Morning Briefing: And down the stretch they come

NEW YORK -- Things are starting to get very, very interesting in the National League wild-card race.

With the New York Mets' loss and wins by the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, the teams are now in a three-way tie at 80-71 with 11 games remaining. If the season somehow ends this way, that could set up a fascinating tiebreaker scenario. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins are back over .500 and within four games of the Mets.

The Mets now will send Bartolo Colon to the mound on Wednesday looking to avoid getting swept by the Atlanta Braves. Colon (14-7, 3.14 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Ryan Weber (1-1, 5.46) at 7:10 p.m. ET.


  • The Mets mounted an eighth-inning comeback, but Travis d'Arnaud grounded out with the tying run at third base and the Mets lost to the Braves, 5-4, on Tuesday. Jay Bruce went 0-for-3 to extend his hitless streak to 13 at-bats before getting lifted for pinch hitter Eric Campbell in the three-run eighth. Bruce could be headed for less playing time down the stretch. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jacob deGrom plans to undergo season-ending surgery later this week to move the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. He expects a three-month recovery time and to be ready for spring training. Read more in the Post, Daily News and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Steven Matz rejoined the Mets late Tuesday. He will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday at Citi Field to try to demonstrate he is capable of starting against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Terry Collins remains noncommittal about Matz getting that start instead of Gabriel Ynoa. Matz would be capped at 50 pitches if he did return. He has not thrown a major league pitch since Aug. 14. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and Times.

  • Tim Tebow hit a batting-practice homer in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday. (For the record, Kevin James hit a homer this past weekend while taking batting practice at Citi Field.) Read more on Day 2 of Tebow in the instructional league in the Post and Newsday.

  • Wilmer Flores received another cortisone injection in his ailing right wrist on Monday. He may attempt to swing a bat Wednesday. He has been unable to do so. T.J. Rivera, who has assumed the second-base role with Neil Walker and now Flores sidelined, went 1-for-3 with an RBI on Tuesday and is hitting .338 since joining the big-league club. Read more at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Wednesday marks the 15th anniversary of Mike Piazza's uplifting homer against the Braves in the first game back in New York after 9/11. The jersey Piazza wore in that game will now go on display at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Read more in the Daily News.

  • Columnist David Lennon in Newsday looks at Bruce's struggles with the Mets.

  • From the bloggers … Mets Report would start Ynoa over Matz.

BIRTHDAYS: Scott Rice turns 35. ... Greg Burke is 34. ... Antonio Bastardo is 31. ... Joaquín Árias is 32. … D.J. Dozier is 51. … Gene Cone is 22.


YOU'RE UP: What should the Mets do with Bruce?