three-game losing streak as they take on the Giants in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon.

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

Giants Mets
Denard Span, CF Jose Reyes, 3B
Angel Pagan, LF Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Brandon Belt, 1B Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Buster Posey, C  Neil Walker, 2B
Brandon Crawford, SS Wilmer Flores, 1B
Hunter Pence, RF Travis d'Arnaud, C
Eduardo Nunez, 3B Justin Ruggiano, CF
Joe Panik, 2B Alejandro De Aza, RF
Matt Moore, LHP Bartolo Colon, RHP

When and Where: 4:05 p.m. ET from AT&T Park in San Francisco on SNY.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (10-7, 3.38 ERA) allowed five runs, two earned, in four innings pitched last time out against the Diamondbacks. Has a 3.19 ERA since May 23. Is 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA in his career against the Giants. 


Who's pitching for the Giants: LHP Matt Moore (7-9, 4.14 ERA) has thrown 13 consecutive starts of at least six innings. Gave up five runs in six innings during his previous start, a loss, against the Pirates. 

Tags: San Francisco Giants

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

The Mets have activated reliever Jim Henderson off the disabled list and have sent Erik Goeddel to Triple-A Las Vegas, Terry Collins told reporters Saturday. 

Henderson was originally placed on the DL on June 19 with right bicep tendonitis but faced a setback in July when he suffered from a hamstring injury. After restarting his rehab assignment, Henderson pitched with Single-A St. Lucie and Las Vegas. 

Henderson, a non-roster invitee to spring training, was 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in 25 1/3 innings before landing on the disabled list. 

In four major league seasons, Henderson has compiled a 3.60 ERA and 31 saves. 

 

Tags: Erik Goeddel , Jim Henderson

Rob Brender welcomes SNY Mets Analyst Nelson Figueroa to the podcast, to talk about what's going wrong with the Mets, what Terry Collins and the players can possibly do to make a playoff run, and the future of Michael Conforto.



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

In this week's MetsBlog Q&Acast, presented by Citi, I call NY Post baseball columnist Kevin Kernan, who is my favorite reporter to speak with when trying to understand the current story of the season.

Kernan and I talk about how injuries are never an excuse for failure, especially in this day and age of two Wild Card slots. We talk about David Wright's preseason warning and how it came to fruition. We also discuss Terry Collins, and what it will take to save his job for 2017.

However, my favorite part of the conversation comes at the end, when I bring up the idea that pitching so deep in to October last year may have set this year's pitching staff up to fail. According to Kernan, Giants manager Bruce Bochy would agree with me.

It's a really good talk, which you can listen to here...


Post Game Extra: 08/19/16 00:03:29
Seth Lugo pitched well in his first Major League start but got little help from his teammates in the Mets' 8-1 loss to the Giants.

Seth Lugo pitched effectively in his first big league start, but the Mets' bullpen allowed seven runs in the last two innings in an 8-1 loss to the Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park.

In case you missed it…

  • Lugo (0-2) pitched 6 2/3 innings and left the game with two runners on and the scored tied, 1-1. Jerry Blevins allowed consecutive run-scoring hits which were charged to Lugo's ledger. Overall, the rookie surrendered three runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
  • The Giants scored five runs in the eighth off three Mets relievers to turn the game into a blowout. Asdrubal Cabrera's throwing error with two outs allowed two runs to score and Conor Gillaspie followed with a two-run homer off Erik Goeddel.
  • Jose Reyes went 4-for-4 with a double. Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer in the second to give New York the early 1-0 lead.
  • Yoenis Cespedes and Cabrera returned to the starting lineup after 15-day DL stints. Both went 1-for-4.

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

News and notes…

  • The Mets dropped two games below .500 for the first time since they were 4-6 on April 16 and have lost 16 of 23 overall.
  • Lugo was only the eighth pitcher to start a game for the Mets this season. He had a 2.65 ERA in nine relief appearances prior to his first start.
  • Jay Bruce was hitless in four at-bats and grounded into a rally-killing double play in the eighth. Since joining the Mets, he's gone 12-for-68 (.176).
  • Josh Smoker allowed two runs -- one earned -- on two hits in one-third of an inning in his big league debut.
  • New York's pitching staff has posted a 5.20 ERA in August.
  • Neil Walker was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game with lower back stiffness.
  • The Mets made a trio of moves prior to Friday's game, activating Cespedes and Cabrera from the 15-day disabled list. T.J. Rivera and Ty Kelly were returned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Josh Edgin was also optioned to Las Vegas in favor of Smoker.

What's next…

With their slump worsening, the Mets (60-62) will try to get back in the win column against the Giants (68-54) at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET on SNY. Bartolo Colon (10-7, 3.38 ERA) will try and bounce back from a rough outing against Arizona on Monday. Southpaw Matt Moore (7-9, 4.14 ERA) aims for his first win with San Francisco since being obtained from Tampa Bay on Aug. 1.

Tags: Curtis Granderson , Seth Lugo

New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas)
New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas)

The New York Mets continue a four-game series against the Giants in San Francisco on Friday night.

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


Giants Mets
Denard Span, CF Jose Reyes, 3B
Angel Pagan, LF Kelly Johnson, 2B
Brandon Belt, 1B Jay Bruce, RF
Buster Posey, C  Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Brandon Crawford, SS James Loney, 1B
Hunter Pence, RF Curtis Granderson, CF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Joe Panik, 2B Rene Rivera, C
Johnny Cueto, RHP Seth Lugo, RHP

When and Where: 10:10 p.m. ET on SNY.


Who's pitching for the Mets: RHP Seth Lugo (0-1, 2.65 ERA) with Steven Matz experiencing shoulder discomfort, Lugo steps in for his first major league start. In 17 innings of relief in the big leagues, he has recorded 16 strikeouts and walked six. 


Who's Pitching for the Giants:  RHP Johnny Cueto (13-3, 2.97 ERA) after a strong start to the year, Cueto is 0-2 with a 4.84 ERA over his last six starts. Pitched a two-hitter against the Mets in Game 2 of the 2015 World Series. He is 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA against the Mets in the regular season. 


Tags: Seth Lugo , San Francisco Giants

New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) and New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) react after scoring on a double by New York Mets second baseman Matt Reynolds (not pictured) during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)
New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) and New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) react after scoring on a double by New York Mets second baseman Matt Reynolds (not pictured) during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)

LF Yoenis Cespedes and SS Asdrubal Cabrera have been activated off the disabled list, while Ty Kelly and T.J. Rivera have been sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas. 


Latest Update (Aug. 18):

Terry Collins said Cespedes and Cabrera will be activiated Friday. "We're gradually getting the pieces back together -- getting the band back," Collins said.

Ruggiano was activated Thursday night and pitcher Gabriel Ynoa was sent back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Ruggiano will start in center field and bat sixth.

Previous Reports

Cespedes, who is not eligible to be activated until Friday, and Cabrera both played six innings for Class A St. Lucie on Wednesday.

Cespedes (strained right quad) went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored, while Cabrera (knee) went 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.

Ruggiano (hamstring) is 3-for-8 in three rehab games with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera , Yoenis Cespedes

Michael Conforto (30) doubles against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Conforto (30) doubles against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mets 23-year-old OF Michael Conforto is hitting .684 (13-for-19) with two home runs in five games since being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 12.

Nevertheless, he is not expected to rejoin the Mets until rosters expand after Sept. 1, Sandy Alderson told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin in San Francisco.

"I'd say probably not," Alderson said. "I'm happy he's doing it, and I'm looking forward to seeing him back here."


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

Conforto hurt the Mets this season. He's a very smart and skilled hitter. And, the team was counting on him to provide legit offensive production out of left field. He started the season on fire. I got hysterical, as I do, lost my mind and said he was better than Bryce Harper. I wasn't alone, everyone was impressed by what he was doing.

Then, as fast as it happened, it went away, pitchers adjusted, he lost the cat and mouse game and returned to Triple-A. And, here we are, with the Mets missing that extra bat and now no real spot to put him with Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes locked in corner positions.

He is still an important part of this team's future. He still has a ton of talent and perfect swing. There is an argument to be made for playing him over Curtis Granderson every day in center field, not just in September, but right now. I don't expect this to happen, though, not with Justin Ruggiano and Alejandro De Aza on a roster being managed by Terry Collins.

Instead, Conforto will likely return in September, hit off the bench, and spend this winter wondering what happened and how to get it back. This is not how 2016 was supposed to go for him...

Tags: Michael Conforto

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, left, says he has no plans to remove Terry Collins as manager. (John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports) (The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, left, says he has no plans to remove Terry Collins as manager. (John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports) (The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

Sandy Alderson has no plans to make a change at manager, despite the team's poor play one year after getting to the World Series, he told two reporters Thursday in San Francisco.

"I don't expect any change," Alderson told Newsday's Marc Carig.

"There are no present plans to make any changes," he also told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.

"The short answer is he is staying, because we think that it's in the best interest of the organization," he concluded, talking to Carig.

The Mets, who are 13-19 since the All Star break, enter play Friday at 60-61, 4 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot, while trailing the Nationals by 11 games in the NL East.


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

First off all, Sandy is always smart to talk in the present, and the above quotes are no different. However, while he can say whatever he has to say today, no one will convince me Terry's job isn't on the line. It has to be. And, frankly, it better be.

I don't expect anyone to get fired during the season, no matter how had things get. But, if the Mets fail to get to the postseason a year after making the World Series, I think it's very possible Collins is replaced, despite what Sandy is saying right now.

The fact is, Alderson nearly fired Collins after 2014, but ownership stepped in to stop him, the GM admitted in his book last winter. Basically, according to Alderson's text, Terry needed to get to the postseason to survive 2015. He did, so he stayed. But, now what? What happens if he fails to get to the postseason this year?

Terry no longer has Paul DePodesta to argue in his favor, as he did in previous seasons. And, I bet ownership's position will change when they see how people react to them not making the playoffs.

In talking to people on the ground floor, the players and coaching staff still have a lot of respect for Terry, despite a lot of bizarre decisions this season. But, he also went on a tirade to reporters recently, essentially calling out his players for not having enough passion and professionalism.



I always assumed Dick Scott would eventually get Terry's job, but that was if the team was winning and in need of a seamless transition. However, in the event things are going the wrong way, my hunch is Alderson will want a fresh start with new people.

As long as Alderson is GM, I'm pretty sure I have a better chance of managing the Mets than Triple-A manager Wally Backman -- so you can get that thought out of your head right now. Similarly, I'm told not to expect much interest from Alderson in Mike Scioscia. Instead, a more studious, quiet, middle-management, suit-and-tie type is likely to take over, such as free-agent Bud Black. Or Scott, who was Director of Player Development for Alderson in New York and Oakland.

For what it's worth, back in 2007, Alderson replaced Bruce Bochy with Black in San Diego, where he went on to be named National League Manager of the Year in 2010. Black has been a pitching coach, player, manager and assistant to the GM. Frankly, like Scott, he fits Sandy's model to a T.

My read here is that Terry is being watched like a hawk. If the Mets catch fire and get to October, I think this is a non issue. Terry will be back. However, if they don't, it's not going to be a black-and-white choice for Alderson, who rarely makes unilateral decisions in a vacuum. Instead, it's going to be a qualitative decision with input from all sides.

For instance, if the Mets mount a surge, show more focus and fight, but still miss the playoffs, I think Collins could be back. But, it will likely come down to the level of support Alderson gauges for Collins from players and ownership. Also, if he returns, he'll immediately be on the hot seat when next season begins. There will be very little room for error on his part.

On the other hand, if the Mets keep stumbling in 2016, especially when Yoenis Cespedes is back, and if they finish out of the playoffs having played .480 baseball for six months, I can't see how Collins returns, despite him having another full year on his contract.


New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts before the pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts before the pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning at AT&T Park. (John Hefti/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom allowed eight runs and 13 hits, both career highs, in five innings, during a 10-7 loss to the Giants on Thursday at AT&T Park.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, after the Mets had scored four runs, deGrom (7-6, 2.73 ERA) allowed five runs on five hits, including a two-run home run by Madison Bumgarner. 

DeGrom then gave up three runs on four hits, all with two outs, in the fifth inning.

"It seemed like everything I threw went right down the middle," DeGrom said after the game. "These guys did a great job. Tonight's on me. I was terrible out there."

DeGrom had been 1-0 with a 0.65 ERA through his previous four starts. Each time, he pitched into the seventh inning and averaged 14.3 pitches per inning. 

"He's so good, when you get hit like that, it's gotta be you are getting way too much plate," manager Terry Collins later said. :Everything was right down the middle. You can't pitch at this level in the middle of the plate. ... It's just one of those nights. He didn't have the command of his stuff."


Video: Collins and deGrom on loss to Giants


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

His velocity was fine. His location, however, was totally off the mark. Worse, as Collins said, he was simply grooving the ball down the middle of the plate.

In his last several starts, he had been doing such an amazing job moving the ball around, throwing guys in, changing eye levels and keeping them off balance. Last night, for whatever reason, he took a different approach. It started in the first inning, but the Giants seemed to be caught off guard. Then, in the fifth, having seem him a full turn through the batting order, the middle of San Francisco's lineup unleashed on Jake, who did not adjust back.

In two instances - in the fourth and fifth inning - deGrom threw five straight fastballs right over the plate, all of which were being called by Travis d'Arnaud. It was very confusing to watch and nothing like his typical game plan. Whatever it was, hopefully that was the last we see of it...

Frankly, the whole game felt like a microcosm of this season. I entered the game with expectations that Thursday could start the next, big winning streak. The Mets took a sizable lead, with their ace on the mound. I got my hopes up about a possible sea change. Then, before I could enjoy the moment, the Giants instantly go up and never look back. Like last night's game, this has been an unbelievably frustrating season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom , San Francisco Giants

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws during the first inning of the baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws during the first inning of the baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Mets rookie LHP Steven Matz will miss his Friday's start against the Giants because of shoulder discomfort, manager Terry Collins told reporters after Thursday's 10-7 loss.

Rookie reliever Seth Lugo will start in Matz's place. In two stints with the Mets this season, Lugo has allowed just five runs and 10 hits in 17 innings, while striking out 16 batters.

Collins said he hopes that Matz will miss only start.

"I was throwing on flat ground and I felt a little twinge in my shoulder," Matz said after the game. "There's some discomfort in there. I think you go through stuff all the time throughout a season, but it didn't respond the way I'd like it to. ... It's just discomfort. I'm really not worried about it."

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

Matz 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.

"I've been feeling great," Matz said of his elbow. "It's disappointing ... Hopefully, it's just this one [start]."

Matz, who started the season 7-1, is 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts this season.


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

It never ends, does it? It's been one-step-forward, one-and-a-half-steps-back with this team all season. This news with Matz is consistent with what has happened all season, which is a roster drowning beneath a waterfall of aches and pains, skipped starts and day-to-day time on the bench.

Regarding Matz, this is not new. He's a super-talented kid with a ton of potential. He can be ace one day. But at 25 years old, he's clearly going to be a pitcher battling random injuries throughout his career, which is something to keep in mind as the Mets plan for the future.

In the last 12 months -- since being promoted to the Mets -- he has since missed time with a lat muscle tear, a blister, back spasms, a bone spur that needs to be surgically removed and now shoulder pain. Don't forget he had Tommy John surgery to start his career.

Yes, pitchers get hurt, but there are some pitchers who get hurt less and some who get injured more. It seems Matz is going to be the guy coming up lame more than others. The hope is, in between injuries, he can be on the mound long enough to sustain success and be the dominant pitcher he's capable of being for the Mets.

Tags: Seth Lugo , Steven Matz , Matthew Cerrone

Jacob deGrom allowed a career-high eight runs as the Mets fell back below .500 with a 10-7 loss to the Giants on Thursday night at AT&T Park...

Sandy Alderson told reporters there are no plans to make a change at manager >> Read more.

Neil Walker was scratched from the Mets lineup for the third day in a row due to lower back stiffness.

Josh Edgin demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game, with Josh Smoker set to join the Mets on Friday.

What's on tap for Thursday, Aug. 18

The Mets (60-61) continue their four-game series against the Giants (67-54) at AT&T Park on Friday night at 10:15 p.m. ET on SNY.



Seth Lugo (0-1, 2.65 ERA) will start in place of Steven Matz, who is sidelined with shoulder pain. Johnny Cueto (13-3, 2.97 ERA), who has a 4.84 ERA and is winless over his last six starts, will start for the Giants.

Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera are expected to be activated from the disabled list before the game.


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.



New York Mets manager Terry Collins, right, talks to pitcher Josh Smoker during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins, right, talks to pitcher Josh Smoker during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

LH reliever Josh Edgin has been demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Triple-A LH reliever Josh Smoker is set to take his place on the roster Friday.


In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Edgin, 29, appeared in five games for the Mets after being recalled in early August. 

He let up four runs, three hits and four walks, while striking out five, in just 3.2 innings.


Smoker, 27, joined the Mets for an afternoon in early August while the team expanded its roster for a double header. He did not appear in a game before being sent back to Triple-A.

In Spring Training, DC reporter Barry Svrluga profiled Smoker, who is a former first-round pick by the Nationals, now rebuilding his career in New York >> Read more in the Washington Post

Tags: Josh Edgin , Josh Smoker

Post Game Extra: Mets lose, 10-7 00:03:40
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 10-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Jacob deGrom allowed a career-high eight runs as the Mets fell back below .500 with a 10-7 loss to the Giants on Thursday night at AT&T Park.

In case you missed it…

  • Given a four-run lead in the top of the fourth, deGrom (7-6) handed it right back, and then some. The right-hander surrendered five runs in the bottom of the inning, capped by Madison Bumgarner's go-ahead two-run homer before yielding three more runs in the fifth, all coming after there were two out and nobody on. All told, deGrom allowed eight runs on 13 hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five innings.
  • Activated off the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day, Justin Ruggiano gave the Mets a jolt of offense in the fourth with a grand slam off Bumgarner. It was his third homer in 11 career at-bats against the Giants' ace.
  • New York cut the lead to 8-7 in the sixth on a two-run triple by Ty Kelly and an RBI groundout by Rene Rivera. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but could not score the equalizer.
  • Buster Posey had a two-run double with two outs in the eighth off Addison Reed. Both runs were charged to Hansel Robles, who has allowed 11 runs in his last seven appearances spanning 10 innings.

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

News and notes…

  • The Mets allowed 10 or more runs for the third time in their last four games. They had given up double-digit run totals just twice in the first 117 games.
  • San Francisco won for just the 10th time in 31 games since the All-Star break. New York fell to 13-20 in the second half.
  • deGrom entered the game with the fifth-lowest ERA in baseball at 2.30 and had allowed one run or less in five of his last six starts. His ERA spiked to 2.73 after Thursday's outing, where he allowed more runs in five innings than he had in his previous six starts combined.
  • Ruggiano finished 3-for-5 while T.J. Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud and Kelly collected two hits apiece.
  • Neil Walker missed his third straight game with lower back stiffness.
  • To make room for Ruggiano, New York optioned Gabriel Ynoa to Triple-A Las Vegas. Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes are expected to be activated prior to Friday night's game.

What's next…

Back below .500, the Mets (60-61) will welcome back reinforcements as they square off with the Giants (67-54) at AT&T Park on Friday night at 10:15 p.m. ET on SNY. Because of a sore left shoulder, New York will skip Steven Matz's turn in the rotation and give Seth Lugo (0-1, 2.65 ERA) his first big league start. San Francisco counters with right-hander Johnny Cueto (13-3, 2.97 ERA), who has a 4.84 ERA and is winless over his last six starts.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

Mets 2B Neil Walker is scratched from the Mets lineup for the third day in a row due to lower back stiffness.


Update, Aug. 18:

Walker was scratched from Thursday's series opener in San Francisco for the third day in a row because of lower back stiffness. Terry Collins said the medical staff does not believe Walker needs to go on the disabled list. He's with the team in San Francisco but prepared to go to Pittsburgh should his wife go into labor.

Previous Reports

"Anytime it's the lower back, it's day to day," Terry Collins told reporters Wednesday in Arizona. "He wanted to play and I said, 'Not today.' I don't need this to tighten up. Due to the weather we have been playing in, these guys have been sweating a lot and the last thing we need is for his back to knot up."

Walker, who missed three games in June with a similar condition, is hitting .455 with two doubles, one triple, six home runs, 14 runs scored and 14 RBI in 19 games since July 27.

His wife, Niki, is expecting to soon give birth to the couple's first child, after which he will likely miss at least two games on paternity leave.

Tags: Kelly Johnson , Neil Walker

Madison Bumgarner has dominated the Mets the past few seasons. (Kelley L. Cox)
Madison Bumgarner has dominated the Mets the past few seasons. (Kelley L. Cox)

The Mets open their their four-game series with the Giants in San Francisco at 10:15 p.m Thursday.

Follow along live at  SNY.tv...


Mets Giants
Jose Reyes, SS Denard Span, CF
T.J. Rivera, 2B Angel Pagan, LF
Jay Bruce, RF Brandon Belt, 1B
Wilmer Flores, 1B Buster Posey, C
Travis d'Arnaud, C Brandon Crawford, SS
Justin Ruggiano, CF Hunter Pence, RF
Kelly Johnson, 3B Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Ty Kelly, LF Joe Panik, 2B
Jacob deGrom, P Madison Bumgarner, P

When and Where: 10:15 p.m. at AT&T Park.


Who's Pitching for the Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.30 ERA) has pitched well in his last nine starts. Excluding his only loss in that stretch, he has allowed just five runs in 56 2/3 innings, an 0.79 ERA. But he only has four wins to show for it.


Who's Pitching for the Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.11) has never lost to the Mets in his career, having gone 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA in five starts.  He is the only pitcher with at least two starts against the Mets not to have given up a run against them over the past three seasons.

Tags: Jacob deGrom

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Mets activated OF Justin Ruggiano before Thursday night's game against the Giants in San Francisco, the team said. He'll start in center field at bat sixth.

The Mets made room for Ruggiano by sending pitcher Gabriel Ynoa back to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Ruggiano, 34, had been on the disabled list due to a left hamstring strain.

He was signed by the Mets on July 30 and went 1-for-6 in three games before suffering the hamstring injury.


Mets and their upcoming schedule 00:03:11
The DNL crew discusses if the Mets will be able to take advantage of an easy upcoming schedule and make a run at a Wild Card spot.

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

The Mets just completed a nine-game stretch against the D-backs and Padres, during which they went 3-6.

They took two of three from San Diego. However, in their six games against the D-backs, who are the second-worst team in the NL, the Mets were 1-5 and let up 7.5 runs per game, while scoring just 3.8. New York's bullpen had a 10.32 ERA in the six games against Arizona.

Yes, the Mets have several injured players - they started six guys Wednesday that were not with the team Opening Day - but they still have a better pitching staff than the D-backs. Frankly, the whole week was an embarrassment given their goals entering this season.

In short, it was a wasted opportunity to make up significant ground in the Wild Card race. Flip their last nine games to 6-3, and the Mets are one back of a playoff spot. Instead, they dropped to four games back of the Cardinals, who they play in St. Louis next week.

Even so, the Mets still have a legit shot at getting back to October, thanks in part to players returning from injury. But, also because their main Wild Card competition have all been struggling, as well. Seriously, if you take time to read Twitter and blogs with fans of the Pirates, Marlins and Cardinals, you'll see much of the same complaining going on among Mets fans.

The Cardinals, who are 8-7 in August, have looked nothing like the traditional teams we've grown to hate in New York. Their pitching has been mediocre at best, and their fielding has been atrocious. Michael Wacha is now down with shoulder pain, while the rest of the rotation has an ERA above 5.50 in the second half. At the same time, Matt Holliday and Aledmys Diaz have both been struggling, in and out of the lineup with dueling thumb injuries.

The Marlins, who are 5-10 in August, have been playing without Justin Bour, and recently lost Giancarlo Stanton for the season. Meanwhile, they're missing two of their starting pitchers and Andrew Cashner has been terrible since being acquired from the Padres.

Lastly, while the Pirates have been playing the best of the bunch, going 10-5 in August, their rough start to the season has them still playing catch up. That said, their two best players - Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen - are having poor seasons and being hammered by fans.



Last season, the Mets caught fire when they were injected with a bunch of talent all at once. In the span of a week or so, they added in David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, and bullpen and bench help, after which they went 20-8 through August.

They're going to need a similar run between now and the end of September if they want to win a Wild Card spot. And, the way I see it, if it doesn't happen now - with Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera giving a jolt to Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce and Neil Walker - it may never happen. 

The fact is, if the Mets stumble the next seven games - against the Giants and Cardinals - they could realistically return to Citi Field next Tuesday under .500 and close to seven games out of the Wild Card with just 35 games to play. This is the flip-side to going 3-6 against the D-backs and Padres. They've left themselves very little margin for error.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone

Since being acquired on Aug. 1, OF Jay Bruce is hitting .152 (7-for-46) with two home runs and five RBI in 16 games, during which the Mets are 6-10.

"There were three nights he just barreled up eight balls and hit them right at people," Mets manager Terry Collins recently said about Bruce. "I know one thing, you can go over and ask their pitching coach if they are worried about Bruce, the answer would be 'yes.' That's what he does in the lineup."

Collins said he recently talked to Bruce about taking a day off, since the only day he's been off since the All-Star break is the day he was traded.

However, with Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes out of the lineup, Bruce said he would rather play.


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

Collins is right to want to give him a rest. Bruce looks weak. He had a lethargic at-bat in the sixth inning Wednesday, with two runners on, one out and the Mets down five runs. He got a fastball down and away in the strike zone for the first pitch. Instead of taking, or driving it the other way like he usually would do, he put a lunging, reaching-swing on it for an easy, soft pop out to left field.

I'm trying to cut him some slack. He was traded to a team in the thick of two playoff races with a superstar outfielder hitting behind him. Instead, he's seen injury after injury transform his lineup.

He took the field out of the NL East race and slipping in the Wild Card standings, while surrounded by four players that also started the year with other organizations, as well as a rookie, T.J. Rivera, who opened this year in Triple-A. This transition can't be easy, let alone doing it in New York, with super-high expectations, an intense media and rabid group of fans.

I'm eager to see what he does with a day or two off, fresh, with Cespedes behind him, and Cabrera and Walker in the lineup. I don't think he'll struggle. Instead, I expect these four, with Jose Reyes leading off, can help inject life back in this lineup and help 'get them going,' as Collins says.


Aug 17, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) reacts after being pulled from the game in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) reacts after being pulled from the game in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LHP Jon Niese was charged with four runs in 4 2/3 innings during his start Wednesday night against the D-backs.

"I told him, even on the mound, for a guy who hadn't pitched in six weeks, I thought he threw the ball great," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "I was very happy with the way he pitched."

Nevertheless, Collins said it's possible the Mets skip Niese's next start, since the team is off next Monday. However, if the pitch counts of the team's other starting pitchers are high and they need extra rest, the Mets might choose to stay on rotation.

"We don't make those decisions this far in advance," Collins said. "We've got to wait to see what happens in the next couple of days."


Video: Collins and Niese on tonight's pitching performance


Niese is slated to next pitch Tuesday at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals, who lead the Mets by four games for the second wild-card spot.

In 19 starts between the Mets and Pirates this season, Niese has a 5.30 ERA.


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

In typical fashion, Niese was cruising, looking good, then, wow, what happened... He let up back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, on essentially the same pitch. He's now allowed 25 home runs, which is the second-most among pitchers this season.

Again, he looked good to start. He had nice command early, moved the ball around the strike zone and used his cutter well. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything was up in the zone, his location was way off, balls were over the plate and he got crushed.

Collins pulled Niese with the Mets down two runs. I guess he didn't want Niese facing Paul Goldschmidt, who has been killing the Mets the last week. In the end, I'm not sure Niese could have done any worse than Erik Goeddel, who was being asked to pitch in back-to-back games.

My hunch is he'll get another start. It's August. It's hot. And, I'm sure the Mets will want Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to have an extra day of rest.

Tags: Jon Niese

 (AP)
(AP)

Jon Niese and the Mets' bullpen were hit hard as they lost to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday nigiht at Chase Field.



Zack Wheeler's elbow is structurally sound but he'll be shut down for two weeks due to a flexor strain >> Read more

Yoenis Cespedes played six innings in left field while rehabbing for High-A St. Lucie and said he's ready to be activated from the DL on Friday >> Read more

Asdrubal Cabrera also played six innings for St. Lucie and is a day behind Cespedes, according to assistant GM John Ricco >> Read more

What's on tap for Thursday, Aug. 18

The Mets open a four-game series with the Giants in San Francisco.

Jacob deGrom (2.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) faces Madison Bumgarner (2.11 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) at 10:15 p.m. ET.



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: Asdrubal Cabrera , Jacob deGrom , Jon Niese , Yoenis Cespedes , Zack Wheeler

Post Game Extra: 08/17/16 00:03:06
Rickie Weeks and Yasmany Tomas combined for four home runs and 11 RBIs as the D-backs pummeled the Mets, 13-5, in the series finale.

Yasmany Tomas and Rickie Weeks both homered twice and combined for 11 RBIs as the Diamondbacks defeated the Mets, 13-5, on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

In case you missed it…

  • Jon Niese (8-7) allowed four runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He surrendered back-to-back homers to Weeks and Tomas in the fourth inning. It was his first start as a Met since he was reacquired on Aug. 1 for Antonio Bastardo.
  • Erick Goeddel, Gabriel Ynoa and Josh Edgin combined to allow nine runs in two-plus innings of relief.
  • Curtis Granderson hit his 19th home run of the season and Rene Rivera connected on a pinch-hit, two-run shot in the ninth. Kelly Johnson finished 3-for-5.

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

Video: Ty Kelly throws out Jean Segura at the plate

Video: Jay Bruce hits an RBI double in the eighth inning

Video: Granderson hits a solo homer to right field

News and notes…

  • The Mets dropped five of six to the last-place Diamondbacks and went 3-6 in their nine games against San Diego and Arizona. New York is now four games out of the second N.L. Wild Card spot behind St. Louis, Miami and Pittsburgh.
  • Niese allowed four runs or more for the 11th time in 19 starts this year.
  • Neil Walker missed a second straight game with lower back stiffness.
  • Jay Bruce had an RBI double but is hitting .186 with two homers and six RBIs in 15 games with the Mets.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera and Justin Ruggiano are expected to be activated off the 15-day disabled list prior to Thursday's series opener in San Francisco. Yoenis Cespedes will be activated on Friday.

What's next…

The Mets (60-60) continue their 10-game trip as they begin a series with the Giants (66-54) at AT&T Park on Thursday night at 10:15 p.m. ET on SNY. Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.30 ERA) will look to continue his stellar pitching of late. He will be opposed by San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.11 ERA), who defeated New York back on May 1.

Tags: Jon Niese

 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

The Mets wrap up their three-game series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Wednesday at 9:40 p.m. ET.

Follow along live at SNY.tv...


Mets Diamondbacks
Jose Reyes, SS Jean Segura, 2B
Kelly Johnson, 3B Mitch Haniger, CF
Jay Bruce, RF Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
James Loney, 1B Rickie Weeks, LF
T.J. Rivera, 2B Yasmany Tomas, RF
Curtis Granderson, LF Chris Owings, SS
Travis d'Arnaud, C Brandon Drury, 3B
Alejandro De Aza CF Tuffy Gosewich, C
Jon Niese, LHP Zack Godley, RHP

When and Where: 9:40 p.m. at Chase Field


Who's Pitching for the Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese (5.20 ERA, 1.58 WHIP), who is making his first start for the Mets since being re-acquired from the Pirates in July, taking over the spot vacated by Logan Verrett. Niese has made four relief appearances for the Mets this season, and allowed six runs in one inning during his last appearance on Aug. 11.


Who's Pitching for the Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (5.24 ERA, 1.37 WHIP), who allowed one run on two hits while walking none and striking out four in 5 1/3 innings against the Red Sox during his last start. He had allowed at least three earned runs in his five prior starts. 

Tags: Jon Niese

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Latest update

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain after being examined by Dr. James Andrew, Mets assistant GM John Ricco told reporters.

Wheeler's right elbow, which he had Tommy John surgery on in March of 2015, is structurally sound and Ricco would not rule him out for the season.

Previous updates

Wheeler felt discomfort in his elbow after his only rehab appearance, which was cut short due to rain Aug. 6.

"He felt it after that one initial outing," Ricco said of Wheeler's most-recent pain. "He still felt some soreness a couple of days later."

Dr. David Altchek, not Dr. Andrews, performed Wheeler's Tommy John surgery in March, 2015.

According to Ricco, Wheeler wanted to be examined by a different doctor, since he's had multiple setbacks during his current 17-month rehab.

"I think in some ways, it's peace of mind for Zack," Ricco concluded.

Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA for the Mets in 2014 before undergoing surgery in March 2015. His return to action was also delayed five weeks after having an undissolved stitch surgically removed. He later had an anti-inflammatory injection to treat nerve pain.

Prior to this most recent setback, Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins repeatedly said during late-July that Wheeler would not return to the Mets until at least the first week of September.

Tags: Zack Wheeler

Let's take a look at which pitchers have added the most to the team's win expectancy this season.

According to FanGraphs: "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."

Here are the top five Mets pitchers, according to WPA:

  1. Jacob deGrom: 2.59 WPA
  2. Jeurys Familia: 2.07 WPA
  3. Addison Reed: 1.67 WPA
  4. Noah Syndergaard: 0.97 WPA
  5. Steven Matz: 0.62 WPA


Mets pitcher Jon Niese (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Mets pitcher Jon Niese (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Niese will start the series finale against the D-backs at Chase Field tonight.

Niese traded to the Pirates this past off season for Neil Walker, then re-acquired from Pittsburgh for LH reliever Antonio Bastardo on Aug. 1.

"When I first read about it, I was kind of shocked," Niese said about returning to the Mets, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin. "At the same time, I know here. I know New York. I'm comfortable. I've had success here. So I can see where they're coming from, too."

In 18 starts for the Pirates earlier this season, Niese was 7-6 with a 5.13 ERA. He was later reassigned to the bullpen, where he was initially used by the Mets in early August.

"It was a horrible feeling being bumped from the rotation, but I feel like I'm in a good spot now," Niese said of his time in Pittsburgh, according to Rubin. "I'm definitely a lot more comfortable in the rotation -- being able to get a set routine in between pitching. I think it will progressively get better from here."

Niese is starting tonight in place of Logan Verrett, who was recently demoted to Triple-A after going 0-3 with a 7.18 ERA in seven starts as a starting pitcher filling in for the injured Matt Harvey.

The Mets had planned to have Zack Wheeler back from Tommy John surgery to fill out in the rotation during July. However, multiple set backs and an elbow examination today have kept Wheeler sidelined and put his season in jeopardy.

Niese, who is currently 10th in wins all-time among Mets starting pitchers, was signed to a five-year, $25.5 million extension by Sandy Alderson in 2012. He has a $500,000 buyout or $10 million team option for 2017, and an $11 million option for 2018.


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

I rolled my eyes and shook my head when first hearing that the Mets re-acquired Niese. However, he is actually a good fit, all things considered. I've been hard on Niese as a starting pitcher. But, with his four-pitch arsenal, experience in New York, and willingness to pitch in the pen, he's less of a gamble than most other acquisitions. Also, I'm sure he has to have a little extra motivation to prove the Mets wrong (for trading him away) and right (for bringing him back). 

Verrett had his good and bad moments. He was always best suited for the bullpen, but thrust in to the rotation when Harvey went down with Wheeler not ready to return. He seemingly did the best he could do given the situation. The fact is, neither pitcher has been much help in a starting role this season. However, if Niese can get back to what he did for the Mets in 2015, as weak as that might have been, it'd be in the step up from what they've been getting out of the fifth slot this season.

Tags: Jon Niese

Thor blasts a two-run homer 00:00:50
Noah Syndergaard hits a two-run home run off Braden Shipley in the fifth inning against the D-backs at Chase Field.

The Mets entered the fifth inning on Tuesday having scored just five runs in their previous 34 innings against the D-backs, who began the night with a MLB-worst 5.08 team ERA.

However, the Mets quickly scored four times in the fifth inning, before adding three more in the sixth, on their way to a 7-5 win, which ended a four-game losing streak to Arizona.

The Mets finished the game with six extra-base hits, which is their most in a game since July 7.

"Every time I looked up they were hitting doubles, and it's nice that we were hitting doubles for a change," Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game. "We had not swung the bats very well against (Arizona), and tonight we got some opportunities."

"We're just trying to get his feet on the ground," Collins said. "He's got a chance to hit. He's always hit, hit wherever he's been. Puts good at-bats on. One of the things those guys told me about this guy, he barrells the ball, he puts the barrel on the baseball."


T.J. Rivera, who was added to the lineup after Neil Walker was scratched with lower-back stiffness, went 4-for-4 with two runs scored.

Rivera, 27, is batting .364 (8-for-22) with three RBI since being promoted from Triple-A on August 10.



The Mets had 12 hits on the night. However, Curtis Granderson was 0-for-4 and is batting just batting .138 during his last 30 games.

Nevertheless, Collins said before Tuesday's game that he's reluctant to move Granderson down in the batting order, despite him having a .248 OBP and one hit with runners in scoring position since July 7.

"I kind of feel good when Grandy is up there, because I know he can hit the ball over the fence," Collins explained before Tuesday's win. "You move those guys down to the bottom of the lineup and they get on base and there's nobody down at the bottom of the lineup to drive them in. There's no answers. You gather the information and you write the lineup. It's not a perfect world we live in."


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

Rivera should play more often. It's a small sample, but he has really strong at bats, even when he doesn't get a hit. He's proven worthy of being in the lineup until he shows otherwise. The problem, though, is Terry's love affair with Granderson.

I'm not anti-Granderson. I understand he had a terrific 2015, and a really good late May through early July this season. He was doing a great job in every aspect of his game. However, for whatever reason, he's been terrible since the All-Star break. In TC's defense, I, too, would have given Granderson the benefit of the doubt, based on his last season and late Spring, early Summer. He deserved the long leash being given to him. I totally get it. That time is over, though. The Mets have a sporadic offense, their trailing in a slippery Wild Card race and really can't afford to hope Granderson gets it together...



Granderson should play. There's no question about it. He's a veteran, he's a leader, he's been around the block and he has a track record of success. As I said yesterday, at the very least, he should be dropped down in the lineup and sit more against unfavorable match ups.

In his place, Rivera can start in left field. Rivera will also get time on the infield in place of Walker, when he's resting his back and on paternity leave. The point is, the kid is hitting and Granderson is not. And, while I respect Granderson's career and strong season in 2015, his slump - especially his lack of production with runners on base - and Terry's insistence of playing him - is a problem.

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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