New York set to take on string of tough opponents in July
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- The Mets will hit the midway point of what could be a pivotal year in the franchise's trajectory this week, and manager Terry Collins isn't taking anything for granted. He knows his team cannot rest on what's been an up-and-down (but overall successful) first half.
NEW YORK -- It may be too late for Steven Matz to make the All-Star team, and likely for any Mets position player as well. But the Mets should still have some worthy representative at the 2015 game, despite their struggles on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Only injured third baseman David Wright, who has played eight games this season and will not return until the second half, cracked the top five at his position in the latest tally of voting released Monday by Major League Baseball.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.
If Jon Niese's last four starts have indeed been auditions, then consider Tuesday his call-back. Niese will be front and center for the Cubs to see, opposing Kyle Hendricks as New York and Chicago start a three-game series at Citi Field.
Niese hasn't won since May 9, but has been more effective lately after posting a 5.67 ERA in May. That stretch of rough outings began in Chicago, where the Cubs swept a four-game set from the Mets earlier this year. Niese allowed six runs (four earned) in 6 1/3 innings in that loss. He's 0-2 but pitching to a 3.46 ERA in four June starts.
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Steven Matz has a sandwich named after him
By Matt Monagan |
Deli sandwiches are some of the finest food money can buy. They can serve as late-night snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, appetizers, finger foods, birthday cakes and clothing. There is probably no greater resource on Earth.
And according to Newsday, a Long Island deli has named one after Mets pitching prospect Steve Matz.
Average exit velocity up nearly 3 mph since May 10
By Mike Petriello
Mets fans can be forgiven for constantly asking when their team is going to go out and get a hitter, because the offense -- currently 26th in baseball in run scoring at 3.58 per game -- has clearly not done its part to support the consistently excellent pitching, which is 6th at 3.73 runs allowed per game. Thanks to injuries to David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and Travis d'Arnaud, and disappointing performances from most of the rest of the lineup, the only two consistently above-average hitters in Queens have been Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson.
It might be surprising to see Granderson referred to as "above-average," considering that he's hit only 33 homers in his first year-and-a-half with the Mets after topping 41 in each of his final two fully healthy years with the Yankees, or that he's tied for just 111th in runs batted in with 27. (Nevermind that he's led off in 70 of 77 Mets games.) For the $60 million he's receiving over four years, many fans seem to have expected more.
NEW YORK -- When he stepped into Citi Field around 8:40 a.m. on Sunday, Steven Matz had no way of knowing it would be almost eight hours before he would finally step to the mound in his debut. When he did, it was worth the wait.
NEW YORK -- For hours, Steven Matz made Citi Field's clubhouse his home, arriving early Sunday morning with plenty of time to marvel at the "comfortable couches." Welcome to the big leagues; the idle hours are not so bad. It was not until he stepped to the mound in the late afternoon that jitters truly enveloped Matz, who fired his first 96-mph fastball to the brick behind home plate.
Because of his home run-robbing catch in the eighth inning, eventually the Mets and Reds did. Lagares' leaping play took a homer away from Cininnati outfielder Jay Bruce and preserved a 1-1 tie before the Mets completed Saturday's suspended game with a 2-1 win on Sunday.
Mets clinch series win with walk-off in 13 innings
By Mark Sheldon and Joe Trezza
MLB.com |@m_sheldon |
NEW YORK -- For one team, completing a suspended game nearly 24 hours after it began was worth the wait. That proved to be the Mets, who took a 2-1 win over the Reds in 13 innings on a Lucas Duda chopper that could not be handled by first baseman Joey Votto. New York won the first two games of the series with a chance to sweep in the regularly scheduled Sunday game.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana has put a halt to his attempt to try to come back from injury and pitch again in the Major Leagues this season, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.
Rubin cited sources as saying that Santana has been most recently dealing with a toe infection and believes he would not have enough time to work back to a Major League-ready level in time to compete in 2015.
NEW YORK -- It seems Curtis Granderson home runs -- like berries, balloons and honey oats -- come in bunches. The right fielder's leadoff home run accounted for half of the Mets' hit and run output in Friday's 2-1 win over the Reds at Citi Field, once again providing a slight electric spike in what's recently been a flat-line offense.
NEW YORK -- Back at Citi Field, where they have enjoyed a lopsided percentage of their success this season, the recently reeling Mets breezed to a second straight victory behind Noah Syndergaard's best game as a big leaguer. Syndergaard fired a career-high eight innings of one-run ball on Friday, Curtis Granderson hit his fourth homer in 17 at-bats and Lucas Duda drew a go-ahead bases-loaded walk to lead the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Reds.
NEW YORK -- Given how impressive Jacob deGrom has been, and the weekly soap opera surrounding Matt Harvey, and the fact that Steven Matz will soon enter the building, Noah Syndergaard -- not so long ago the center of attention, an uber-prospect worth watching -- has recently shifted into the shadows.
NEW YORK -- With five weeks until the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson insisted Friday that he has been "aggressive" in pursuing potential deals to boost a sagging offense. Yet he cautioned that the market has yet to produce anything tempting enough for him to pull the trigger on a deal.
MILWAUKEE -- When All-Star Game festivities begin next month, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia -- the two pitchers who combined on the Mets' 2-0 shutout of the Brewers on Thursday, snapping their season-high seven game losing streak on the last day of a nightmare eight-game road trip -- will almost certainly be there. Matt Harvey might not be, which is more a testament to just how good deGrom has been.
MILWAUKEE -- Jacob deGrom blanked the Brewers for eight innings Thursday in the Mets' 2-0 win at Miller Park, snapping New York's seven-game losing streak and denying Milwaukee's bid for its first series sweep.
MILWAUKEE -- In what manager Terry Collins insisted is not "a major shakeup," the Mets are discussing moving Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base when Daniel Murphy returns from the disabled list -- likely this weekend. The swap would remove Flores from a position where he has committed 10 errors in 66 games, his -5 Defensive Runs Saved ranking second-to-last among National League shortstops.
When Noah Syndergaard was called up to help the Mets' rotation in May, the question that soon followed was, "When will Steven Matz get a shot?"
The answer, it seems, is this weekend, as Matz is expected to join New York's rotation when the Mets return to some version of a six-man rotation, a plan they scrapped when Dillon Gee was designated for assignment not long ago.
MILWAUKEE -- The frustrations of a seven-game losing streak finally boiled over into an ejection for Mets manager Terry Collins, during Thursday's streak-snapping 2-0 victory over the Brewers.
Two innings after Collins unsuccessfully challenged a play at the plate in the second inning, second-base umpire Larry Vanover ejected him for arguing a stolen-base call that he could not challenge. Because Collins lost his challenge on the second-inning call, he was unable to use another on Vanover's fourth-inning ruling that replays showed to be incorrect.
MILWAUKEE -- Barely a year removed from college, Michael Conforto's first full Minor League season has already included an aggressive Spring Training assignment to Class A St. Lucie, a midseason promotion to Double-A Binghamton and a growing chorus of fans who want him in the Majors now.
MILWAUKEE -- Whatever fire and brimstone manager Terry Collins tried to instill in the Mets before Wednesday's game did not take. Whatever message he delivered did not translate into hits, runs or newfound defensive wizardry. Whatever Collins hoped to accomplish with a rare team meeting in the Miller Park visitor's clubhouse, he could not.
MILWAUKEE -- Jimmy Nelson's pitching gem left the Brewers on the brink of their first series sweep of a challenging season.
Dealing the slumping Mets their seventh consecutive loss, Nelson surrendered only two hits and matched a career high by pitching eight innings of a 4-1 win Wednesday night at Miller Park, a needed lift after the 26-year-old set career highs for hits allowed in each of his two previous starts. Nelson retired the Mets in order in five of his eight innings, plus another frame in which he faced the minimum three batters thanks to a double play.