Mets morning briefing 7.2.12

LOS ANGELES -- Andres Torres and Scott Hairston ran into outs on the bases in the first inning, and Ronny Cedeño, Justin Turner and Mike Nickeas committed errors as the Mets had a sloppy game and fell short of a four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium with an 8-3 loss Sunday.

The Mets went 4-3 on a road trip to Chicago and L.A., and now enjoy an off-day before welcoming the Phillies to Citi Field on Tuesday. Left-hander Jon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA) opposes right-hander Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92) in the opener.

Tuesday will be Game No. 81 for the Amazin's, officially completing half the schedule. The Mets currently enjoy a 43-37 record, good for second place in the NL East, 3.5 games behind the Nationals.

Monday's news reports:

R.A. Dickey and David Wright earned All-Star selections, although San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval handily overtook Wright as the NL's starting third baseman in late voting. Wright expressed disappointment with not starting, but nonetheless was thankful to be voted in by fellow players. It will be his sixth All-Star appearance. Last year's lower-back injury snapped a string of five straight selections.

Dickey very well could be the NL starting pitcher, although All-Star manager Tony La Russa will not make any official announcement until next Monday, the day before the July 10 game in Kansas City. At least Dickey will play a role. Tim Wakefield, the last knuckleballer selected, went unused in the 2009 game. Phil Niekro had similar experiences in being snubbed for use. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Post, Journal, Daily News and Newsday.

Josh Thole said he would get in touch with NL starting catcher Buster Posey to offer tips on how to catch the knuckleball if Posey does not reach out first.

• GM Sandy Alderson took to Twitter for the first time in more than two months, writing: "Wright vs. Sandoval: A city of 8 million was outvoted by a city of 800,000."

Terry Collins was not upset Johan Santana was passed over for the All-Star Game, since it's probably best the southpaw takes it easy during the break as he gears up for the second half after missing the 2011 season. Santana is expected to start the second-half opener on July 13 in Atlanta. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

• Newsday's Anthony Rieber reports Dickey has been approached about making his life story into a movie (Twitter link), although nothing is imminent.

• Read Sunday's game recaps in the Times, Star-Ledger, Post, Newsday and Daily News.

Jason Bay (concussion) is due to run and hit off a tee for team medical personnel Monday in New York, while Frank Francisco (oblique) is scheduled to throw at distances up to 60 feet on flat ground in Port St. Lucie, Fla., for the first time since landing on the disabled list during the Subway Series at Citi Field.

Jeurys Familia was charged with seven runs (six earned) in 3 1/3 innings as Triple-A Buffalo lost to Durham by a 12-6 score for the second straight day. After the game, Bisons manager Wally Backman did not rule out the possibility of a demotion to Double-A Binghamton for Familia. Read Sunday's full minor league recap here.

Brian Costa in the Journal notes the Mets-Dodgers series this past weekend was solely about baseball. That was a far cry from the previous season, when both teams were financially imperiled -- the Dodgers through the divorce of then-owner Frank McCourt, and the Mets with the Bernard Madoff litigation cloud over their head in addition to mounting debt. Writes Costa:

A new ownership group bought the Dodgers from Frank McCourt for $2.15 billion in a deal that closed on May 1, less than two months after the Wilpon family sold $240 million worth of minority shares in the Mets. This weekend, then, was merely a showcase for baseball, which comes as a welcome change for both teams. They entered Sunday with identical records, at 43-36, and in second place in their respective divisions. "New York and L.A. are very good for baseball, and I think two good teams in New York and one good team in L.A. -- and one not very far away in Anaheim -- those are all good things for baseball," Dodgers president Stan Kasten said.

TRIVIA: Who is the last Met to homer against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon?

Sunday's answer: Pedro Feliciano was the winning pitcher at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 7, 2006 as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of Los Angeles in the division series and advanced to face the Cardinals in the NLCS.