Tonight’s Game: Giants at Mets

The Mets and Giants begin their four-game series at Citi Field on Friday night.

Mets Pre Game starts at 6 p.m. on SNY. First pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 7:10 p.m.

Jon Niese (5-6, 3.23) starts for the Mets, while Ryan Vogelson (5-8, 3.94) pitches for San Francisco.

Mets Giants
1. Curtis Granderson – RF 1. Hunter Pence – RF
2. Daniel Murphy – 2B 2. Matt Duffy – 2B
3. David Wright – 3B 3. Buster Posey – C
4. Lucas Duda – 1B 4. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
5. Chris Young – LF 5. Mike Morse – 1B
6. Travis d’Arnaud – C 6. Juan C. Perez – LF
7. Juan Lagares – CF 7. Gregor Blanco – CF
8. Ruben Tejada – SS 8. Brandon Crawford – SS
9. Jon Niese – LHP 9. Ryan Vogelsong – RHP


Matt Harvey 3

Matt Harvey throwing off mound

Matt Harvey was throwing off a mound on Friday, the first time since having Tommy John surgery.

Harvey, 25, had Tommy John surgery last October.  He told reporters in May that he hoped to pitch off a mound in June, but the Mets didn’t allow it.

“I know if I get on a mound and something happens, it will be awful, just terrible to go through this again,” Harvey said in early July (Daily News, July 13). “But I also know that (general manager Sandy Alderson) will take the bulk of the criticism for it if something happens to me. I get why they want me to wait, but it doesn’t make it easier.”

Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said Harvey is not likely to pitch in the big leagues this season. However, it’s possible he will pitch briefly in the fall instructional league, which spans late September and early October in Florida (ESPN, July 30).

Mostly Mets, pres. by Caesars AC: Trade Deadline Post Game

Toby Hyde and Robert Brender are joined by Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio for a complete wrap on the trade deadline, from the inactive Mets, to the action around the league.

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS

For the show rundown, click here...

  • The Trade Deadline Post Game Roundtable with Casey Stern
    • Mets inactive
    • Colon, Murphy
    • Mets and Colorado overblown
    • August moves ahead?
    • Offseason critical
    • Price and Lester
  • More Deadline Download (20:40)
  • One Good Thing, One Bad Thing (26:20)
    • Good: Great Deadline Day, Mets scoring runs against Philly
    • Bad: People down on Mets chances, Toby down on a random Wheeler at bat

Wild, wild…card? The Mets current postseason outlook

Sarah Langs, Intern & Special Contributor

The Mets are 52-56, four games below .500 and five and a half games out of the second Wild Card spot. This weekend they play the Giants, who are leading the race, in a wraparound series starting tonight at Citi Field.

Can the Mets make the playoffs in 2014?

According to Baseball Prospectus, factoring in their record, production, remaining schedule and other data, the Mets have just a 3.9 percent chance of making the post season:

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It’s worth noting these odds fluctuate, though the Mets postseason probability hasn’t been above 15 percent at any point this season.

Their track record and remaining schedule…

The Mets need to go 36-18 to reach 88 wins, which is the number typically needed to win the second wild card spot.

The Mets have games remaining against four of the five teams ahead of them in the Wild Card standings, including the Giants, as well as two separate series with the Marlins and Braves. They do not have any more games left against the Pirates or Cardinals.

Overall, the Mets have 30 home games left and 24 road games. They’ve gone 27-24 at Citi Field this year, compared with 25-32 on the road. The remaining games are also predominantly against teams in the NL East, who they are 23-21 against this season.

MLB: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers

In addition to the facing the Giants, A’s, Dodgers, Nationals and Braves, all of whom have winning records, the Mets will play six teams with losing or .500 records, including the Reds, Cubs, Rockies, Astros, Phillies and Marlins.

If the season ended today, every NL playoff team would have a winning record in one-run games except the Nationals and Giants. The Mets lead the league in one-run games, during which they are just 16-21.

The Mets have a positive run differential of +14 entering Friday, and are the only team in the NL with a positive run differential to be below .500. In this category, they surpass the Marlins, who are two games closer to .500 than the Mets are, but have a -20 run differential.

If the Mets keep playing the way they’ve been playing, given their six remaining games against the Marlins, it stands to reason they could finish third in the division, ahead of Miami and Philadelphia, but behind the Braves and Nationals.

What does this mean for their wild card chances?

The numbers don’t seem to point towards a postseason berth this year. However, while the Mets are 15-10 in July, the Giants come to town having won four of their last 10 games. In other words, if the Mets are successful this weekend, it could begin to change the Wild Card conversation and some of the numbers, too.

Opinion: I like what I’m seeing from Zack Wheeler, even during his ‘bad starts’

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: In his last six starts, dating back to June 30, Zack Wheeler is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA, including 34 strikeouts in 38 innings. In his most recent start, this past Wednesday, he threw 112 pitches, let nine men reach base, surrendered a home run, but limited the Phillies to just two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work.

He didn’t have his best day “pitching,” he had no feel for his sinker, he hardly used his change-up, no one was fooled by his curve ball, and he tossed way too pitches. But, he ‘battled,’ as they say. It was a struggle. However, it was an encouraging day, because his results were essentially the same as they were on days when he’s locked in and dominating. This is a good sign.

My big concern about him earlier in the year was that, in games like Wednesday, he had been making no adjustments and often got hammered. However, against the Phillies, he kept trying different things, all while trusting his position players, he got support from the offense and essentially did what he had to do.

Getting to know rookie Vic Black, a man of the people

Sarah Langs, Intern & Special Contributor

The subway system is the fastest way to get around town in New York, people often say. Of course, it’s a little different swiping your Metrocard and getting on a crowded train if you’re a professional athlete, somebody who’s paid to be in the public eye. But nonetheless, every year it seems there are Mets players who choose to ride the 7 line to the Willets Point stop, rather than drive.

Vic Black is this year’s mass transit commuter…

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

The righty reliever, who’s still a rookie, arrived via trade on August 29 last year from the Pirates, in the deal that sent John Buck and Marlon Byrd to Pittsburgh. This year, he was called up on May 27 from Triple-A Las Vegas and has a 1.88 ERA in 28 appearances.

Those major league appearances have all had one thing in common: so long as they’ve been home games, Black’s method of transport has been the 7 line. A man of the people, he rides to and from home games surrounded by other New Yorkers. His reasons for taking the train extend beyond the simple logic of having been a late-May call-up this year.

“I think it’s just part of the New York experience,” he told me at Citi Field. “I just feel like if I’m going to play in New York, to be a part of the city, what you’re supposed to do in New York is public transportation.”

Of course, taking the subway after a baseball game is a little different than a midday commute…

To read more of this story, click here

Rockies had been scouting Noah Syndergaard

The Rockies recently sent a sizable contingent to watch Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard (NY Post, July 31).

There had been seen several reports in July indicating Colorado’s willingness to trade SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez, which was followed by speculation the Mets and other teams were interested.

However, while the Mets and Rockies had low-level talks earlier in the month (Cerrone, July 29), they did not talk much in the days before this Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, meaning and any deal for Tulowitzki or Gonzalez will likely need to wait for this offseason, reporter Jon Heyman said early in the week (CBS Sports, July 30).

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are looking to acquire the best young, power pitching possible and feel they match up best with the Mets and Cardinals (Cerrone, July 29). However, Colorado would prefer to not pay any of either Tulowitzki’s ($129 million) or Gonzalez’s ($53 million) remaining contract in a trade, making Gonzalez the more reasonable target, Heyman later said on radio (WFAN, July 29).

Following Thursday’s deadline, Sandy Alderson would not comment on specific players that he discussed. However, he did acknowledge talking with teams about ‘significant players,’ though nothing came to fruition.

“In order to potentially improve the club in some significant way as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to been prepared to deal some of our young pitching and at this particular stage we’re not prepared to do that,” he said. “If we’re going to trade some of our young prospects, we’re probably better off doing that in the offseason.”

MLB’s attention will now turn to Rusney Castillo

The non-waiver trading period ended Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, meaning MLB will turn now turn its attention to 26-year-old, free-agent, Cuban OF Rusney Castillo, says columnist Peter Gammons (Gammons Daily, July 30)…


Castillo became a free agent in June and quickly joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

The Mets were among several teams to attend Castillo’s workout in Miami last Saturday.

“He was really good,” a GM told Gammons. “He showed everything – power, speed, defensive ability. He hasn’t been a big performer in Cuba, but he looks like he could be really interesting. My guess is a 20-HR, 30-steal center fielder, who might be able to play second base. He’s a free swinger, but that can improve.”

He is 5’9″, 185 pounds, a right-handed hitter with a line-drive stroke and plus-plus speed, according to Ben Badler (Baseball America, July 20).

“Scouts also like his athleticism,” reporter Jesse Sanchez recently wrote (, July 19). “He’ll have to start the season in the Minor Leagues, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job in Spring Training.”

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Castillo has a similar energy level to Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig, one team representative told Gammons, adding: “He has a lot of fun. This could be an interesting bidding war.”

According to Gammons, the Phillies already held a private workout for Castillo, who is expected to hold similar meetings with the Yankees, Astros, Red Sox and other interested teams.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The early buzz in baseball indicates Castillo’s bidding could get up to as high as $50 million, which is already chasing some teams away, such as the Twins (Sanchez, July 29). However, Castillo’s decision could ultimately come down to who gives him the most years on the deal. For instance, while Puig got a seven-year commitment, and Jose Abreu got six, Yoenis Cespedes only signed a four-year deal.

People in baseball had been saying Castillo can perform between a Brett Garnder and Endy Chavez level of production, maybe Jacoby Ellsbury, but not Abreu or Cespedes. They said he’s going to hit more doubles, steal more bases, hit fewer home runs and that prediction hasn’t changed much since his public showcase. He’s a little guy, they say, with a long, level swing.

I’m not sure how this type of player fits in with the Mets, who seem to want to acquire power more than speed. But, in this era of so few impact hitters, I think you should take advantage of whatever you chance get, regardless of how it happens, especially if he’s capable of playing shortstop, as some reports indicate he is willing to do.