Morning Briefing: Dice-K Day in Chicago

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Daisuke Matsuzaka gets his second start this season on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.CHICAGO

FIRST PITCH: A day after a disheartening defeat, the Mets send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound Wednesday at historic Wrigley Field.

Matsuzaka, who steps into the rotation spot formerly occupied by Rafael Montero, faces the Chicago Cubs at 8:05 p.m. ET. Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.45 ERA) opposes right-hander Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81).

Dice-K has pitched as a starter once this season. Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 2 of a doubleheader on May, 25, he allowed two runs in six innings while logging 98 pitches.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Despite Zack Wheeler contributing 6 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday, the Mets lost to the Chicago Cubs, 2-1, on a walk-off RBI single by Nate Schierholtz against Scott Rice in the bottom of the ninth. David Wright failed to cleanly handle a grounder and turn a double play earlier in the frame, which allowed the eventual winning run to reach second base.

Josh Edgin surrendered a game-tying solo homer to Chris Coghlan in the eighth. The Mets had a bases-loaded, no-out opportunity in the third and came up empty. The Amazin’s went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position during the first five innings alone.

The Mets (28-30) squandered a chance to reach .500 for the first time since May 13.

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

• The Mets plan to add Andrew Brown from Triple-A Las Vegas for Thursday’s series finale in order to restore the bench to five players. At that point, the Mets will drop a reliever. With the weekend additions of Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland, they currently are carrying eight in the bullpen.

• Read a feature about Eveland, including about his 2013 season as a celebrity in South Korea, from Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger.

Daniel Murphy, who received talk-radio flak for going on paternity leave at the start of the season, has been invited to the White House to participate in a summit on parental rights. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

• Wright trails leader Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies by 24,763 votes in the latest National League All-Star voting tally at third base. Murphy checks in at fifth at second base. He is 675,585 votes behind leader Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies. Read more at MLB.com.

• Keith Law’s latest mock draft continues to project the Mets selecting University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb with the 10th overall pick on Thursday. Law mentions NC State shortstop Trea Turner as another potential pick.

• Murphy is due to get Thursday’s series finale off.

Matt den Dekker went 2-for-5 Tuesday in his second straight chance in the leadoff role. Terry Collins said Bobby Abreu is not a consideration for that role atop the order.

Still, Jared Diamond in the Journal advocates Abreu leading off. Writes Diamond:

Despite his advanced age and diminished ability, Abreu's skill set probably still translates as an ideal leadoff hitter better than anybody else's on the roster. He sees 4.14 pitches per plate appearance, which ranks third on the team among players with at least 60 plate appearances. He chases pitches outside the strike zone just 22.7 percent of the time, the best on the team.

And when he does swing, he hits the ball hard, entering Tuesday's game against the Cubs with a .315 batting average, a .397 OBP and a .500 slugging percentage. All of those numbers lead the Mets, as does his 32.7 line-drive percentage, albeit in a minuscule sample.

Read more on den Dekker from Tim Rohan in the Times.

Dillon Gee has not picked up a baseball in 10 days, since aborting a throwing session after two tosses at Citi Field because of renewed discomfort in his strained right lat muscle. Still, Matsuzaka is not looking at his rotation spot as having any permanency.

“I see this as temporary,” Matsuzaka told Marc Carig in Newsday through an interpreter. “And I don’t want to really think of it as a long-term thing or think too deeply into it being something permanent.”

Eric Young Jr. ran outdoors Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., for the first time since landing on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Young is eligible to return from the disabled list when the Mets return to Citi Field on Tuesday to face the Milwaukee Brewers.

• Montero allowed three runs on six hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings in his return to Triple-A as Las Vegas lost to Reno, 6-5. Matt Clark and Kevin Plawecki had four hits apiece in Binghamton’s 15-6 shellacking of Altoona. Kevin McGowan tossed 8 1/3 innings as Savannah beat Asheville, 3-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Fred Wilpon’s real-estate company is bulking up its presence in Brooklyn, Katherine Clark writes in the Daily News.

• Mike Puma in the Post and Carig in Newsday write that Vegas is finally providing talent for the Mets.

Johan Santana is a couple of rehab starts away from joining the Baltimore Orioles as he returns from a second shoulder surgery, Jonathan Lehman writes in the Post.

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