Mar 11

Niese Has Rough Outing; Says He’s Fine Physically

The Cardinals hit Jonathon Niese hard today, but not as hard as the Mets’ left-hander hit himself.

The Cardinals rapped Niese for four runs on six hits and two walks in two innings in his exhibition debut, won by the Mets, 9-8, on Zach Lutz’s tie-breaking homer in the ninth.

Niese wasn’t happy with is fastball, which topped out at 89 mph., or his cutter, but took solace in not feeling discomfort his shoulder, which revealed substantial weakness in a Feb. 26 MRI.

“I’m at 50 pitches, so I’m halfway to 100,’’ Niese told reporters. “I would have liked to have done it in more than two innings. I guess it is what it is. I don’t feel like my pitches are as crisp.

“I think some of that might have to do with mechanics. But as far as my arm, it feels better and better each time. That’s a good sign.’’

As for his velocity, the Mets’ projected Opening Day starter said it should increase as he gets stronger in his final three exhibition starts.

Manager Terry Collins said if Niese is not being ready for Opening Day, March 31, against Washington at Citi Field, he would choose between Dillon Gee or Bartolo Colon.

Offensively, in addition to Lutz, Josh Satin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered for the Mets. Also, Wilmer Flores, who botched a potential double-play grounder in the first, reached base three times and scored twice.

ON DECK: Mets Wrap.

 

Mar 11

Today’s Mets’ Lineup Against Cardinals

Jonathon Niese makes his first start of the spring after dealing with a dead arm and Wilmer Flores will get the start at shortstop.

Here’s the lineup:

Eric Young Jr., lf
Juan Lagares, cf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rf
Josh Satin, 3b
Matt Clark, 1b
Travis d’Arnaud, c
Andrew Brown, dh
Wilmer Flores, ss
Omar Quintanilla, 2b

Jonathon Niese, lhp

ON DECK: What to make of Mets’ spring training so far.

Mar 07

Mets Wrap: Tie Cardinals; Wright And Murphy Play

The New York Mets and St. Louis played to a 5-5 tie today in Port St. Lucie. Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell singled in runs in the ninth inning to tie the game.

Fifth-starter candidate Daisuke Matsuzaka, in his second appearance of the spring, gave up two runs on six hits in two innings. Another fifth-starter John Lannan candidate, gave up two runs on three hits in two innings.

Rookie Rafael Montero also worked two innings and gave up on run.

In addition:

* David Wright and Daniel Murphy played in their first exhibition games of the spring. Murphy went 1-for-2 while Wright was hitless in three at-bats.

* Anthony Recker and Andrew Brown homered for the Mets.

* Manager Terry Collins said Flores would get a start at shortstop early next week.

* Bartolo Colon and Bobby Parnell pitched in an intrasquad game Thursday and are scheduled to pitch Monday against Miami in Port St. Lucie.

Mar 06

Mets Today: Lannan Starts; Colon, Niese, Parnell Work Intrasquad Game

The New York Mets will send fifth-starter candidate John Lannan to the mound today against Houston at Kissimmee, Fla. The left-hander is coming off a scoreless, two-inning performance in his first start.

Rafael Montero and Steven Matz are also scheduled to pitch.

Also, at Kissimmee, Logan Verrett, Vic Black, Jack Leathersich and Erik Goeddel are scheduled to pitch in a “B’’ game.

In addition, at Port St. Lucie, Bartolo Colon, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell will work in a structured intrasquad game, throwing mostly to David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and possibly Ruben Tejada.

Also:

* Lucas Duda will be held out because of a strained hamstring.

* One of the position battles to watch out for is between Wilmer Flores and Anthony Seratelli for a back-up infielder role. Scratching my head as to why, despite two games being played, Flores didn’t see any time at shortstop.

Mar 05

Mets Wrap: Lose Both Ends Of Split Squad Game; Mejia Said He’s Fine

The best news of an otherwise dismal day for the New York Mets is that Jenrry Mejia said he is pain free.

Mejia gave up one run in two innings in a game where the Mets were routed, 11-5, by the Washington Nationals at Viera, Fla.  The Mets also lost their Port St. Lucie game, 5-2 in 10 innings, to the Miami Marlins.

Mejia, in competition for the fifth-starter job, but with the possibility of working out of the bullpen, gave up an unearned run on one hit, two walks and three strikeouts in two innings.

Not in the box score was how his surgically-repaired elbow felt.

“That’s the most important thing – I feel better, I feel good right now,’’ Mejia told ESPN.com. “Everything is fine.’’

In addition:

* Things weren’t fine for reliever Cory Mazzoni, who was rocked for seven runs in one inning by the Nationals. Things might have been better for him had Wilmer Flores not missed a tag at second base on a throw from the outfield. The play might have opened the door, but Mazzoni still must find a way to get the outs needed.

* Also having a rough time was reliever Gonzalez Germen, who gave up three runs over 32 pitches in the loss to Miami.

* I don’t know why, but it appears the experiment with Flores at shortstop is over. Terry Collins wanted to get a look at him at shortstop, but with Ruben Tejada ailing and two games to choose from, Flores played second base. Makes no sense to me, unless the experiment is over, which is a bad call this early.

* Neither Tejada nor Ike Davis is expected to play tomorrow. Friday at the earliest.