FIRST PITCH: The Mets entered their series at Washington having lost 10 of their last 11 games against the Nationals.
Now, after a victory in Tuesday’s opener, the Mets attempt to make it two in a row on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.
Before the game, the Mets will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“It’s going to be a humbling experience,” Daniel Murphy said.
Wednesday’s news reports:
• Zack Wheeler had a 33-pitch second inning and allowed the first two batters to reach in four of his seven innings. Yet Wheeler managed to limit Washington to one run in 6 2/3 innings as the Mets beat the Nationals, 6-1, Tuesday. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.
The Mets now own a 54-59 record and trail first-place Washington by seven games. The Mets also are seven games out in the wild card.
• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News believes that while the Mets might trade from their pitching surplus this offseason, Wheeler is making himself practically untouchable.
• In his first “official” mound session, Matt Harvey threw 20 pitches in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon and pronounced the activity a success. Watch video at TCPalm.com. Read more in the Times, Daily News, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.
"When we start seeing some of these guys with a second Tommy John, it worries me as the guy who does the rehab that we're going too fast," Conte told Carig. "I don't want the perception to be that everybody comes backs at 12 months, and if they come back at 14 months, they're behind schedule. We do this all the time. Everybody quotes the same thing. It's 12 to 18 months. But nobody pays attention to the 18 months."
• Mets games on SNY are the seventh-most popular programming in prime time in New York -- one of the lowest rankings for a team in its home city, according to Nielsen data compiled by Maury Brown at Forbes. Yankees games on YES rank third in NYC in prime time. Twelve teams are the most popular prime-time programming in their home cities.
• Rafael Montero allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings and Matt den Dekker had another multi-hit game as Las Vegas blanked Sacramento, 3-0. Tyler Pill tossed seven scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy had four RBIs as Binghamton built a big lead and held on to beat Richmond, 9-6. Miller Diaz had a seven-inning shutout as Savannah split a doubleheader with Charleston. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Ever spot those red marks on the necks of Mets players, particularly on Daisuke Matsuzaka? Jared Diamond in the Journal speaks with players about the ancient Chinese technique of cupping therapy, which several Mets -- and other major leaguers -- employ with the team’s blessing.
Not everyone is sold it is effective, though.
"There's absolutely zero evidence that cupping has any kind of positive role in medicine," Barrie Cassileth, the chief of integrative medicine service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Diamond. "I cannot conceive of any benefit except a psychological benefit.”
• The Mets accidentally gave away a toy truck with a Phillies logo on the side during their last homestand, Eliot Shorr-Parks writes at NJ.com.
• Darryl Strawberry said allegations that a former teammate beheaded a cat in the mid-1980s are true, Bernie Augustine writes in the Daily News.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had a pinch-hit RBI single in his return to the majors Tuesday, told MLB.com pregame about his season of promotions and demotions: "You try and keep it on as much of an even keel as possible. I think one thing that's really been more evident to me this year is that it kind of builds character. I think you can really take some good stuff out of it. You really learn that you can only control how you play. You learn that it's a business in baseball."
TWEET OF THE DAY:
.@MattHarvey33 is doing all the baseball things. pic.twitter.com/kJBAyiLkQC
— Jeremy Hefner (@jeremy_hefner53) August 5, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Can Zack Wheeler be a No. 1 starter?