Morning Briefing: Harvey limit ID'd


FIRST PITCH: Time to regroup.

The Mets failed to hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday at Dodger Stadium and lost, 5-4, to Los Angeles in 12 innings.

The Dodgers completed a sweep and are now 40-8 since June 22 -- the best 48-game stretch in the majors since the Cardinals went 41-7 from Aug. 11 to Oct. 1, 1942.

The Mets bused to San Diego after the defeat.

Zack Wheeler (5-2, 3.63 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.75) in the 10:10 p.m. ET series opener at Petco Park today.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets are targeting 210 to 215 innings for Matt Harvey’s cap this season, notes Jared Diamond in the Journal. Writes Diamond:

The Mets have tentatively outlined a road map that would allow Harvey to make eight more starts, with about half of them coming on an extra day of rest. Using off-days to their advantage and occasionally using a spot starter, they think they can finagle Harvey to the end.

LaTroy Hawkins was struck in the groin with a comebacker, then served up a game-tying two-run homer to the next batter, pinch hitter Andre Ethier. Pedro Feliciano suffered the loss in the 12th when Adrian Gonzalez plated Yasiel Puig with a double.

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

Jeremy Hefner’s demotion to Las Vegas has been rescinded. Instead, Hefner has been placed on the major league disabled list with a partially torn MCL in his right elbow. Hefner will not need surgery and is expected to return this season. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Travis d’Arnaud spoke with ESPNNewYork.com about waiting for the baby Buck to be born. D’Arnaud is expected to make his major league debut once Buck goes on three-day paternity leave. Buck’s wife had complications with her last pregnancy with twins five years ago and required a C-section, so the preference is for a natural childbirth this time. Read more in the Post.

Wilmer Flores’ twisted right ankle felt “marginally better” Wednesday. The rookie pinch hit in the ninth inning, but departed for a pinch runner after singling.

• Dave Caldwell in the Journal profiles Noah Syndergaard, the Double-A pitching phenom acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal with d’Arnaud. Syndergaard is on a severe pitch limit the rest of the season in order to keep him from hitting an innings cap before the Eastern League playoffs. Writes Caldwell:

The plan, at least as far as Syndergaard understands it, is to finish the season at Binghamton. He is likely to pitch about five innings per start, and [pitching coach Glenn] Abbott said Syndergaard will skip a start after Friday's game at home against New Britain.

This is all fine to Syndergaard, who said, "I just throw until they tell me not to." He achieved both of the goals he set for himself this season -- pitch in Class AA and in the Futures Game -- and he hopes to make his first big push for the Mets next spring.

Still, Pedro Lopez, the Binghamton manager, said, "Every time I take him out after five innings, he says, `Is that it?'"

• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger looks at Mets pitchers’ lack of success bunting this season.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit an inside-the-park homer and Las Vegas pulled into a first-place tie with an 8-1 win against New Orleans. Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report examines whether the Mets mishandled Flores’ injury.

BIRTHDAYS: Oliver Perez turns 32. … Duffy Dyer is 68. … Nino Espinosa was born on this date in 1953. He died at age 34 on Christmas Eve.


YOU’RE UP: Are you still upbeat about the Mets’ season?