Four-es: Wilmer's slam among Mets' 4 HRs in win

Four-es: Wilmer's slam among Mets' 4 HRs in win

NEW YORK -- In need of another storybook run as they look to scale the National League Wild Card standings, the Mets on Friday turned to a player best known for his flair for the dramatic. Wilmer Flores slugged his third career grand slam, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes combined for three additional homers and Bartolo Colon cruised, leading the Mets to a 9-4 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.

The Mets remained 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, who also won, in an NL Wild Card race with five serious competitors.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins: Colon has kept Mets in playoff race

Ageless right-hander collects two hits, earns win in opener vs. Phillies

Collins: Colon has kept Mets in playoff race

NEW YORK -- On a day when the Mets announced that they will skip Jacob deGrom's next start because of mechanical issues, Mets manager Terry Collins couldn't provide enough praise for Friday's starter Bartolo Colon, the lone pitcher in New York's rotation who hasn't dealt with any sort of lingering issue this season.

"I can't come up with a name of a guy who we could have had that has done a better job," Collins said before the Mets' 9-4 victory over the Phillies at Citi Field. "Not only has he been the healthiest of the bunch, but he's won big games for us -- a lot of big games for us.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blond bombshells make history with homers

Reyes, Cabrera become 2nd Mets duo to hit back-to-back dingers to open game; Asdrubal adds 2nd HR

Blond bombshells make history with homers

NEW YORK -- The play that did not show up in either the box score or the record books unfolded in the eighth inning Friday, with the Mets' 9-4 win over the Phillies already largely in hand.

Maikel Franco squirted a ground ball down the third-base line, where Jose Reyes attempted, unsuccessfully, to barehand it. As all of this was happening, Asdrubal Cabrera raced over from shortstop, positioning himself to grab the ball, dive toward third base and force out Aaron Altherr advancing from second.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets decide to skip deGrom's next start

New York feels ace right-hander's issues are mechanical

Mets decide to skip deGrom's next start

NEW YORK -- Concerned about Jacob deGrom's consecutive poor starts, the Mets spent this week digging into the Trackman technology available to them at ballparks around the country, hoping to spot the root cause of their ace's struggles. Coming away convinced that deGrom's issues are mechanical, not health-related, the team will spend the next 10 days attempting to fix them.

As such, deGrom will miss his next start in an attempt to rediscover the form that made him a National League Cy Young candidate as recently as mid-August.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thor looks to keep Mets rolling vs. Phils

Thor looks to keep Mets rolling vs. Phils

NEW YORK -- If the Mets plan to make a late postseason push, Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61 ERA) will likely need to play a big role. After a string of inconsistent outings, the big righty tossed eight shutout innings vs. the Giants on Aug. 21 for his 11th win of the season. The Phillies hope to halt that momentum Saturday.

Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound for Philadelphia. He's 1-1 in three starts against the Mets this year, taking the loss July 15 after tossing six innings of four-run ball.

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Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon celebrates double with massage

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Colon celebrates double with massage

Bartolo Colon is unlike any other player in sports. He's an over-40, mid-80s fastball-hurling, dinger-hitting wonder of the modern world. And while he is seemingly getting better at baseball at a time when most players are making their way up the managerial ranks, he's keeping his career options open. 

Taking on the Phillies during a 9-4 victory on Friday night, not only did Colon pick up his first two-hit game since 2002 (only 34 other active Major Leaguers were even in the big leagues then, and two of them, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, are retiring this year), he also showed off his plans for when he does retire: Professional masseuse. 

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Walker returns from paternity list; T. Rivera optioned

Second baseman looks to resume hot streak after birth of daughter, Nora

Walker returns from paternity list; T. Rivera optioned

NEW YORK -- Neil Walker hasn't had much sleep over the last three days, but he wouldn't trade those restless days for anything. Over that time, Walker has been on Major League Baseball's paternity list as his wife and he welcomed their first child, Nora Vail Walker, into the world at 3:06 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

The last three days have been dedicated to his newborn baby girl, but on Friday he returned to the baseball diamond. He was activated off the paternity list before New York's series opener against the Phillies at Citi Field and batted fourth in the Mets' lineup.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De Aza's 5 RBIs help lead Mets to series win

De Aza's 5 RBIs help lead Mets to series win

ST. LOUIS -- A stay in St. Louis did the Mets well, as they left town following Thursday night's 10-6 victory in better National League Wild Card position than when they arrived. Capping an evening in which Seth Lugo secured his first Major League win and the offense piled on by taking advantage of a shoddy Cardinals defense, the Mets won the series and moved to within 3 1/2 games of St. Louis in the Wild Card standings.

"This was a tough series," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They've got a good team. We came into the series knowing we had to pick up some ground, and we picked up a game. That means a lot."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lugo exits with cramp, but gets 1st MLB win

Mets right-hander leaves stellar start in 6th during warmup pitches

Lugo exits with cramp, but gets 1st MLB win

ST. LOUIS -- After rookie starter Seth Lugo left the mound in the sixth inning of the Mets' 10-6 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night, manager Terry Collins lingered. As he waited for Jim Henderson to jog in from the bullpen, another reliever pressed into emergency duty, Collins remarked to his infielders that "every time I turn around, something unexpected pops up."

This time, at least, the Mets avoided the worst; Lugo was the victim of nothing more than leg cramps, which should not prevent him from making his next start. Consider it fine news for a Mets team that is suddenly leaning on Lugo, with so much of the rest of its rotation nursing injuries.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De Aza pushing for playing time with bat

Outfielder logs career-high 5 RBIs in rubber-game win over Cardinals

De Aza pushing for playing time with bat

ST. LOUIS -- From the months of April through June, as Mets fans busied themselves booing him and calling for his release, Alejandro De Aza compiled a total of five RBIs.

That De Aza matched that output alone in the Mets' 10-6 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night was more than affirmation of how far he's come. It was perhaps a cry for increased playing time in a tightened postseason race, particularly given teammate Curtis Granderson's struggles.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After review, Waino loses glove, Yo gets base

De Aza later hits 3-run homer in 5th as Mets win rubber game

After review, Waino loses glove, Yo gets base

ST. LOUIS -- With one out in the fifth inning on Thursday night, Mets first baseman James Loney popped a ball into short left field that landed just out of the reach of Greg Garcia. The ensuing play at third led to a replay review that opened the floodgates to a four-run inning that propelled the Mets to a 10-6 win over the Cardinals in the rubber game.

Yoenis Cespedes, on first base, saw the ball drop and headed to third while Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright ran over to cover the base, which was vacated by Jhonny Peralta as he also tried to make the catch.

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Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bruce doesn't expect right calf issue to linger

Bruce doesn't expect right calf issue to linger

ST. LOUIS -- Though Mets outfielder Jay Bruce did not feel well enough to return to the starting lineup on Thursday against the Cardinals, as he originally intended after leaving Wednesday night's game with a right calf cramp, he does not expect the issue to linger. Bruce simply pushed his targeted return back one day, to Friday.

"I feel better," Bruce said before the series finale at Busch Stadium. "The soreness is out of there some, but the tightness is still there when I push off. I was shooting for today. Now, I'm shooting for tomorrow. It's not going to be something that lingers, I don't think."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith, Urena among top prospect performers Thursday

Brewers' No. 2 prospect notches first multi-homer game for Sky Sox

Smith, Urena among top prospect performers Thursday

Lewis Brinson seems to be enjoying life in the Brewers' organization.

The No. 18 overall prospect (Brewers' No. 2) has done nothing but rake since he was acquired from Texas before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and that theme continued Thursday night with a pair of homers in Triple-A Colorado Springs' 5-0 win over Oklahoma City.

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

deGrom's rut continues as Mets fall to Cards

deGrom's rut continues as Mets fall to Cards

ST. LOUIS -- Grasping for ways to correct their poor and puzzling home record, the Cardinals leaned on two of their most reliable sources on Wednesday. With punches of power from the offense and another dazzling performance from budding ace Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals coasted to an 8-1 victory to even their three-game series with the Mets.

The win allowed the Cardinals, now 29-34 at Busch Stadium, to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead over the Marlins for the second National League Wild Card spot. It also created a bit of separation from the Mets. New York stands 4 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in that race.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Command woes at root of deGrom's struggles

Command woes at root of deGrom's struggles

ST. LOUIS -- Terry Collins was sitting in his office chair earlier this week, brushing aside concern over Jacob deGrom's career-worst start in San Francisco, when he acknowledged an uncomfortable truth clouding the Mets' postseason chase.

"Right now, we're leaning on those three guys that we started out the year with," Collins said, referring to starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon and deGrom. "They're the guys that certainly, when they go out there, they've got to give us maximum innings."

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

Granderson cuts down Grichuk with strike

Granderson cuts down Grichuk with strike

ST. LOUIS -- Never known for his arm strength, Curtis Granderson unleashed one of his strongest throws of the year to nail Randal Grichuk at the plate in the second inning of Wednesday's 8-1 Mets loss to the Cardinals.

With Grichuk on second base and two outs, Greg Garcia sliced a single to right field. Moved from center to right to start that inning after Jay Bruce departed due to injury, Granderson fielded the ball and unleashed a 92.1-mph throw home, according to Statcast™, giving catcher Travis d'Arnaud just enough time to slap a tag on Grichuk.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes to let 'agents worry about' opt-out

Cespedes to let 'agents worry about' opt-out

ST. LOUIS -- Thirteen months into his Mets tenure, Yoenis Cespedes continues to speak about New York as his long-term home. But Cespedes on Wednesday contradicted the notion that he has decided to honor all three years of his current contract, saying only that his hope is to remain with the Mets.

"I've said it before: My intentions, of course, are to be here for three years," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "And if I could spend the rest of my career with the Mets, I would."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Knee surgery to sideline Niese at least 4 weeks

Knee surgery to sideline Niese at least 4 weeks

ST. LOUIS -- Jonathon Niese's second stint with the Mets began with a July 31 trade from the Pirates, continued with a pair of unsuccessful rotation turns, and likely ended Wednesday, when the team announced that he will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.

Though Niese has been dealing with knee pain since June, experiencing a flare-up during his start last week in Arizona, he took the mound regardless Tuesday against the Cardinals. It did not go well; Niese walked two batters, allowed an RBI single to another and only then admitted his discomfort, walking off the field alongside trainer Ray Ramirez.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top of Mets' order cuts Cards' lead

Top of Mets' order cuts Cards' lead

ST. LOUIS -- Though starter Jonathon Niese lasted only 21 pitches before an achy left knee forced him to the clubhouse, the Mets, behind a pair of early home runs and an exhaustive effort from the bullpen, nabbed a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. The win cut into the Cardinals' advantage over New York for the second National League Wild Card spot, too. The Mets' deficit in that race now sits at 3 1/2 games.

"They know they're playing for something," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Each and every night, we've got to grind it out."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ruggiano's HR longest by Met in Statcast era

Ruggiano's HR longest by Met in Statcast era

ST. LOUIS -- It's a trivia question worthy of any bar or break room: Which Met hit the longest home run since Statcast™ began keeping track at the start of the 2015 season?

Few would think of Justin Ruggiano, who stamped his place in franchise history with a projected 461-foot blast in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 7-4 win against the Cardinals. But with that homer, Ruggiano passed Yoenis Cespedes, whose 457-foot homer on Saturday was briefly the Mets' longest. Ruggiano's blast is also tied with Pedro Alvarez for the longest hit at Busch Stadium in the Statcast™ era. Alvarez's homer came in 2015, making Ruggiano's the longest at the ballpark this year.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets hope Matz will return by end of August

Left-hander was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury

Mets hope Matz will return by end of August

ST. LOUIS -- Despite placing pitcher Steven Matz on the disabled list this week, the Mets are optimistic that Matz will miss just one additional start. Matz, who skipped his last outing due to left shoulder soreness, will also be absent for Thursday's game in St. Louis. But he is eligible to return from the DL on Aug. 30, and the Mets tentatively expect him to pitch that day.

That's a realistic best-case scenario for Matz, whom doctors diagnosed with left shoulder tightness during an examination Monday in New York. When Matz first complained of shoulder discomfort over the weekend, the Mets feared he might miss a more significant chunk of time.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese lands on DL; Gsellman to rotation?

After lefty exits start in first inning, righty delivers 3 2/3 scoreless in big league debut

Niese lands on DL; Gsellman to rotation?

ST. LOUIS -- Jonathon Niese's night was as ineffective as it was brief. Robert Gsellman saved him and the Mets in his big league debut. In the process, Gsellman appears to have taken over Niese's job.

Shortly after their 7-4 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday, the Mets placed Niese on the disabled list with an undisclosed left knee injury, recalling reliever Erik Goeddel to take his roster spot. That opens the door for Gsellman, who delivered 3 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Niese, to supplant Niese in the rotation; although the team did not officially announce that last bit on Tuesday night, manager Terry Collins referred to it as the obvious decision.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Photo: Cohen went through a grunge rock phase

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Photo: Cohen went through a grunge rock phase

Perhaps you're familiar with Gary Cohen, Mets play-by-play man and hip lingo enthusiast. But that's not who we're here to discuss. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and allow us to transport you back in time -- a time when there was no Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen. There was simply Gary Cohen, international fashion icon and former YES frontman.

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Walker's wife gives birth to daughter

Mets second baseman will return to club by Friday

Walker's wife gives birth to daughter

ST. LOUIS -- Congratulations were in order Tuesday for Mets second baseman Neil Walker and his wife, who welcomed a baby girl, Nora Vail Walker, into the world at 3:06 a.m. ET.

Walker, who fretted for weeks about making it home to Pittsburgh in time for the birth, was present after flying home on the Mets' off-day Monday. He spent Tuesday on Major League Baseball's paternity leave list, with infielder T.J. Rivera taking his spot in the starting lineup. Walker plans to be absent Wednesday, as well.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets unlikely to trade for relief help

Mets unlikely to trade for relief help

ST. LOUIS -- If the Mets' scuffling bullpen is to improve down the stretch, the club will need it to improve from within. The team is no longer seriously pursuing bullpen arms from outside the organization, according to a person with knowledge of the club's thinking.

While the Mets have spent months scouring the market for right-handed relief pitchers, they wound up focusing their non-waiver Trade Deadline efforts on outfielder Jay Bruce and lefty pitcher Jonathon Niese, instead. Shortly after that Deadline passed, the Mets spoke publicly about their interest in a right-handed reliever, spending the next few weeks looking into that market.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rosario, Smith among top prospect performers Tuesday

Top Mets prospects continue to show off talent at Double-A

Rosario, Smith among top prospect performers Tuesday

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith proved worthy of their elite prospect rankings as the duo led Double-A Binghamton to a 9-1 victory over Hartford on Tuesday night.

The duo, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the Mets' system, combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBIs in just the latest of several good offensive games for both players.

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

Yo's homer all sparkling Thor needs vs. Giants

Yo's homer all sparkling Thor needs vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes smashed a two-run home run to left field in the seventh and Noah Syndergaard pitched eight shutdown innings as the Mets earned a series split and beat the Giants, 2-0, at AT&T Park.

Cespedes's blast to left field was just the second hit Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija allowed Sunday night, but it proved to be the difference. The hit came after Curtis Granderson ended Samardzija's no-hit bid with a double to left field and punctuated the six-year veteran's return to the Mets lineup. Cespedes has hit three home runs in his first three games since returning from the disabled list.

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Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Mets on Sunday.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Nimmo on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Nimmo on MLB Pipeline's 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.

The Yankees have gotten both younger and better in the past month. They traded their best hitter (Carlos Beltran) and two best relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller), then installed three rookies in their lineup and two more in their rotation. After playing .500 ball through July, New York is in the midst of its best month (11-8) of the season and has climbed within four games of a Wild Card berth.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.