Unfazed Flores rolls with the punches

Unfazed Flores rolls with the punches

NEW YORK -- As a boy in Venezuela, Wilmer Flores' parents nicknamed him "Catire," a colloquial moniker meaning "blondie," because there were three other men named Wilmer Flores in the house and since he had yellow wisps of hair. He outgrew that, and he now sports a light brown cut and scraggy goatee.

As a teenager, Flores faced a language barrier after relocating to the United States. He outgrew that, learning English entirely by ear.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verrett returned to Mets from Rangers

Verrett returned to Mets from Rangers

Right-hander Logan Verrett was returned to the Mets from the Rangers on Monday after he was designated for assignment on April 24 and cleared waivers.

The Mets have outrighted Verrett, 24, to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft in December, then was claimed by the Rangers on April 2.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuddyer goes above the wall to rob Zimmerman

Cuddyer goes above the wall to rob Zimmerman

NEW YORK -- Michael Cuddyer said he had never robbed a home run before, not in Colorado, Minnesota, the Minors or even Little League.

So he hopes you excuse the lack of style points.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon aims to right ship as Orioles come to town

Colon aims to right ship as Orioles come to town

For the first time since 2012, the Orioles will return to Citi Field, opening their Interleague Play this season on the road against the Mets. First-place New York will send Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.31 ERA) to the mound opposite O's righty Bud Norris (1-2, 12.18 ERA).

The Mets are looking to return to form after dropping three of four games to the Nationals. The Orioles finished off a "home" series in St. Petersburg, winning two of three games while donning their home uniforms at Tropicana Field.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Mets were nearly named the Avengers

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The Mets were nearly named the Avengers

On September 10, 1963, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby teamed up to release the first issue of The Avengers featuring the World's Mightiest Heroes. 

But they were nearly beaten to the punch two years earlier, when New York's new National League expansion team announced that they would be known as the Mets on May 8, 1961. The name was a reference to both the Metropolitans of the 19th century American Association and the team's corporate name -- Metropolitan Baseball Group, Inc. It beat out other contenders, including Burros (for the five boroughs), Rebels, Skyliners and, most importantly, Avengers. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Syndergaard headlines Prospect Team of the Week

Mets' top prospect threw 14 scoreless innings, struck out 19 in two starts

Syndergaard headlines Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Triple-A Las Vegas's Cashman Field is one of the toughest places to pitch in professional baseball. Games there averaged 11.9 runs per game in 2014, the fifth-highest total in the Minor Leagues, and an average of 11.1 runs per contest are being scored this season.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' offense stuck in neutral against Nats

Club goes 4-for-23 with runners in scoring position in four-game series

Mets' offense stuck in neutral against Nats

NEW YORK -- Terry Collins did say more games like this were on the way. The man must be psychic.

To be fair, Collins didn't predict a second consecutive 1-0 Mets loss to the Nationals. That would have required predicting an event that hadn't happened since 1973, the last time the Mets lost two straight 1-0 games to the same team. But he did warn the pitching would be tough and the offense tough to come by.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets drop second straight 1-0 game to Nationals

Mets drop second straight 1-0 game to Nationals

NEW York -- Doug Fister became the second Nationals starter to blank the Mets in two days, and Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning RBI single proved to be enough as Washington beat New York, 1-0, for the second consecutive game on Sunday at Citi Field.

It marked the first time in Nationals/Expos history that the team has won back-to-back games by a score of 1-0.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefty Torres flashes skills of an escape artist

Relief pitcher inherits bases-loaded jam with no outs, then whiffs the side

Lefty Torres flashes skills of an escape artist

NEW YORK -- With the bases loaded, nobody out and the Mets trailing by a run in the sixth inning, left-hander Alex Torres knew he could not afford to allow the Nationals to break the game open. New York's offense has been starved for runs recently, so Torres entered with the mindset of keeping Washington off the board completely.

Torres responded in brilliant fashion, striking out Doug Fister, Denard Span and Yunel Escobar to leave the bases full and escape the inning unscathed. Torres clapped his hands and sprinted toward the dugout, hesitating to leap over the first-base line, as the crowd of 41,048 fans roared at Citi Field.

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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.

Flores out of starting lineup for 2nd straight game

Flores out of starting lineup for 2nd straight game

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins insists he's just giving Wilmer Flores a breather. But it's turning into an extended one.

Flores wasn't in the starting lineup again Sunday against the Nationals, with Ruben Tejada starting at shortstop for the second consecutive day.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese saddled with tough-luck loss

Lefty allows one run, strands 9 over 7 innings

Niese saddled with tough-luck loss

NEW YORK -- The frustration showing on Jon Niese's face grew with each bouncer that found a hole, with each grounder that hit off a base or an outstretched glove and squirted onto the outfield grass. By the time the night was done, Niese had induced 20 ground balls and stranded nine runners, but it wasn't enough.

Niese versus Gio Gonzalez. The pitching matchup going into Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field didn't appear to feature the sparkle of Friday's, when Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer battled pitch for pitch. But the final score represented the product of another duel between New York and Washington. Mets manager Terry Collins expects it won't be the last.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese limits damage, but Mets drop duel

Niese limits damage, but Mets drop duel

NEW YORK -- Gio Gonzalez struck out nine over seven shutout innings and Michael Taylor drove in the game's lone run as the Nationals won their fourth game in five chances, blanking the Mets, 1-0, on Saturday night at Citi Field.

Taylor's RBI infield single in the second inning proved enough to down Mets starter Jon Niese, who limited the damage despite finding himself in trouble all night. Niese allowed nine hits -- all singles -- in seven innings, but just one run after stranding nine Nationals. He fell to 2-2 with the hard-luck loss, while Gonzalez improved to 2-2.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey wins fifth straight start to begin season

In another big outing against Scherzer, New York's ace came out on top

Harvey wins fifth straight start to begin season

NEW YORK -- Max Scherzer has followed Matt Harvey around like a big-moment shadow. When Harvey started the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, a hometown sensation torpedoing toward stardom, Scherzer opposed him.

When Harvey made his last start of that season, Tommy John surgery lurking in the near future, it was against Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Familia gaining confidence with each outing

Right-hander leads the Major Leagues in saves with 10

Familia gaining confidence with each outing

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins wanted to wait for one more out, but that was before he came inches away from not needing Jeurys Familia at all.

Nationals pinch-hitter Tyler Moore had just sent a 370-foot clout right up to the edge of the left-field fence. A few more inches and Moore rounds the bases with a two-run homer. The tiny lead Matt Harvey protected for seven innings all gone. The pregame plan was to get four outs from Familia, if necessary. Collins made the call with five left.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey stays unbeaten, puts end to Mets' losing streak

Harvey stays unbeaten, puts end to Mets' losing streak

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey became the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to five wins by outlasting Max Scherzer in a battle of aces as the Mets defeated the Nationals, 4-0, at Citi Field on Friday.

Harvey scattered five hits over seven innings, despite striking out just three. But the right-hander walked just one and induced 12 ground balls, which New York's newly revamped infield converted into 10 outs.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lagares and Harper put up ridiculous defensive gems

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Lagares and Harper put up ridiculous defensive gems

After a truly ridiculous number of highlight plays, Juan Lagares has planted himself firmly at the top of the web gem mountain, to the point where it's far more remarkable when you don't take time out of your night to marvel at whatever absurd magic trick he pulled off this time. 

The master was at it again Friday night against the rival Nats, making the kind of grab we've all come to just expect.

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Mets reshuffling their infield with Herrera called up

With Wright still out, Murphy moves to third base and newcomer will start at second base

Mets reshuffling their infield with Herrera called up

NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy took pregame ground balls at third base Friday and will move there for the immediate future as the Mets insert Dilson Herrera at second at least until David Wright returns from the disabled list.

Murphy will go back to second base when Wright is back from the strained right hamstring that has kept him off the field since April 14, general manager Sandy Alderson said. But that could be longer than originally expected. Wright was eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, but Alderson said expecting Wright back by next weekend would be "a little aggressive" after the third baseman took two consecutive days off from baseball activities.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Marty Noble

Real Mets to reveal themselves soon

Real Mets to reveal themselves soon

NEW YORK -- A week ago, the Yankees had scored six runs against the Mets, and the Mets had scored one. And six is greater than one. It changed everything -- for the Mets. Well, almost everything. That loss in their first venture outside the National League East was the Mets' first in 12 games. And beginning with that shellacking, they lost five of seven games. They even lost at Citi Field on Thursday. A seven-game 180 it was, unwanted and unsavory, though hardly unexpected.

That about face had to happen, of course. The big leagues seldom allow for winning streaks of double-digit length. Five games, sure. Eight or nine, yeah, every once in a while. But 11? The lords of the game rarely tolerate such unfettered success. And when they do, the team that has prospered usually incurs debt. The Yankees won 18 consecutive from late May to mid-June in 1953. Five days after the streak ended, they began a losing streak that reached nine games. Casey Stengel and the boys had to pay up.

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Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

deGrom endures frustrating outing vs. Nats

deGrom endures frustrating outing vs. Nats

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins could notice the frustration on right-hander Jacob deGrom's face as he sat on the bench moments after being taken out of the game during the sixth inning of the Mets' 8-2 loss to the Nationals on Thursday night at Citi Field.

It prompted Collins to take a few minutes during the inning to talk to deGrom, who is normally not one to display emotion on the field. Yet, there were a few instances during his outing where he was yelling into his glove for relief.

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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.

Mets handed first home defeat by Nationals

Mets handed first home defeat by Nationals

NEW YORK -- Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos drove in two runs apiece as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-2, at Citi Field on Thursday night. Washington has won three straight games to improve its record to 10-13.

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg won his second game of the season, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets call up second-base prospect Herrera

Mets call up second-base prospect Herrera

NEW YORK -- Late on a night when the Mets committed their ninth error in seven games, New York made a move to improve its middle-infield situation, recalling second baseman Dilson Herrera from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Left-hander Jack Leathersich was optioned to Las Vegas to make roster room for Herrera, who played in 18 games with the Mets during a late-season stint last year as a 20-year-old.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda's hot start worthy of All-Star Game consideration

Duda's hot start worthy of All-Star Game consideration

MIAMI -- Mets first baseman Lucas Duda has accomplished so much over the past calendar year that it's sometimes easy to forget where his career stood a year ago. Last April, the notion of playing in a Major League All-Star Game would have been as foreign to him as thoughts of a 30-homer season.

Duda has since established himself as one of the National League's foremost sluggers, making him a name to watch on the NL All-Star ballot that Major League Baseball released Wednesday.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores' error on double-play ball proves costly

Flores' error on double-play ball proves costly

NEW YORK -- The boos have started to come for Wilmer Flores, even when he has a bat in his hands. They trickled in throughout the Citi Field crowd Thursday when he struck out in the fourth, and again as he slammed his helmet in frustration after lining out with runners on in the sixth.

But they have little to do with his hitting.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz K's 12 for Vegas in dominant performance

Mets No. 3 prospect shuts down Reno following his no-hit bid start

Matz K's 12 for Vegas in dominant performance

It is safe to say that all eyes will be fixed on Mets No. 3 prospect Steven Matz during his next start, and for good reason. He followed up his April 24 gem -- two hits and no runs in seven innings, including 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball -- with a dominant, 12-strikeout performance on Thursday night in Triple-A Las Vegas' 7-2 win over Reno.

Matz is currently 3-1 with a 1.84 ERA, and he's only given up two earned runs in his past 19 innings.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.