FIRST PITCH: The Mets have lost 11 of 14 and are a season-worst nine games under .500.
Wednesday’s news reports:
• David Wright and Lucas Duda homered, but the Mets lost to the Cardinals, 5-2, Tuesday. Jonathon Niese surrendered five runs (three earned) in six innings. Daniel Murphy had a pair of miscues in St. Louis’ two-run sixth.
• Terry Collins said it took him 75 minutes to construct Tuesday’s lineup. Wednesday’s lineup will return to the pitcher batting ninth, since Colon is hitless since 2005. Bobby Abreu also is expected to rest in the matinee after starting seven straight games. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Wright, in a prolonged slump, had two hits Tuesday, including the homer against Michael Wacha. He told reporters he’s had “sleepless nights” because of his struggles. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.
A club source indicated the changes to d’Arnaud’s mechanics have been minimal. The biggest adjustment is d’Arnaud’s back foot has been moved closer to the plate, allowing him to better reach outside pitches.
“He had no approach,” the source said. “He was going up there and changing his approach per pitch. He’s sticking with the same approach now about hitting. He’s focused on driving the ball through the middle. Whatever approach he takes up to the plate against a certain pitcher, he’s sticking with the plan instead of changing the plan throughout his at-bat.”
Taylor, who won't turn 19 until August, hasn't pitched this year because of a lat strain that kept him in extended spring training. When healthy, he has a fastball that's mostly 89-91 mph with some life, but he was clocked as high as 94-95 in high school. His main feature is a sharp-breaking curveball that should allow him to miss left- and right-handed bats as he fills out and adds a little velocity to the pitch.
At the time of the  draft, I had him as a potential mid-rotation starter, but still with a ton of development ahead of him. He has below-average fastball command and is in need of a changeup.
• Brian Burgamy had a grand slam and Matt Bowman tossed six scoreless innings as Binghamton beat Richmond, 5-1. St. Lucie enters the final day of the first half still alive for a postseason berth after beating Charlotte, 10-5. Corey Oswalt tossed six scoreless innings as Brooklyn beat Hudson Valley, 5-1. Savannah pitchers had a rough time at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Read the full minor-league recap here.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Look out @Mets prospects, I'm creeping up right behind you...literally!! #photobomb @Noahsyndergaard @JdeGrom19 pic.twitter.com/agywq5Aiao
— Anthony Seratelli (@ars1productions) June 18, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets halt their freefall?