NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda was not the only player Terry Collins put "on notice" last week, when the Mets' acquisitions of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe finally gave their manager depth. He was just one of many struggling Mets who stood to lose playing time, considering his .166 batting average and .549 OPS in his most recent 45 games.
But when Collins gathered those players together and gave them his ultimatum, Duda may have absorbed the message quicker and more completely than anyone else.
NEW YORK -- Halfway through his second round of batting practice with the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes launched a home run several rows deep into the left-center-field seats -- a place where Major League Baseball players don't typically hit baseballs. Instantly, he validated the hopes of manager Terry Collins, who was sitting in the dugout at the time, laughing and joking in a grand old mood. And that was before Cespedes drew an intentional walk in the game itself, adding fuel to the Mets' go-ahead rally in a 3-2 win over the Nationals on Saturday.
Two days earlier, Collins had spoken to his mentor Jim Leyland, who knew Cespedes from Detroit and lauded his abilities. So when Collins found out Friday, mere minutes before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, that his team had acquired Cespedes, he could hardly contain his emotion.
NEW YORK -- A billboard greeted fans coming off the Grand Central Parkway on Saturday, trumpeting Yoenis Cespedes' arrival in Queens. But it was an old face, Lucas Duda, who almost single-handedly lifted the Mets to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Nationals, moving New York within a game of first place in the National League East.
Before the second-largest regular-season crowd in Citi Field history, Duda hit a pair of solo homers to make up a two-run deficit, then laced a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth. He now has eight home runs in his last seven games, including two off Nationals starter Joe Ross.
Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard and Nationals righty Jordan Zimmermann face off Sunday at 8:08 p.m. ET at Citi Field, where the new-look Mets look to earn a share of the National League East lead in the finale of a pivotal three-game series.
Strong starting pitching, good defense and a flair for the dramatic fueled the first two games of this series, both of which the Mets took by one run. Wilmer Flores' walk-off homer didn't just lead New York to a storybook win in extras Friday, it ensured they didn't waste a brilliant start by Matt Harvey.
NEW YORK -- In the few private moments provided during Wilmer Flores' very public week, the infielder and trending topic tried to disappear. Tough to do with your face -- swelled with tears, pinched in pain and now already memed to death -- penciled into every sports show A block from Corona, N.Y., to California, just for falling beneath the weight of the world. But Flores did his best Wednesday night, the only way he knew how. After contacting his parents, to tell them no, he hadn't been traded, a click of the right finger shut off his phone.
NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright continues to make tangible progress rehabbing from the spinal condition that has sidelined him since April. Wright will travel to Miami with the Mets on Sunday night, then drive to Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday with an eye toward beginning a Minor League rehab assignment shortly thereafter.
Wright, 32, has not played since April 14 due to a hamstring injury and his subsequent spinal stenosis diagnosis. He was batting .333 in eight games prior to that.
NEW YORK -- With little free space on their revamped roster, the Mets optioned No. 2 prospectMichael Conforto back to the Minor Leagues on Saturday to make room for trade acquisition Yoenis Cespedes. Conforto will report to Triple-A Las Vegas, a level ahead of his prior assignment at Double-A Binghamton.
The Mets called Conforto up straight from Binghamton on July 24, starting him in left field. The next day, he went 4-for-4 with a walk, becoming the first player in franchise history to record four hits in one of his first two career games. But Conforto went 0-for-12 in four games after that, becoming the odd man out when the Mets acquired Cespedes.
NEW YORK -- Every emotion a human being is capable of feeling, teammate Michael Cuddyer said, Wilmer Flores must have felt. It was all so plain to see: There was Flores on Wednesday night, baring his soul before thousands in attendance and the millions watching every other way, tears streaming down his face because he thought he had been traded. There was Flores, undoubtedly flashing back to the day he signed at 16 years old, his eyes turning to a dugout full of teammates and friends.
Forty-eight hours later, there was Flores sweating out the non-waiver Trade Deadline -- "He had to wonder if it was his last day in the clubhouse," manager Terry Collins said -- and taking the field. His field, Citi Field. Then there was Flores hitting a walk-off home run in the 12th inning of the Mets' 2-1 win over the Nationals, somehow outshining their season-changing acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes.
NEW YORK -- Two days after their first attempt to acquire an impact outfielder evaporated, the Mets beat Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline by a matter of minutes in a deal with the Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes.
Detroit received Minor League pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa in the trade, which puts Cespedes in the Mets' employ for the next two months. In his first year with the Tigers after a trade from the Red Sox last December, Cespedes is hitting .293 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs in 102 games. He will be a free agent after the season, and due to the unique nature of his contract, cannot be extended a qualifying offer.
NEW YORK -- Two days after Wilmer Flores became a national sensation for his bare emotion, openly weeping on the infield dirt because he thought he had been traded, Flores' walk-off homer lifted the Mets to a 2-1, 12-inning win over the Nationals on Friday night.
A spirited Citi Field crowd of 36,164 gave Flores standing ovations for his defensive work in the first inning and his RBI single in the fourth, then serenaded him as he rounded the bases in the 12th. The win moved the Mets within two games of the first-place Nationals in the National League East.
Mets righty takes shutout into eighth, has walked just one in last two starts
By Jamal Collier
NEW YORK -- The Mets lined up their rotation after the All-Star break to make sure that their top three starters -- including Matt Harvey, who has said he relishes taking the mound in big games -- would get the opportunity to pitch in two crucial series against the Nationals, the team they are chasing in the National League East.
In front of a raucous crowd of 36,164 fans Friday night at Citi Field, Harvey delivered one of his best performances of the year. He was locked in from the start, stifling Washington's offense for 7 2/3 innings before Wilmer Flores' walk-off home run in the 12th gave New York a 2-1 victory.
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Cespedes has already hit plenty of Citi Field HRs
By Michael Clair |
In 2013, Yoenis Cespedes arrived at Citi Field for the first time for the Home Run Derby. Not frightened by Citi Field's large outfield, not distracted by the delicious smells of Shake Shack and not even thrown off his game by the ghost-like apparition of Shea Stadium that appeared beyond the outfield fence, Cespedes blasted 17 home runs in the first round to go with 32 in total to walk away with the belt and title.
Cuddyer hopeful of coming off disabled list next week
By Alden Woods
NEW YORK -- The list of everyday Mets on the disabled list has been trimmed to two, and both players are optimistic about their returns. While Michael Cuddyer hopes he can return to the field next weekend in St. Petersburg, David Wright isn't willing to share his planned return date.
Wright has a day "circled on his calendar," but he's not ready to share it yet. The Mets third baseman has spent the past few days back in New York, working out and sitting in the dugout with his teammates during games, but he won't submit to the temptation to rush back.
NEW YORK -- The flow of non-waiver Trade Deadline talks -- more than half a dozen Mets executives crammed into a room -- was briefly interrupted Friday afternoon by the familiar ring of a phone. But this was no ordinary call from a general manager or reporter. This was from pitcher Zack Wheeler, whose name had popped into multiple talks over the past week -- including the Mets' ill-fated deal for then-Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Wheeler told Mets general manager Sandy Alderson that he knew there was a chance he would be traded over the ensuing hours. But all things being equal, Wheeler impressed upon his boss, he'd like to stick around.
NEW YORK -- Last Thursday, the Mets called up outfield prospect Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton, a busy news day in a hectic season for New York. They followed that move on Friday with a trade for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. Johnson hit a home run on Saturday en route to a 15-run explosion. Uribe sent a walk-off single to the deepest reaches of center field on Sunday after the Mets spent their morning ridding the clubhouse weight room of a stray raccoon.
That was merely the beginning. On Monday, they traded for reliever Tyler Clippard, which proved significant on Tuesday, when Major League Baseball suspended Jenrry Mejia 162 games for a positive performance-enhancing drug test. On Wednesday, New York completed a trade for Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, only to back out afterWilmer Flores learned he was in the deal, weeping on the field as he absorbed the information.
NEW YORK -- Carlos Gomez or no, the Mets were two strikes away from a series win over the Padres on Thursday afternoon heading into this weekend's showdown with the first-place Nationals.
Then Justin Upton squeezed a go-ahead three-run homer into the seven-minute span between ninth-inning rain delays, leading the Padres to an 8-7 victory. Jeurys Familia blew his third save in three attempts for New York since the All-Star break, after going 27-for-29 in the first half.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo 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.
NEW YORK -- As Jeurys Familia stepped on the mound in the ninth inning on Thursday, a flash of lightning ripped through the sky above Citi Field. Many fans retreated to the concourses to avoid the rain and watch Familia try to finish off another save.
Familia has been one of the most dominant closers in the National League this season, and he looked the part right away, dispatching two batters with three pitches. Then the rain turned to a deluge and a subsequent 44-minute delay wrecked what looked destined to be a Mets win.
NEW YORK -- Another Mets pitcher expected to help the 2015 team will spend the rest of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich underwent the procedure Thursday in Manhattan, joining Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin as members of the Mets' 40-man roster to have Tommy John surgery this year. He should miss most of next season, in addition to this one.
NEW YORK -- Like everyone else, Zack Wheeler was watching Wednesday's game between the Mets and Padres when he first heard word leak that he had been traded to the Brewers. Wheeler called his agent, who confirmed that a deal was in place pending medical reviews.
"I've been through it before," Wheeler said Thursday in a telephone interview, referencing the July 2011 trade that initially sent him from the Giants to the Mets. "It's not the most fun thing, I guess you could say. A lot of stuff runs through your mind."
NEW YORK -- The Mets expect to activate Travis d'Arnaud from the 15-day disabled list Friday, but they plan to be more careful with the catcher this time.
d'Arnaud has been on the disabled list since June 20 with a sprained right elbow. He completed a five-game rehab stint with Double-A Binghamton this week, and he took an off-day Thursday to rest up for his return.
NEW YORK -- Another setback in a lengthy string of them has pitcher Rafael Montero running out of time to make an impact this season. Montero visited a doctor Thursday as the Mets fell, 8-7, to the Padres, after experiencing continued soreness in the right arm that has kept him sidelined for most of this year. He was cleared to resume throwing within the next few days, but he remains well behind schedule of what New York initially hoped.
Montero first began feeling soreness in his right shoulder following his lone start of the season on April 28 in Miami. He underwent an MRI, which revealed no structural damage. New York diagnosed him at the time with right rotator cuff inflammation.
NEW YORK -- The Padres got to Mets starter Bartolo Colon early, putting up six runs in the first three innings and chasing him after just 2 1/3 innings. That would prove to be more than enough, as Tyson Ross and the San Diego bullpen cruised the rest of the way to a 7-3 win.
The Padres' early runs came in pairs. A Matt Kemp single and Justin Upton's sacrifice fly scored two in the first inning, singles from Will Venable and Yangervis Solarte plated two in the second and home runs from Upton and Yonder Alonso sent home two in the third. Upton added an insurance run with an RBI single in the sixth inning. Lucas Duda was responsible for the Mets' offense with a trio of solo home runs.
Concern over outfielder's hip cited in breakdown of trade
By Anthony DiComo and Adam McCalvy
NEW YORK -- Just before an airplane full of Brewers lifted off from San Francisco International Airport late Wednesday, Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez was told that he had been traded to the Mets. Within hours the deal had shattered, and the night descended into a swirl of speculation.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell informed Gomez of a deal that -- pending medical approval -- would have sent him to New York in exchange for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores, who teared up upon learning of the trade during the Mets' 7-3 loss to the Padres. Several hours later, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson broke the news that "there is no trade."
NEW YORK -- His eyes still red and watery after the Mets' 7-3 loss to the Padres on Tuesday, infielder Wilmer Flores stood, stunned, in a clubhouse that remains his home.
Flores learned during the game that a deal was in place to send him and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers in exchange for Carlos Gomez, only to find out afterward that there was no trade. A source confirmed that the Mets nixed the deal due to medical concern over Gomez's right hip -- leaving Flores in a wildly emotional state both during and after the game.
NEW YORK -- On Wednesday, one day after Major League Baseball issued Jenrry Mejia a 162-game suspension for a positive test for performance-enhancing substances, Commissioner Rob Manfred painted the picture of a testing program that is effective yet constantly looking to improve.
"I think our game is cleaner than it's ever been," Manfred said after a previously scheduled visit with Mets' front-office employees at Citi Field. "I think our testing program is as good as it can possibly be given the available science. And I also am experienced enough in this area to know that nothing you do is perfect, and you have to be vigilant all the time to make sure your program is evolving and is as effective as possible."