Game Recap: Braves 6, Mets 0

The Mets (8-8) got just one hit and lost to the Braves (11-5), 6-0, at Citi Field tonight >> Read the full AP recap and boxscore at SNY.TV.

Need to Know: Harang threw no-hit ball for seven innings, but was pulled after 121 pitches. Reliever Luis Avilan quickly gave up a single to David Wright for New York’s only hit of the night.

Jon Niese let up one run and four hits, while striking out seven, in six innings. The Mets trailed 1-0 when he left the game.

However, Gonzalez Germen and Scott Rice combined to give up four runs in the eighth inning, thanks in part to two-run home run by Freddie Freeman and a poor throw by Travis d’Arnaud, who let a ball sail in to left field that scored Dan Uggla.

The Mets had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Post-Game Reaction from Matthew Cerrone: “Freddie Freeman really is becoming the new Chipper Jones. He’s been killing the Mets. … Harang looked incredible. It’s worth noting he was pretty good for the Mets his last few starts last season. He’s been a steady pitcher his entire career, and that doesn’t seem to be changing, at least not tonight. … The silver lining tonight is Niese, who looks totally fine. He had a bizarre spring full of MRIs and trips to New York and a start on the DL, but he’s looked very strong in three starts this season. He had a nice pace tonight, he threw strikes and appears to be healthy. … The bad news is whatever keeps this team from playing well at home. It’s a mystery, but it’s got to be something. I used to think it was bad luck, but I just don’t know any more.”

What’s Next: The Mets continue their three-game series with the Braves at 7:10 pm ET at Citi Field when Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.64 ERA) takes on Bartolo Colon (1-2, 6.00 ERA).

Ike Davis Grand Slam 2

Mets trade Ike Davis to Pirates

The Mets have traded Ike Davis to the Pirates for minor-league RHP Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.

Thornton will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The player to be named later is “pretty significant,” according to Jon Heyman (CBS Sports, Apr. 18).

The Mets will save around $3.14 million by trading Davis (Rubin, April 18).

8:33 pm: Here is audio of Sandy Alderson talking about the trade, courtesy of reporter Rich Coutinho:

8:08 pm: “I really had a blast in New York,” Davis told reporters at Citi Field. “I made my dreams come true, childhood dreams come true, playing in the big leagues here. But it’s just a stepping-stone. It happens to a lot of people.”

Here is audio of Davis talking to reporters at Citi Field, courtesy of reporter Rich Coutinho:

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

8:04 pm: I’m not judging this deal until it’s complete.  The buzz from Citi Field is that the player coming from the Pirates is likely a player they drafted with a top pick last June. So, they’ll need to wait a full year after the draft (June 2014) to send him to the Mets. I’m holding out hope it’s OF Austin Meadows, who everyone says has a great, balanced, advanced approach at the plate for a 19-year-old. I’m not holding my breath, though.

Thornton is said to be a nice pitcher, nothing special, not really a ‘prospect.’ He was exposed in the Rule 5 Draft last December and no team took him, so that should give an indication of his potential. To make this deal worthwhile, I expect the Mets to either use the money saved to help improve shortstop or the player being acquired later must be of real value… or both.

That said, I wish Ike the best of luck. I’ve heard too may people connected to the Mets say Davis needed a change of scenery, which is why most people assumed he would get traded before the start of the year. It didn’t happen. He lacked confidence, insiders said. Well, if that’s the case, if it all got to him, if it threw him off his game, in this market, with us on his case, media in his ear, he wasn’t going to get it back. So, I hope he finds success again, because no one ever hit 30 home runs by accident.

Lastly, good luck, Lucas Duda. It’s your gig now. There’s no looking back. Duda (against right-handed pitchers) and Josh Satin (against left-handed pitching) should combine for a slightly better-than-average first baseman. It’s time to see what they can do, full time, every day, without Ike in the mix… Good luck, gentlemen.

Thornton, a right handed reliever, is 25 years old. He was pitching in Triple-A for the Pirates and has posted a 1.23 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in 7 1/3 innings this season. The 6-3, 220-pounder has issued one walk and struck out eight.

Last season, Thornton pitched at three levels in the Pirates system, posting a 2.63 ERA over 75 1/3 innings. He had 90 strikeouts and walked just 12.

Thornton was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Oregon. He was traded to the Pirates in exchange for righthanded pitcher Chris Resop on November 30, 2012.

Davis was hitting .208 (5-for-24) with a double, home run, five RBI and four runs scored in 12 games this year.

Tonight’s Game: Braves at Mets, 7 p.m. on SNY

The Braves come to Citi Field for the start of a three-game series against the Mets at 7 p.m.

The game will air on SNY and you can follow online with SNY GameDay.

Jon Niese will start for the Mets, while Aaron Harang pitched for Atlanta.

Mets Braves
1. Eric Young Jr. – LF 1. Andrelton Simmons – SS
2. Daniel Murphy – 2B 2. B.J. Upton – CF
3. David Wright – 3B 3. Freddie Freeman – 1B
4. Curtis Granderson – RF 4. Justin Upton – LF
5. Chris Young – CF 5. Evan Gattis – C
6. Lucas Duda – 1B 6. Dan Uggla – 2B
7. Travis d’Arnaud – C 7. Chris Johnson – 3B
8. Ruben Tejada – SS 8. Ryan Doumit – RF
9. Jon Niese – LHP 9. Aaron Harang – RHP

Eric Young Jr measures his lead

Sound Smart: 5 things to know before tonight’s Mets-Braves game

1) The Mets are 3-2 in series this year, including 1-1 at home.

2) Eric Young Jr. has scored at least one run in seven of his last eight games, during which the Mets are 5-3. He had all nine of his stolen bases on the last road trip.

3) Jason Heyward is batting .375 with two doubles, two HR and eight RBI in 24 at bats against Mets starter Jon Niese. However, Daniel Murphy is 6-for-14 and David Wright is 11-for-24 against Braves starter Aaron Harang.

4) The Mets lead the National League with a .991 fielding percentage.

5) The Mets have scored first 10 times this season. However, they are 4-6 when when they score the first run of the game. They are 4-1 when the opposition scores first.

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Steven Matz is pitching well enough to justify a promotion

In a Q&A with MetsBlog’s Robert Brender, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen recently compared Mets Single-A LHP prospect Steven Matz to Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw >> Listen to the Q&A here.

“I hate to make those comparisons, but I just did. It’s so easy, so explosive coming out of his hand. He’s exciting to me,” Warthen said.

In two starts with Single-A St. Lucie this season, Matz is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA, during which he has struck out 11 batters in 11 innings.

Toby Hyde, Contributor

Matz is well on his way to pitching for Double-A Binghamton for most of this summer. His promotion might even come in the month of May if the B-Mets have a rotation opening. Generally, top pitching prospects under Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta have made at least eight starts in advanced Single-A before moving on. … So, if there’s a need in Double-A, Matz could move soon >> Read more of this profile of Matz at Mets Minor League Blog.


Wally Backman challenged Noah Syndergaard to be more aggressive

Team officials were disappointed in Noah Syndergaard‘s approach on the mound during his first two starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, writes reporter Mike Puma (NY Post, Apr. 18).

“Backman told him to be more aggressive and asked him who he wants to become,” a person with knowledge of the conversation told Puma. “Does he want to become a middle-of-the-road starter or top-of-the-line starter?”

Syndergaard pitched five innings and allowed two runs on five hits Monday, improving to 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts in Triple-A this season.

This past off season, Syndergaard was named the league’s third-best right-handed pitching prospect on’s Top 100 Prospect List.

He is expected to stay with Triple-A Las Vegas until June.

Links to Read: In case you missed it…

Mark Berman took time to chronicle Mets uniforms by using Topps baseball cards from every decade >> See more at Blogging Mets

Jose Valverde can still help the Mets, even if he’s struggling, according to Mark Koehler >> Read more at Mets 360.

Matthew Callan looks back to this week during the 1999 season, when the Mets dealt with frigid temps and Sammy The Bear Beanie Baby Day >> Read more at Amazin Avenue.

tom seaver jimmy qualls

Tom Seaver talks with WFAN about statue in his honor

Tom Seaver says the Mets have never approached him about naming or erecting a statue or monument in his honor at Citi Field, he told WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show on Friday.

The show’s co-host, Boomer Esiason, has been calling for the Mets to commission a Seaver statue, similar to the Stan Musial statue in St. Louis and the Willie Mays statue in San Francisco.

“I understand that I’m part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Personally, I’m not in favor of building statues of athletes, because you just never know where that person’s personal legacy will end up. It’s nothing against the specific player. It’s just that I’m a fan of the team first, players second. Seaver was awesome, no question. He was amazing. He’s a legend. But, he was a member of the Mets. He isn’t bigger than the team, despite what he did for them on and off field. His number is retired, not his name, alongside with other members of the organization. He is all over the ballpark’s museum, alongside other members of the organization. And, most important, his name is in the history books and the memories of fans that will talk about his legacy forever. That said, I totally understand why some fans, like Esiason, want the statue. I’m not against it. I’m proud of Seaver. I’m just not in to putting people on pedestals, because you never know if they might fall down…

Chris Young

What’s on Tap: Niese faces Braves at 7:10 p.m.

The Mets begin a 10-game homestand against the Braves at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET

Jon Niese gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Aaron Harang for the Braves.

The Mets will activate Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list before the game. Andrew Brown or Kirk Nieuwenhuis are expected to be demoted to make room on the roster for Young.

Curtis Granderson, who was injured running into the outfield wall on Monday in Arizona, is expected to return to the starting lineup.

The game will air on SNY and can be heard on WOR 710 AM radio.

Later in the day, Rafael Montero will make his fourth start of the season for Triple-A Las Vegas.


Mets attended Joel Hanrahan’s showcase

11:44 pm: Teams are already discussing potential deals with free-agent pitcher Joel Hanrahan (Cafardo, April 17).

8:45 pm: The Mets were among the 18-20 teams who watched Hanrahan throw during a showcase on Thursday (Heyman, April 17), during which his velocity was between 87-93 mph.

April 15: The Mets will watch free-agent relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan throw a showcase this week for teams with interest in signing him (Puma, Apr. 11) Ackert, Apr. 15).

The Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Athletics, Red Sox and Rays, among others, are also likely to attend (Crasnick, Apr. 11).

The Mets were intrigued by Hanrahan after watching him throw a bullpen session during the offseason (Daily News, April 7).

Hanrahan, 32, underwent Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery last May. He entered last season with 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings during the previous five years. He had been hitting 90-92 mph during his rehab toward the end of last summer (Rosenthal (FoxSports) Mar. 14).

Ryan Madson, Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel are also available on the free-agent market.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets are not the only team in need of an extra arm or two in the bullpen, so competition will be stiff, despite Hanrahan being at least a month or so away from pitching in the big leagues. The same can be said for Madson. I have no idea what’s going on with Gregg and Dotel. But, in either case, these guys are not going to help tomorrow. Similarly, it’s going to be at least a few weeks before we know from Triple-A what some of the young starting pitchers can do from the bullpen. So, adding Vic Black and Josh Edgin may end up being the best option, if for no other reason than they’re on the 40-man roster and it will let Sandy Alderson mix up the dynamic and roles without risking start dates or forcing roster moves.