Morning Briefing: Zack Greinke's a daddy, so Mets get reprieve


FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets desperately need offensive help, but manager Terry Collins said it would be improper on his part to send out an SOS to the front office.

"I stay away from that stuff," Collins said Thursday. "It's too easy for me to point fingers, for anybody to point fingers and say, 'Hey, you need a guy here.' So I don't do that.”

The Mets get a reprieve on Friday.

Zack Greinke, who had been scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers, instead flew to Los Angeles as his wife Emily gives birth to the couple’s first child. Left-hander Ian Thomas (0-1, 5.23 ERA), who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in May in the trade for Juan Uribe, makes his first major league start in Greinke’s place. Greinke is expected to rejoin the Dodgers and pitch later in the series.

Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.36) starts for the Mets in the 7:10 p.m. ET game Friday.


  • Clayton Kershaw retired the first 18 batters and tossed a three-hit shutout as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 3-0, in Thursday’s series opener. Curtis Granderson finally delivered the Mets’ first hit on a leadoff single in the seventh. "I definitely thought we were going to see a perfect game tonight,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said. Bartolo Colon allowed only a solo homer to Jimmy Rollins in eight strong innings. The Dodgers tacked on two runs in the ninth after Carlos Torres inherited the bases loaded from Sean Gilmartin. The Mets started John Mayberry Jr. in the cleanup spot and Eric Campbell directly behind him. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked only the second time since 1920 that a major league team started Nos. 4 and 5 hitters batting less than .180 (minimum 100 ABs apiece). “He, right now, is pitching great,” Collins said about Kershaw. “And the way we’re swinging the bats, we were overmatched.” Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • David Wright is slated to begin serious baseball activity in New York early next week. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Record and at MLB.com.

  • The Mets again punted on placing Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list after Thursday’s game. Cuddyer was prescribed a new medication at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Medication Cuddyer had tried on Monday made him lightheaded and did not alleviate his left-knee woes. Meanwhile, in Trenton, prospect Michael Conforto went 0-for-5 with a strikeout for Double-A Binghamton. Read more in the Post and at MLB.com.

  • General manager Sandy Alderson said he really, truly can add payroll, even if no one believes him. Alderson also said Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are off-limits in trades. On Conforto, the GM noted it often is not smooth sailing for prospects when they first get summoned to the majors. Read more in Newsday.

  • The Mets are interested in lefty-hitting outfielders Will Venable and Gerardo Parra, Fox’s Jon Morosi tweets.

  • Travis d'Arnaud (elbow) was due to begin a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on Thursday night, but the game was rained out. Collins estimated that d’Arnaud will spend a week in the minors before being activated from the DL. Read more in the Post.

  • MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has “great faith” in Mets ownership and Alderson. Read more in the Post.

  • Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes that “the person who should have been embarrassed by the lineup [on Thursday] was Alderson.”

  • Steven Matz will be examined next week to determine if his lat muscle has fully healed. He could be cleared to resume throwing at that time.

  • Jerry Blevins will undergo an X-ray next Thursday. If the image shows his left forearm has fully healed, he will be permitted to begin tossing a baseball.

  • Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post chides Alderson and the Mets.

  • Dillon Gee allowed four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings for Las Vegas against Fresno. John Gant allowed seven runs in 5 1/3 innings as Trenton beat Binghamton, 7-3. Savannah allowed five runs in the bottom of the ninth, but won 10-9 at Hagerstown when a baserunner was thrown out trying to stretch a three-run double into a triple. Thomas McIlraith allowed one run in five innings and Kingsport beat Pulaski, 5-2. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • DeGrom gave pitching tips to campers during a visit to Coleman Country Day Camp on Long Island on Thursday. DeGrom said he was most nervous in his career pitching in the All-Star Game. He said the batter against whom he has the most difficulty is the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez. He also shared that he sometimes wears a ponytail at night. Watch video from News 12 Long Island. Read more in Newsday.

  • Eric Barrow in the Daily News writes a feature on Conforto.

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Aramis Ramirez, whom the Mets did not ardently pursue, Joel Sherman writes in the Post.

  • From the bloggers … Mets Report suggests Alderson is getting harder and harder to believe.

BIRTHDAYS: Jeff Kaiser turns 55.


YOU’RE UP: How will Thomas pitch against the Mets?