Morning Briefing: A new closer?


FIRST PITCH: Sunday could be an eventful day for the New York Mets, in the wake of Saturday night's 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Manager Terry Collins suggested after the game that he will remove Jose Valverde from the closer role, and also that he could take Curtis Granderson out of the cleanup spot in the batting order.

The Mets will play the final game of the weekend series with the Braves on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET, and with Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.67) scheduled to face Braves rookie David Hale (0-0, 2.89).

Sunday's news reports:

• The Mets had a chance in the ninth inning, and even knocked Braves closer Craig Kimbrel out of the game, but Andrelton Simmons made a great play on Travis d'Arnaud to end the game as a 7-5 Braves win. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star Ledger, Record and MLB.com.

• The Granderson situation is already getting difficult, and he is already drawing comparisons to Jason Bay, the last big free agent the Mets signed. Read more about Granderson in the Post, the Star Ledger and Newsday, where columnist David Lennon goes hard with the Bay comparison.

• Speaking of comparisons, don't you think everyone will be watching how Lucas Duda does with an eye on how Ike Davis fares in Pittsburgh? Davis doubled in his first at-bat for the Pirates. He reached base in each of his first three plate appearances in his Saturday night debut, and also shed some light on his feelings about the way things went for him with the Mets.

"It was pretty negative over there for me for a little while," Davis told reporters, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Columnist George Willis of the Post carried on the Ike-Luke comparison, with the headline writer noting a bit harshly that Duda didn't deliver in the eighth inning, when his fly ball was caught just in front of the right-field fence. Read more on Duda in the Daily News and MLB.com.

Freddie Freeman had another big game against the Mets, bringing up Chipper Jones comparisons. Read more in the Daily News.

• Not everyone was upset with the Mets Saturday. They did a nice thing for a Queens kid whose family lost their home in a Jan. 1 fire. The Post has the story.

• The Mets have a decision coming up on Bobby Abreu. Tim Rohan of the Times went to see Abreu and his Las Vegas 51s teammates in Reno.

• More replay issues Saturday night, as John Harper points out in the Daily News. More on replay in Newsday.

• Not the best timing for a in-depth Q and A with Valverde, is it? But Steve Serby has one in the Post.

• Is this a good time for a Steve Phillips update? If you're interested in what the ex-GM is doing, read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear is pretty sure it sat through Saturday night's game plenty of times at Shea.

BIRTHDAYS: Sean Green, the reliever, turns 35. ... Masato Yoshii is 49. ... Jason Roach turns 38.


YOU'RE UP: With Bobby Parnell out for the year and Jose Valverde struggling, who would you use as Mets closer?