Morning Briefing: Happy Thor's Day!

NEW YORK -- Are things actually looking up for the New York Mets?

With a 9-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, the Mets (65-63) moved two games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 9. They remained 3½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.


  • Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera set the tone with consecutive homers to open the first and Bartolo Colon pitched effectively into the eighth inning in Friday’s series-opening win against the Phillies. It marked the second time in Mets history that the team’s opening two batters went deep. Reyes paired with Ruben Gotay to accomplish the feat on July 12, 2007, against Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo. Cabrera homered twice on Friday. Reyes again pulled even with Curtis Granderson for the franchise record for leadoff homers, with 18. Wilmer Flores had the big blast with a fifth-inning grand slam against left-hander Adam Morgan to open a five-run cushion. Colon held the Phillies hitless until Odubel Herrera’s one-out double in the fifth. Colon took a 9-1 lead into the eighth, when he ran out of gas and surrendered three runs without recording an out. Colon also had the second two-hit game of his career. The other came 14 years ago. With career win No. 230, Colon passed Luis Tiant (Cuba) for the third-most wins by a Latin American pitcher. Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua) ranks first with 245, followed by Juan Marichal (Dominican Republic) with 243. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Justin Ruggiano departed Friday’s game with left shoulder discomfort and will be seen by a doctor on Saturday.

  • Terry Collins expects to skip Jacob deGrom against the Miami Marlins on Monday, when his turn next arises. DeGrom has allowed 13 runs in 9 2/3 innings over his last two outings. There is no optimal answer to fill in for deGrom in the opener against another wild-card contender. Options would appear to include Sean Gilmartin, Gabriel Ynoa, Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett. Read more in the Post, Newsday and at MLB.com.

  • Steven Matz (shoulder) played catch on Friday and is planning to throw off a mound on Sunday. Although Matz is eligible to return from the disabled list on Tuesday, Collins appears to favor keeping Seth Lugo in the rotation to start that day and inserting Matz on Wednesday.

  • Neil Walker went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored Friday in his return from a three-day paternity leave. T.J. Rivera was dispatched back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Record.

  • Jay Bruce returned to the lineup Friday after missing a start with calf tightness, but his struggles continued. Bruce struck out in all four of his plate appearances. He is now hitting .160 (13-for-81) with 23 strikeouts since joining the Mets.

  • Mike Puma in the Post advocates benching Curtis Granderson, who now regularly sits against left-handed pitching.

  • Mets farmhands Champ Stuart and Blake Taylor are scheduled to represent Great Britain, and Ty Kelly, Tyler Herron and Josh Zeid are due to represent Israel in a World Baseball Classic qualifier in Brooklyn from Sept. 22-25. Ex-Mets Ike Davis and Josh Satin also are scheduled to compete for Israel.

  • Syndergaard, a two-year-old colt, won the $200,000 Funny Side Stakes at Saratoga on Friday.

  • Paul Paez surrendered a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth as Bowie beat Binghamton, 3-1. Despite five scoreless innings from P.J. Conlon, St. Lucie lost the nightcap to split a doubleheader and fall a half-game behind Jupiter for the division lead. Harol Gonzalez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Ali Sanchez had an RBI single in Brooklyn’s 1-0 win against Williamsport. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • From the bloggers … Mets Report weighs in on giving deGrom extra rest.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike Maddux turns 55. ... Brian McRae is 49. ... Colby Woodmansee is 22.


YOU’RE UP: Is skipping deGrom the right call?