Mets morning briefing 9.12.11

After a riveting pregame ceremony remembering 9/11 victims and honoring first responders, the Mets twice stranded the bases loaded late and lost to the Chicago Cubs, 10-6, in 11 innings. Josh Stinson suffered his first major league loss. The Mets used a franchise-record 26 players, surpassing the 25 used in a Sept. 14, 1998 game at Houston.

"They did a great job with the ceremony," Terry Collins said. "I wish more people could have seen it. It was really, really, really well done. Even Mike Piazza, when he was standing next to me, he said, 'Boy, isn't this beautiful out here? What a nice tribute.' I think he's absolutely right."

Monday's news reports:

• Major League Baseball prohibited the Mets from wearing first responder caps during the game. A handful of Mets, including David Wright, donned them in the dugout, but not on the field. Here's my take. And the take of columnist John Harper in the Daily News and George Willis in the Post.

Read more on the hat subject in the Record, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Times, Post and Newsday.

• St. Lucie was swept by Cubs-affiliated Daytona, three games to none, in the Florida State League championship series. Savannah is now the lone Mets affiliate alive. It opens the South Atlantic League championship series on Monday night. Read more on St. Lucie's ouster from Bill Whitehead at TCPalm.com.

David Lennon in Newsday wonders if the Mets can afford not to retain Jose Reyes and David Wright. "Those guys are the faces of this organization," said John Franco, who threw Sunday's ceremonial first pitch to Piazza. "Me personally, I would love to see both of them finish their careers here. With the young talent coming up, you can build a team around these guys, and it's important to have guys like that around."

Johan Santana will pitch Thursday for Savannah in his third minor league start since resuming throwing following shoulder discomfort.

Lucas Duda plans to play winter ball in Venezuela despite the organization telling Duda he does not need to do so because of his heavy workload this season.

• Read recaps of Sunday's 11-inning loss in the Times and Star-Ledger.

• Read a recap of the pregame remembrance ceremony in the Record.

BIRTHDAYS: Luis Castillo, who never did find work after getting cut by the Mets and then the Phillies late in spring training, turns 36. ... Mickey Lolich, who started 30 games for the Mets in 1976 after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a trade for Rusty Staub, was born on this date in 1940.