Morning Briefing: Halftime nears end


FIRST PITCH: And now the rest of the story …

With the All-Star Game in the books, the Mets prepare to open the second half Friday at San Diego. Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) will oppose right-hander Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47) in the series opener at Petco Park.

The Amazin’s, who won eight of 10 on their first-half-closing homestand, nonetheless are 45-50 and trail division co-leaders Washington and Atlanta by seven games.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• In his lone at-bat, Daniel Murphy struck out against Seattle’s Fernando Rodney to strand two runners in the eighth and the NL lost to the AL, 5-3, in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis.

Elsa/Getty Images

Daniel Murphy bats during the eighth inninng of Tuesday's All-Star Game.

"I had a blast," Murphy told MLB.com. "I had a lot of fun. I felt like I was able to take a step back and soak it in as much as I could. It was really a lot of fun. And David [Wright] was right. It went by quick. I feel like the two days have flown by, but I had a lot of fun. I would love to do this again sometime."

Murphy’s brother Jonathan is an outfielder in the Twins system, who had an off-day Tuesday and was only a four-hour drive away from Minneapolis. But Murphy told his younger brother not to come to the All-Star Game.

“I talked him out of it,” Murphy told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I know how precious off-days can be in the minor leagues. They really jam that 140-game season into five months. I told him, ‘Just stay there with your wife. Enjoy the off day.’”

Read more on Murphy at SI.com.

• Don Burke in the Post reminisces with David Wright and former teammates about the captain’s rookie season. Monday is the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s major league debut.

“I had no idea what the dress code was,” Wright told Burke. “I knew that I had to have a sports coat. I had suit pants, but I had a coat that didn’t match the suit pants. So I always carried the coat so no one would notice.But once I got to Montreal you had to wear nice shoes, nice jeans and a collared shirt. I had the collared shirts, but I was wearing flip-flops. I went to the first game and everyone looked at me.”

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post wonders if the Mets have wasted the 31-year-old Wright’s best years. “But by no means am I in decline,” Wright said. “I feel like I am going to produce at a high level. I have plenty of belief that I have plenty left.”

• Michael Salfino in the Journal charts other rookie pitchers who historically have had the type of first-half success that Jacob deGrom enjoyed. The impressive list includes Jose Fernandez, Dwight Gooden and Kerry Wood.

• Matt Ehalt in the Record asks five questions for the second half and gives his midseason report card.

• Rob Whalen tossed four scoreless innings as the GCL Mets won a rain-shortened game against the GCL Marlins, 1-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Triple-A and Eastern League All-Star Games will be played on Wednesday night. Allan Dykstra, who won Monday’s Home Run Derby, will represent Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League as the DH in Durham, N.C. Infielder Brian Burgamy, outfielder Kyle Johnson and right-handers Cody Satterwhite and Jon Velasquez represent Binghamton at Altoona, Pa.

Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin profiles the B-Mets’ selections.

• The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals saluted Citi Field as vegetarian-friendly.

• A potential LIRR strike next week would make the 7 Line stop at Citi Field pretty crowded, Sonja Sharp writes in the Journal.

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Shawn Teufel, a former minor-league pitcher with the Mets and son of Tim Teufel, turns 28. ... Norm Sherry, a catcher for the '63 Mets, was born on this date in 1931.


YOU’RE UP: How many wins will the Mets finish with this season?