Morning Briefing: Welcome back, Jonathon


FIRST PITCH: Jonathon Niese makes his first start of the season on Sunday, as the Mets go for a sweep of the Reds and try to climb back to .500 at 3-3.

Niese was supposed to start on Opening Day, but was pushed back after receiving a cortisone shot because of inflammation in his left elbow.

Alfredo Simon will get the ball for Cincinnati, making his first start since 2011, when he was a member of the Orioles. He has spent the past two seasons as a reliever for the Reds, going 6-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 2013.

The Mets haven't swept the Reds in New York since 2005 at Shea Stadium.

Sunday's news reports

Ike Davis only got one at-bat on Saturday, but he made it count. Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded and the Mets trailing 3-2, Davis hit a walkoff grand slam to give the Mets a 6-3 victory.

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

• Davis will start Sunday, but Lucas Duda is still the regular starting first baseman, at least for now. Nevertheless, Saturday's homer was big for Davis, and his teammates were very happy for him, writes Kevin Kernan in the Post.

• With Mark Teixeira on the shelf again, the Yankees could use some help at first base. Maybe Davis should switch boroughs, write Anthony Rieber in Newsday.

• Manager Terry Collins won his first instant replay challenge on Sunday, and it helped set up Davis' game-winning slam. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday, Record and MLB.com.

Dillon Gee was bailed out by Davis and company, and instead picked up his second no-decision in two starts this season. Read more in the Daily News.

• The Mets aren't drawing big crowds on this opening homestand, but it's not just because of the team's lack of spending in the offseason. It's also because of the high prices at Citi Field, writes Ken Davidoff in the Post.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear heartily endorses replay review and Ike Davis, provided they function as flawlessly as they did Saturday. ... Mark Berman at Blogging Mets wonders when the Mets learned how to hit home runs.

BIRTHDAYS: St. Lucie Mets pitching coach Phil Regan turns 77. ... Former infielder Andy Phillips is 37.


YOU'RE UP: What kind of performance do you expect from Niese on Sunday?