FIRST PITCH: On a modest three-game winning streak (and with their run differential sliced to minus-four), the Mets try to keep things rolling in steamy Cincinnati on Saturday.
Cueto’s 16 wins are one shy of matching the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Rafael Montero has been promoted to the major league club. Montero, who allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings in the opener of the Pacific Coast League playoffs on Wednesday, should get at least one start down the stretch.
• The man charged with making threats on Twitter against the Mets and Citi Field was handed a 90-day suspended sentence in Milford (Connecticut) Superior Court after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct. He must refrain from contact with Mets personnel, Justin Turner and Turner’s girlfriend and is barred from Citi Field, but is otherwise free to use the Internet.
• The Mets produced five home runs and routed the Reds, 14-5, Friday at Great American Ball Park. It marked the most long balls in a game by the Mets since they also went deep five times on Sept. 30, 2006 at Washington (Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Julio Franco, David Wright and Shawn Green). This time, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson, Dilson Herrera and Lucas Duda did the honors. Granderson’s shot, which came on the day he was dropped to sixth in the order, snapped an 0-for-18 drought. Wright went 4-for-5 before departing the lopsided game.
Granderson downplayed the drop to No. 6. “I’ve batted in every spot in the lineup over the course of my career,” he told reporters. “To get moved up, down, middle, out is nothing new to me.” Read more in the Post.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Edgin rejoined the Mets after getting cortisone shots in their pitching elbows in New York during the Marlins series. Meanwhile, Vic Black (herniated disk) pledged to be ready to come off the disabled list on Monday when he is eligible to be activated. Daniel Murphy (calf) also is making progress toward a potential return early next week. Murphy is eligible to be activated on Tuesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Noah Syndergaard was charged with six runs in four-plus innings and Las Vegas is facing elimination after a 7-5 loss at Reno. The big blow came on a go-ahead three-run homer by ex-Met Mike Jacobs against Miguel Socolovich that allowed a couple of inherited runners to score. Portland moved within a game of ousting Binghamton with a 6-3 win. Facing elimination, Savannah’s game Friday was suspended in the eighth inning with the Gnats trailing Asheville, 2-1. Savannah will have the tying run on second base and one out when play resumes. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Matt Harvey will throw off a mound every five days like he is simulating starts this month, but is poised to be shut down within weeks, Marc Carig writes in Newsday. Harvey will have a winter throwing program like any other pitcher, which should include tossing a baseball beginning in early November. He will ramp up in February alongside other pitchers in spring training and face batters then.
• John DeMarzo in the Post names Herrera the standout performer in the minors for the Mets, with Syndergaard the biggest disappointment and Matt Reynolds making the biggest leap.
BIRTHDAYS: Alex Escobar turns 36. ... Fran Healy is 68. ... Minor-leaguers Maikis De La Cruz and L.J. Mazzilli are 24.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
#metstwitter 14-7 gets us to .500. Is it doable? #Mets
— sadmetsfan (@sadmetsfan1) September 6, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets have left Rafael Montero in Triple-A for the duration of the playoffs?