Morning Briefing: When winning hurts ...


FIRST PITCH: There is a cost of the Mets’ weekend success.

The surge may help them get an unprotected draft pick (outside of the top 10, which must be forfeited if they sign a premium free agent).

After sweeping Philadelphia, the Mets now are in a three-way tie with the Toronto Blue Jays and Phillies for MLB’s ninth-worst record. Only a half-game better is San Francisco.

So maybe it is a good thing the Mets face a motivated opponent the next three days in Cincinnati.

The Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are tied at 89-67, two games behind the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Even if Cincinnati does not catch the Cards, finishing ahead of Pittsburgh would allow the Reds to host the winner-take-all wild-card game.

Ex-Red Aaron Harang opposes right-hander Johnny Cueto (5-2, 3.02 ERA) in tonight’s 7:10 opener.

Monday’s news reports:

LaTroy Hawkins notched save No. 100 and Wilfredo Tovar drove in the game-tying run and had two hits in his major league debut as the Mets completed a sweep of the Phillies with a 4-3 win Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Afterward, the 40-year-old Hawkins said he definitely wants to pitch next season. Tovar reiterated the call-up was completely unexpected.

Read recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Times, Newsday and MLB.com.

• After Sunday’s victory, Mets rookies dressed as members of a bridal party in the annual hazing ritual. Zack Wheeler was the bride.

• Terry Collins is due to meet with Sandy Alderson in Cincinnati, a source told ESPNNewYork.com. Collins is highly likely to be invited to remain manager, but the Mets are not expected to announce anything official until after the season.

• Read more on Hawkins in the Post.

David Wright discussed with MLB Trade Rumors why he stuck with his agents despite so many ACES clients getting suspended as a result of MLB’s Biogenesis investigation.

“I think, for me, I wanted to hear it from Sam and Seth [Levinson]’s mouth exactly what was going on before I even talked to the union or anybody else,” Wright said. “I called those guys up and asked them point blank what was going on, and they’ve always been open and honest to me.

“It’s easy to make assumptions or believe everything you read in the paper, but I’ve known these guys for 12, 13 years now. And the only thing I can go on is the track record for how they’ve treated me, and what they’ve done for me. And there’s been no complaints on my end and no blemishes on their end. I’m very appreciative of everything they’ve done for me, and I think they’ve done a terrific job.”

• Mike Kerwick in the Record chats with Daniel Murphy about his season. Murphy said his biggest statistical accomplishment is games played, not his 20 steals. "It's luck," Murphy told Kerwick. "I like to think I take care of myself, but no more than David or some of the guys who got hurt."

• Jared Diamond in the Journal notes the more wins the Mets get, the worse draft pick they get.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday profiles Wilmer Flores -- a man lacking a defined position.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that while finishing third may make them feel good, the Mets have plenty of offseason work to do.

BIRTHDAYS: Reliever Gonzalez Germen turns 26. … Long Island native Pete Harnisch is 47.


YOU’RE UP: Do you think the Mets’ rookie dress-up is funny? Or in poor taste?