Morning Briefing: Happy Juan Day!


FIRST PITCH: The Mets, losers of three straight, look to get back on track Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97) in the middle game of the three-game series.

Saturday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy’s shot to the top of the wall with two on and two out in the top of the ninth was caught by Jayson Werth and the Nationals beat the Mets, 5-2, Friday. Jonathon Niese allowed five runs (three earned) in four innings.

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

• Terry Collins said Juan Lagares has not been in the lineup because there have been better offensive options among the outfielders. Still, Collins plans to start Lagares on Saturday. “The only thing I can do is be ready when the opportunity comes and just try to do my job,” Lagares told reporters.

Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post decries Lagares being on the bench, writing:

We already know the men who own the Mets have neither the will, the wisdom nor the wallet to give the people who root for their team what they really want: a franchise that doesn’t make them periodically want to walk around with paper bags covering their faces.

Lately, though, it isn’t simply the Cabinet of Stupid that has those fans shaking and scratching their heads. It is the manager -- and possibly the general manager -- who seem intent on making this team as maximally unwatchable as possible.

Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Kyle Farnsworth, dumped by the Mets this week, reportedly is due to sign a major-league deal as soon as Saturday.

• Collins pledges to use Jenrry Mejia on back-to-back days sometime during the next week. It would mark Mejia’s first time working consecutive days since 2010.

• Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs in five innings and Andrew Brown had a ninth-inning three-run homer against Jeff Francoeur as Las Vegas beat El Paso, 10-2. Brian Burgamy had a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth in Binghamton’s 8-6 win against New Hampshire. Luis Cessa allowed one run in six innings as St. Lucie beat Lakeland, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Gonzalez Germen, eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, tossed a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance with St. Lucie.

Matt Harvey made the trip to D.C. with the Mets. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• A Mets staffer accidentally emailed Sandy Alderson’s credit-card information to nearly the entire New York baseball media corps. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

• Despite a team off-day Monday, the Mets do not intend to skip Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom’s next turn. Read more on the rookie pitchers in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Travis d’Arnaud’s concussion was severe enough that he was unable to remain in the dugout during Wednesday’s Subway Series game because the noise was overwhelming to him. Read more in the Daily News.

• Jon Hamm, the star of “Million Dollar Arm,” who plays Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. And that means loathing the Mets, Ken Davidoff writes in the Post. Writes Davidoff about Hamm:

He attended 2006 National League Championship Series Game 7 at Shea Stadium, he said, and when Adam Wainwright caught Carlos Beltran looking at the nastiest curveball ever for strike three, he stood up and screamed … then quickly realized he was the only person in his section doing so, and quickly sat back down.

• Ex-Met Julio Franco will attempt to play in independent ball at age 55.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear envisions Lagares' Hall of Fame induction speech.

BIRTHDAYS: Dick Smith, who played for the ’63 and ’64 Mets, was born on this date in 1939.


YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Saturday at Nationals Park?