Mets morning briefing 7.24.12

The Mets lost 8-2 in 10 innings to the Nationals on Monday night and fell to a season-worst two games under .500. They are 1-10 in their last 11, 1-9 since the All-Star break.

R.A. Dickey (13-1) will face Gio Gonzalez (12-5) in the marque pitching matchup of the three-game series on Tuesday night.

Read game recaps in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and Newsday.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Frank Francisco was supposed to pitch in a rehab game on Tuesday with the Brooklyn Cyclones. That won’t happen. Francisco experienced right-knee discomfort on Monday, a day after he threw a 40-pitch bullpen session at Citi Field.

Pedro Beato was demoted after Monday night’s game. Manny Acosta will return from Triple-A Buffalo. Matt Harvey still needs to be activated. Adam Rubin reports there is a strong possibility that Lucas Duda will be sent down to make room.

Ruben Tejada did not require stitches on the gashes he sustained on his right shin when Roger Bernardina slide into him in the 10th-inning.

• Will the Mets be sellers or buyers at the trade deadline? Sandy Alderson suggested the answer may just be neither.

“You’ve got to be realistic and take into account where you are from day to day,” Alderson said before Monday’s series opener against the Nationals, which the Mets entered a game below .500. “We’re certainly not in the same position today that we were four or five days ago. That doesn’t mean we’re sellers. But I’d say right now we’re exploring a lot of different scenarios.

“It’s important for us to win games,” the GM continued. “We’re trying to change the perception here. And part of that is actually winning games, which we realize. So if we were to make a trade, we would want to make sure it made sense not just in terms of acquiring additional talent but also taking into account the importance of the balance of this year.

“The other thing is that Carlos was a commodity that was in significant demand. So taking into account what the demand was versus what we thought the benefit would be to us over the remainder of the season, it was probably a little bit different than the average player that we or some other club might have available.”

Snooki made an appearance with her fiance at Citi Field.

• Harvey is here. So are expectations. Though Terry Collins wants those expectations to be realistic.

"We just said, 'Look, don't approach this that you're the savior,' that you're going to turn this thing around because you're in the rotation now," Collins said. "There's a lot of things we've got to fix. Our starting rotation is only one part of it. Just go out every fifth day and pitch effectively and learn from the start before to get better, and hopefully at the end of the year we have a real good read on what the future may hold."

Harvey is slated to make his MLB debut on Thursday night in Arizona.

Mike Baxter’s rehab tour moved on to Triple-A Buffalo. Baxter went 2-for-5 on Monday night as the DH.

TRIVIA: Dickey has his most career wins against what team?

Monday’s answer: Tim Leary appeared in his most games (74) with the Los Angeles Dodgers.