Morning Briefing: Mets could use Amazin' outing from Bartolo Colon


FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets need a big game from Bartolo Colon on Sunday to avoid losing a series to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Colon (10-10, 4.72 ERA) opposes right-hander Chris Archer (10-8, 2.54) in the 1:10 p.m. ET rubber game.

Colon has been erratic in four starts in the second half. He allowed a combined 13 runs on 18 hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres. Meanwhile, he allowed two runs on 12 hits and no walks in 16 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.

Archer's 2.54 ERA ranks fifth in the American League, trailing only Sonny Gray (2.06), Scott Kazmir (2.08), David Price (2.35) and Dallas Keuchel (2.40).


  • Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs in a 38-pitch first inning that he described as a “merry-go-round” and the Mets eventually had their seven-game winning streak snapped with a 5-4 loss to the Rays on Saturday. The Washington Nationals pulled back within 1 1/2games of the Mets for first place in the NL East. Manager Terry Collins lamented 15 strikeouts by his batters. That included strikeouts from Travis d'Arnaud with a runner on third base and two outs in two separate innings. Curtis Granderson produced a pair of solo homers, including a game-opening shot. Granderson now has seven leadoff homers, matching Jose Reyes (2006) for the single-season franchise record. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Granderson fouled a ball off his right foot in the ninth inning and described himself as “sore” postgame. He may have served as the designated hitter on Sunday anyway.

  • After going 0-for-7 with two walks (one intentional) in a pair of rehab games with Class A St. Lucie, Michael Cuddyer is due to rejoin the Mets on Sunday and be activated on Monday. He has been on the disabled list with a bone bruise below his left kneecap.

  • Columnist Mark Bradley in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that Braves fans prefer the Mets win the division rather than the arrogant Nationals.

  • Alex Torres cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

  • Although unannounced, the Mets are expected to open the 2016 season with an interleague series at Kansas City.

  • Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests the Mets have a playing-time dilemma if David Wright is not his old self once he returns from the DL. Wright is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Monday with Class A St. Lucie.

  • Howie Kussoy in the Post profiles Yoenis Cespedes' journey from Cuba to Major League Baseball. Steven Marcus in Newsday discusses Cespedes' addition with Keith Hernandez. With Cespedes' acquisition in mind, Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post recounts five meaningful New York in-season trades -- for Johnny Mize in 1949, Donn Clendenon in '69, Keith Hernandez in '83, David Cone '95 and David Justice 2000.

  • Anthony Rieber in Newsday examines Michael Conforto's fate once Cuddyer returns.

  • Mike Vorkunov at NJ.com asks Collins about the Mets' proprietary database known as “The Matrix” that helps identify favorable matchups for Mets batters. Writes Vorkunov: “Created by the Mets' front office and spouted out daily, the Matrix creates a profile for each pitcher -- their velocity, their primary and secondary pitches, the movement on those pitches -- and shows how Mets hitters have done against other pitchers of that ilk.” Collins adds to columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post: “What we've tried to do is get our scouts together and take [Rays starter] Nathan Karns for example, how many guys have that kind of stuff, similar stuff, go through the computer system and say, ‘OK, here is a guy who pitches at 92-93, a good curveball, who are these guys?' You take that list, and some of our hitters have faced them in the past. You put it together and you have a better idea that this guy should hit this guy, so it helps us a little bit more."

  • Logan Verrett allowed one run in five innings and Vic Black earned the save as Las Vegas completed a doubleheader sweep at Salt Lake. Matt Koch allowed three runs before recording an out and Binghamton lost to Trenton, 4-2. St. Lucie rallied from a five-run deficit and beat Jupiter, 7-6. Starters Martires Arias and Chris Flexen each allowed one run as Savannah swept a doubleheader at Charleston. Patrick Mazeika's walk-off RBI single lifted Kingsport to a 9-8 win against Johnson City. Joel Huertas allowed one hit in five scoreless innings as the GCL Mets beat the GCL Cardinals, 1-0. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • UConn product Vinny Siena as well as Alex Palsha and Gaby Almonte will represent Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Aberdeen on Aug. 18.

  • Michael Powell in the Times contrasts the Chicago Cubs' youth movement with how the Mets reloaded.

  • From the bloggers … Mets Report advocates going for the jugular and winning the division. … Blogging Mets thinks the Mets would be crazy to demote Conforto.

BIRTHDAYS: Pat Mahomes turns 45. ... St. Lucie first baseman Matt Oberste is 24.


YOU'RE UP: Do you believe the Mets will hold off the Nationals and win the NL East?