Morning Briefing: Wheeler Day


FIRST PITCH: The Mets, who now have won four of 12 games against the Miami Marlins this season, send Zack Wheeler to the mound at 7:10 tonight.

Wheeler (4-1, 3.72 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 3.54) at Marlins Park.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Marlon Byrd continues to display his value as the trade deadline looms at 4 p.m. Wednesday, but the Mets want a lot to deal him and no one was forecasting the Mets making a deal.

“If something presented itself we would consider it,” a team official told Mike Puma in the Post. “But we haven’t been presented with anything. We’re just sitting tight. … We’re not motivated to move anybody. It’s hard to go to people. They have to come to you. It’s better to be asked to the prom than have to ask somebody.”

Ike Davis had the decisive run-scoring double as the Mets rallied with three runs in the seventh to beat the Marlins, 6-5, Monday night. The Mets had lost five straight against Miami. Bobby Parnell stranded the tying run at third base in the bottom of the ninth by coaxing a groundout to second base from lethal Giancarlo Stanton. Jeremy Hefner surrendered five runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings and walked a career-high five in a no-decision.

On the lift provided by the seventh-inning rally to overcome a 5-3 deficit, Terry Collins said: “Well, we’ve lost three in a row. We’re not exactly a bundle of joy at the moment. So it energized us a lot. Believe me. It brought us out of a huge hole. I think it’s a great step moving forward. We may look up in two weeks and point to this game, as we have pointed to the Cubs game, as a big turning point.”

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

• On the Marlins’ dominance of the Mets, Jared Diamond in the Journal writes:

The Mets arrived for this week's series here at Marlins Park with three wins in 11 tries against Miami. If that doesn't sound depressing enough for the Mets, consider that the Marlins' eight wins against them make up 20 percent of their season total thus far.

Since baseball expanded to 30 teams in 1998, only two teams won a higher percentage of their games against a single opponent. The 2002 Pittsburgh Pirates hold this dubious "record," with 15 of their 72 wins that year coming against the Milwaukee Brewers (20.8 percent).

Jonathon Niese expects to make two more rehab appearances -- the next one Thursday with Class A St. Lucie -- before being activated from the disabled list. Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Collins offered no indication Jordany Valdespin or Ruben Tejada would be returning to the majors soon, despite both putting up solid numbers at Triple-A Las Vegas. Valdespin was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Frank Francisco, who has yet to appear in the majors this season, recently received two cortisone injections in his right elbow.

• Valdespin homered, was hit by a pitch and then found himself ejected in Las Vegas' doubleheader sweep against Sacramento. Carlos Valdez tossed six scoreless innings as Brooklyn won its fifth straight game. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Right-hander Noah Syndergaard has been named Eastern League Player of the Week.

Jason Bay was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners. The Mets bought out Bay after last season, while deferring some of the money owed to him. They were due to pay him $6 million this season, while spreading another $15 million over the next two years.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report writes about stacking the speed at the top of the order and using a 1-2 combo of Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares. … Faith and Fear in Flushing revels in the Mets doing to the Marlins what Anthony Young did just over 20 years earlier: beating them for a change.

BIRTHDAYS: Clint Hurdle, now the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, turns 56. … Outfielder Ellis Valentine is 59.


YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets pick up Jason Bay, since it would essentially not cost anything?