Colon sharp but Mets fall to Nationals 5-4

Bartolo Colon threw two perfect innings, but the Mets lost to the Nationals, 5-4, in Viera on Thursday night.


In his first Spring Training at-bat, John Mayberry, Jr. hit a solo home run off Max Scherzer to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Eric Campbell‘s line drive two-run shot off Tanner Roark increased the Mets’ lead to 3-0 in the third before Anthony Recker‘s RBI single made it 4-0.

Hansel Robles allowed two runs in the bottom of the third and Gabriel Ynoa gave up a run in the fourth as the Nationals drew within 4-3.

Kila Ka’aihue hit a two-run homer off Cory Mazzoni to give the Nationals a 5-4 lead in the seventh.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 1-for-3 with a run scored while Ruben Tejada went 0-for-3.


The Mets play their first home game of Spring Training at Tradition Field on Friday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Matt Harvey, making appearing in his first game since Tommy John surgery, will get the start for the Mets, followed by Noah Syndergaard, Jenrry Mejia, and Jeurys Familia. David Wright and Michael Cuddyer are expected to make their Grapefruit League debuts.

harvey bullpen

Harvey says other pitchers are more deserving for Opening Day start

Matt Harvey said that the other starting pitchers are more deserving than he is for the Opening Day start on April 6 (Ehalt, Mar. 5).

“I missed all of last year,” Harvey said. There are guys who have accomplished more and more deserving of starting the next year. If I had pitched last year and pitched like I did in 2013, we would be speaking of something differently.”

Harvey is the only starting pitcher not being considered for the Opening Day start (Daily News, Mar. 2), but he’s OK with that.

“Ultimately it’s their decision and whatever they decide is best and puts the most chance of having a winning squad out there or health or whatever it is, then that’s most important for the team,” Harvey said.

While Harvey is not being considered for Opening Day, he’s expected to pitch in the opening series.

12141574294_4914ce8c58

Bryce Harper expects a Championship ring, and Zack Wheeler has a problem with that

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler and his teammates can’t wait to get in the way of Bryce Harper’s plans to win a World Series, Wheeler said Wednesday (Daily News, Mar. 5).

In the wake of seeing his team sign Max Scherzer, Harper said, “Where’s my ring,” implying that a World Championship was inevitable, he admitted to reporters last week (CBS Sports, Feb. 25).

“I guarantee you we all saw what Bryce Harper said,’” Wheeler explained with a smile. “We’re going to make it hard for him to get that ring, I’ll guarantee you that.”

Later on Thursday, Mets manager Terry Collins said that while the Nationals’ starting rotation was bolstered with the signing of Scherzer, the Mets are “not afraid” (NJ.com, Mar. 5).

“They got a good staff,” Collins said. “Plus you add a guy who throws 225 innings and won a Cy Young and won a lot of games in the last couple of years, that’s a huge upgrade. But I like our pitching a lot. We’re not afraid to go head to head with them.”


The Mets were 34-23 against the Marlins, Braves and Phillies in 2014, but 4-15 against the Nationals. This season, the Mets play 20 of their first 23 games are against their four division rivals.

“It’s extremely important to establish a fighting posture against these newly constructed teams, and I think the first impression is critical, as is the last impression,” Sandy Alderson told fans at Citi Field in January. “We started off well last year but things tailed off. The beginning of the season is important.”


cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: First of all, I like your style, Zack… Keep it up.

As for Harper, yes, his Nationals have an impressive team – there is no doubt about it. But, every pitcher in their rotation is coming off a career year and the odds that they’ll repeat those performances (or be better) is near impossible. Also, someone will get injured. It always happens. There are always bumps in the road. It’s baseball, and the same can be said for the Mets, as well as the other 28 teams.

It’s weird, because, while the Mets have a terrific pitching staff and a functional offense, and as much confidence as the team is projecting, despite playing 143 games against everyone else, 2015 could simply come down to how well the Mets handle the Nationals. It’s a tough balance. The Phillies were clearly in the Mets’ heads during 2007, 2008, etc., and it started to impact their play. Thankfully, Zack’s comments suggest this has yet to happen to these Mets…

Today’s Game: Mets at Nationals

The Mets travel to Space Coast Stadium in Jupiter to take on the Washington Nationals.

Bartolo Colon will start for the Mets, while Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Nationals.

Tonight’s game is not on local TV, but can be heard live on WOR 710 AM.

Starting Lineups

Mets Nationals
1. Matt den Dekker – CF 1. Denard Span – CF
2. Ruben Tejada – SS 2. Anthony Rendon – 3B
3. Eric Campbell – 1B 3. Bryce Harper – RF
4. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – DH 4. Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
5. John Mayberry, Jr. – LF 5. Wilson Ramos – C
6. Anthony Recker – C 6. Ian Desmond – SS
7. Alex Castellanos – 3B 7. Yunel Escobar – 2B
8. Cesar Puello – RF 8. Tyler Moore – LF
9. Wilfredo Tovar – 2B 9. Kevin Frandsen – DH

 

Photos from PSL: Gee’s bat trick

cerrone avatarAndrew Vazzano, SNY.tv:


While waiting to work on bunting with a handful of other pitchers, Dillon Gee worked on his bat trick skills.

Gee tried to bounce the bat off the ground, kick it on the rebound and have it pop back into his hand.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Pitching prospect Matt Bowman joined in and attempted the same trick.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Neither pitcher successfully pulled it off.

Photos from PSL: Pace of play clocks installed

cerrone avatarAndrew Vazzano, SNY.tv:


The pace of play clocks have been installed at Tradition Field.

On Friday, for the Mets first home spring training game, the clocks will be in effect between innings. “Immediately following the third out of each half-inning, the timer will count down from 2:25 for locally televised games and from 2:45 for nationally televised games,” Major League Baseball said when they announced the changes (Feb. 20).

There is one clock just beyond the center field wall, next to the batter’s eye. The other clock is high above home plate, just under the press box.



The Mets first faced the pace of play clock on Wednesday, in their first game of the spring, against the Braves. Dillon Gee started for the team, and was very aware of the clock.

“It was weird,” Gee said, according to the Daily News (March 5). “Another thing to pay attention to.”


For more on the pace of play changes >> Read more on MLB.com

gee

Dillon Gee just wants to pitch, ideally as a starter with the Mets

Dillon Gee is preparing as if he’s a starting pitcher. However, unless there is an injury to Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese or Bartolo Colon, Gee is likely to end up in the bullpen or be traded before the start of the season, according to multiple reports.

March 5, 2015, 12:30 pm

“I just want to pitch,” Gee told reporters after his Grapefruit League start on Wednesday. “I like it here and I think they are going to have a great year and to be a part of it would be cool, because I want to be part of a winning team here. At the same time, I want to be a starter, too, and if that happens elsewhere I will be happy there, too.”

Terry Collins already is tired of writing Gee’s obituary in a Mets uniform. “He is a victim of the situation,” Collins said. “We all say he’s not going to start, but we don’t know what is going to happen. This guy, you could look up and he’s got 14 wins and you are thankful you didn’t trade him.”

Mets have not had recent trade talks about a starting pitcher

March 3, 2015, 3:54 pm

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he’s had almost no recent dialogue with teams looking to acquire a starting pitcher >> Read more

Rangers interested in trading for Gee, Profar involved again

March 2, 2015, 10:34 pm

The Rangers are reportedly interested in trading for Gee, who could get moved before the end of Spring Training, people in baseball told reporter Chris Cotillo (MLB Daily Dish, March 2). According to Cotillo, one possible scenario involves the Mets trading Gee and other players to the Rangers for SS Jurickson Profar, who recently underwent surgery on his right shoulder >> Read more

Listen to SNY’s Mets Podcast…

In this week’s Mostly Mets Podcast, Toby Hyde talks with Robert Brender about the top 10 moments from Rob’s trip to Mets camp in Port St. Lucie….

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS

Wilmer Flores back taking ground balls after injuring finger

Wilmer Flores is back on field taking ground balls, a day after leaving a Grapefruit League game with an injured finger (Vazzano, Mar. 5).

IMG_5056

IMG_5040

Terry Collins said after Wednesday’s game that Flores was ‘fine,’ the pitch only hit his finger on the glove hand and he will likely be back in the lineup Thursday evening against the Nationals (Twitter, Mar. 4).

Flores had a single, struck out, and had a fielding error charged to him before being replaced by Terry Collins with Triple-A SS Matt Reynolds.


Flores, 23, is projected to be the team’s Opening Day shortstop. However, Collins has repeatedly said that Flores, Ruben Tejada and Reynolds will get equal time early in camp to earn the job.