Mets morning briefing 7.22.12

The Mets continued their skid to start the second half as they lost 8-5 to the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The Mets have lost seven of their first eight games since the All-Star break and have fallen to .500.

Sunday's news reports:

• Read game recaps in the Daily News, Post, Star-Ledger, The Record, New York Times and Newsday.

• The Mets placed lefty Johan Santana on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain. Santana has a 6.54 ERA since he threw the franchise's first no-hitter on June 1. Santana said if the decision was up to him he would like to continue pitching. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, The Record, New York Times and Newsday.

• ESPNNewYork.com's Johnette Howard writes how the Mets shouldn't look for a quick fix on the trade market with Santana out and just wait for the lefty to return. Writes Howard:

It's the right thing for the Mets to do, even if fans will be breathing down their neck like a hot draft from hell, screaming for them to do something to stop them from sinking even further in the standings than they have the past week.

Tim Smith of the Daily News writes about the alarming rate that the Mets are losing pitchers and how it might be time to turn to heralded prospect Matt Harvey. Writes Smith:

Let the Matt Harvey watch begin. The Mets will most certainly need his arm at Citi Field, if for nothing else than to appease a restless fan base that wants the team to remain viable and make a playoff run. That will be tough to do as the 8-5 loss dropped the Mets (47-47) to .500 for the first time since May 4.

Santana’s shutdown comes at the worst time — 10 days before the trade deadline and with the Mets starting the day seven games down in the NL East and 4.5 games back in the wild card. They need all arms on deck.

• GM Sandy Alderson labeled the Mets as buyers as the trade deadline approaches.

Miguel Batista was tagged with the loss Saturday but said again that he believes the Mets are a better team than the first-place Nationals. Read more about Batista's start in the Post and Newsday.

R.A. Dickey made his first relief appearance of the year but yielded a two-run homer in the ninth inning that put the Mets behind 8-5.

Chris Capuano, a former Met, won his 10th game of the season by picking up the victory on Saturday. The Mets did not match the two-year, $10-million deal he was offered by the Dodgers this past offseason.

• The Mets will call up reliever Elvin Ramirez for Sunday's game. The Mets could part ways with Batista or possibly demote Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Read more in the Post.

• Daily News columnist Bill Madden says the Mets have too many holes to fill as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. Writes Madden:

By contrast, the Mets’ five straight losses after the break merely served to magnify their many flaws and reinforce the notion that they were first-half pretenders whom Terry Collins was able to get to play over their heads while the consensus preseason NL East favorites, the Phillies and Miami Marlins, consistently played under theirs.

• Harvey, who could be in line for a promotion later this week, had a rough outing on Saturday night, surrendering six runs on seven hits.

• Former Mets broadcaster Tim McCarver talked about memorable Mets games.

• The Record looks at the twitter account of former third baseman Howard Johnson.

TRIVIA: As the Mets fell to .500 on Saturday, at what date last year did the team fall below .500 for good?

Saturday's answer: Tom Seaver holds the record for consecutive decisions with 16 straight wins from 1969-70.