Mets morning briefing 8.21.12

R.A Dickey had a chance to move closer to 20 wins, but his teammates couldn't score against the Rockies so Dickey remains stuck on 15. The Mets are now a season-worst eight games under .500 and are tied with the Phillies for third place. For his part, Dickey is saying the right things.

The biggest news of the day, though, involves their other veteran star pitcher, Johan Santana. After initial deciding that Santana would make his next start, the Mets announced that Santana has a stiff back. He will have an MRI on Tuesday. Look for the results here.

Tuesday's news report:

The Post's Mike Puma offers a game story that includes a shot at the Grand Central in the lead. Puma writes:

R.A. Dickey’s drive toward 20 wins remains littered with potholes to rival those on the Grand Central Parkway.

A crumbling offense, a suspect bullpen and defensive shortcomings are among the obstacles Dickey faces in his quest to become the Mets’ first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.

Last night, Dickey did his part with seven superb innings against the Rockies, but the Mets produced only one run for him in their 3-1 loss in front of 23,823 at Citi Field.

Roger Rubin in the News details the Mets' hitting issues.

The knuckleballer spun seven innings of one-run ball but ended up with a no-decision when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh of a tie game with a runner on first and two out. The Mets went on to lose, 3-1, managing only six hits against a team with a major league-worst 5.37 ERA.

“We aren’t hitting. We aren’t getting any hits,” Terry Collins said after the opener of a seven-game home stand. “We had one run. R.A. gave it his best effort.”

The Mets have scored two runs or less in five of their last seven games.

The slumping Andres Torres won't make any excuses about his hitting. He is 7-for-his-last-33 and finally broke an 0-for-19 slump with a ninth inning single on Monday.

Adam Rubin reports that lefty Robert Carson is being promoted.

For more Santana reports, the Post, News, Newsday, Star-Ledger , and the Bergen Record have stories.

Newsday baseball columnist Dave Lennon says the Mets should shut Santana down now. Lennon writes:

As much as the Mets try to prepare for the future, they inevitably get blindsided by it. What happened Monday with Santana really wasn't their fault -- it only looks that way. Now they just have to prevent it from getting any worse.

TRIVIA: During Bobby Valentine's 2000 speech at Penn, which led to Whartongate and nearly his firing, what combination of players did he allegedly say should play first base instead of Todd Zeile?

Monday's answer: The Rockies' Jim Tracy previously managed the Dodgers and the Pirates.