Morning Briefing: Oh the pain! Poor decision, neck injury mar Saturday game

ATLANTA -- And suddenly the New York Mets are on the outside of the playoff picture, looking up in the standings.

After the Atlanta Braves snapped their six-game winning streak on Saturday, the Mets fell a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals and 1 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the National League's wild-card spots.

The Mets now send rookie Seth Lugo to the mound for Sunday's 1:35 p.m. ET rubber game. Lugo (3-2, 2.38 ERA), who was pushed back a day because he had a blister during his last start, opposes right-hander Williams Perez (2-2, 5.47).

The Mets will be playing their final game ever at Turner Field. The Braves are moving to a new ballpark in Cobb County next season. The Mets are 66-106 all time at Turner Field, which opened for baseball in 1997.


  • Josh Smoker surrendered a walk-off RBI single to Adonis Garcia after inheriting runners on the corners from Erik Goeddel and the Mets lost to the Braves, 4-3, in 10 innings on Saturday. Terry Collins blamed himself afterward for not having used a pinch runner for Wilmer Flores after a two-out double in the eighth. Flores subsequently was thrown out at the plate on pinch hitter T.J. Rivera's single to right field. Flores injured his neck in the plate collision. X-rays were negative. Flores described his neck as painful postgame and acknowledged he initially “felt really weird and dizzy.” Explaining for why he did not pinch run, Collins said he was distracted by setting up his pitching for the next half-inning. He did not throw his bench coach under the bus. “My fault,” Collins said. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jacob deGrom lightly tossed 10 pitches off a mound Saturday -- his first time throwing off a mound since getting shut down with forearm inflammation. Read more in Newsday.

  • Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post retells the story of Michael Cuddyer's Eastern League homer, which saved a minor-league teammate from being on a doomed 9/11 flight.

  • Columnist John Harper in the Daily News speculates deGrom, not Noah Syndergaard, could start a winner-take-all wild-card game because of Syndergaard's issues holding runners.

  • From the bloggers … Faith and Fear finds itself inside the Mets' heads. … Mets Report isn't confident about deGrom or Matz returning.

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Francisco turns 37.


YOU'RE UP: Was Saturday's loss a one-game blip or a serious crusher for the Mets?