Mets morning briefing 7.21.11

Angel Pagan's first-career walk-off home run gave the Mets a dramatic 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings on Wednesday night at Citi Field. The Mets are now 7 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL Wild Card standings. They’ll look to continue their winning ways on Thursday afternoon, in what could be right fielder Carlos Beltran’s last home game as a Met. New York will embark on a 10-game roadtrip, and Beltran is expected to be dealt by the July 31 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline.

Read more on Beltran in the Star-Ledger, Newsday and the Daily News.

Thursday’s news reports:

Jason Bay left Wednesday night’s game in the fourth inning with a hamstring injury. Bay said he originally hurt his hammy on Saturday when he tripped over Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard’s foot as he crossed first base. Bay would like to play on Thursday afternoon, but Terry Collins sounded like he was going to keep him out for precautionary reasons. The 32-year-old left fielder hast just four hits in his last 37 at-bats (.108).

Read more on Bay in Newsday and the Post.

• The Mets closer on Thursday afternoon, should a save situation arise, will be right-hander Pedro Beato, Collins announced. Beato pitched the seventh inning on Wednesday night, but Collins liked the 24-year-old’s demeanor on the mound, so he’ll give him his first shot. Both Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell appeared in the previous two games, which likely contributed to Collins’ decision.

• The Boston Red Sox could be a potential fit for Beltran, but aren’t willing to meet the Mets’ asking price for the 34-year-old All-Star, according to ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes. The Mets want a top prospect for Beltran, especially since they are willing to pick up the remaining $6 million on his contract.

• Sources tell ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney that the Mets are now certain they will not trade Jose Reyes before the deadline. Reyes will be a free agent at the end of the season, but has reiterated time and time again that he wants to remain a Met. His game is also suited for the spacious confines of Citi Field.

• Regarding their ownership situation, the Mets released the following statement: “We are in exclusive negotiations with David Einhorn and continue to have positive and productive discussions regarding David’s ongoing interest in an investment with the Mets.” The deal, which would make Einhorn a minor owner, should be finalized in August, ESPN NewYork.com reports. The Mets had reportedly met with other bidders, but it appears that Einhorn and the Mets will eventually reach an accord.

Read more on Einhorn in the Daily News and the Times.

Josh Thole became a father on Tuesday night, then delivered a game-tying RBI single to left with two outs in the eighth inning on Wednesday night.

Read more about Thole and his son, Camden, in the Post.

• The Wall Street Journal examines what it's like to be in the Mets dugout.

Birthdays: Four former Mets, who all had very short stints with the team, have July 21 birthdays. Mike Cubbage turns 61, Mike Bordick turns 46, Brian Buchanan turns 38 and Brett Hinchliffe turns 37.