Morning Briefing: Another lost season

FIRST PITCH: The Mets need to go 17-0 to reach their goal of finishing.500.

After being swept by the Nationals with Thursday's 7-2 loss at Citi Field, the Mets are just one loss away from their fifth straight losing season. They likely will be tied with the Astros entering 2014 for the longest streak of losing seasons in baseball.

The Mets welcome Miami to Citi Field on Friday and turn to Jon Niese to face Brad Hand.

Friday's news reports:

• Read game recaps in the Daily News, New York Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Wall Street Journal and The Record.

Frank Francisco denied hitting Jayson Werth on purpose on Thursday. The Nationals were not pleased that Werth was hit on a 3-0 pitch. Ron Darling called Francisco "a fool" for allegedly throwing at Werth. Read more in The Record.

Aaron Harang was pleased with his Mets debut on Thursday, despite suffering the loss. He gave up three runs on four hits in six innings while striking out 10.

• Terry Collins is not pleased that some of the players being given opportunities are not stepping up. Collins did not like what he saw during the sweep. Read more in the Post.

• Davey Johnson reflected on managing the Mets. Johnson managed the team to its most recent World Series title, in 1986.

From the bloggers... Blogging Mets analyzes Sandy Alderson's recent comments and doesn't think they bode well for 2014. ... Mets Report examines where the 2013 Opening Day lineup is.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka turns 33 today.


YOU'RE UP: Are you surprised by the Mets' woeful play in September?