A.J. Burnett might have ruined trade value with horrible outing (NBC on Yahoo Sports)

A gaggle of scouts from pitching-needy teams assembled behind the backstop at Citi Field on Monday night for a matchup between two clubs bound for Nowhereville. The attraction: Veteran right-handers A.J. Burnett and Bartolo Colon. Neither is the caliber of a David Price, a Jon Lester or a Cliff Lee, but both are serviceable second-tier starters that could probably help a contending team. In his final start before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, Burnett flopped. He was hit hard in the Phillies ’ 7-1 loss to the New York Mets. “Just a brutal effort,” said Burnett, who allowed eight hits, five for extra bases, as his record fell to 6-10 with a 4.15 ERA in 23 starts. Colon, 41, carried a shutout into the eighth inning before the Phillies scored their only run of the game on back-to-back doubles by Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz. The Phillies had 13 hits (four each by Ruiz and Marlon Byrd) on the night, but just two extra-base hits. They left 12 men on base. “The big hit,” manager Ryne Sandberg lamented. “The extra-base hit with men on base to score multiple runs. That’s something that has lacked.” The Phils have played 106 games and scored two or fewer runs in 40 of them. Only San Diego has scored two or fewer runs in more games (51). Scouts from Toronto, Kansas City and St. Louis were all in attendance. All are looking for a starting pitcher. After this one, Colon, owed $11 million for next season, might be more attractive to those teams than Burnett, who has a player option that could be worth as much as $12.75 million next season, depending on how many starts he ends up making this season. Unlike teammate Jonathan Papelbon, who can’t wait to get out of Philadelphia, Burnett is not eager to move on. “This is my team,” he has said of the Phillies several times in recent weeks. After his final start before the deadline, Burnett made it clear he was in no mood to talk about a possible trade. “I have no clue [what’s going to happen],” he said. “I don’t like to talk about it. As soon as I hear talk about it, I walk the other way. I don’t want to be around it. I focus on today, the game that’s ahead of us, not where we could end up or what could happen.” If the Phillies are able to make a deal before Thursday, outfielder Byrd and reliever Antonio Bastardo probably stand the best chance to go. Byrd, who had four singles, is still coveted by Seattle, but the Mariners would have to guarantee his $8 million option for 2016 to get him. Bastardo had a rough homestand, but there are still enough teams looking for relievers that he could go. But he certainly didn't help his value with his poor work at home. As for Lee and Cole Hamels. Well, Lee probably hasn’t shown enough in two starts off the disabled list to have top value. He could still be an August waiver deal. Hamels is available -- he, along with every other Phillie, has been for weeks -- but the Phils want a huge haul for him. After Monday night’s game, Sandberg was asked what he considered the greater need going forward, starting pitching or offense. “Overall, I think you need starting pitching to compete,” he said. “Generally speaking, good pitching with defense can give you a chance.” Read into this comment and you can see the skipper favors keeping Hamels. That is the organization’s mindset, as well: Build around Hamels -- unless some team blooooows you away. Burnett threw 131 pitches in his previous start, but said that had nothing to do with his problems on Monday night. “Everything was flat, up, no life,” he said of his pitches. Burnett had a lot of trouble keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate. That’s a recipe for hard-hit balls and the Mets had several. They had three doubles on their way to scoring four times in the first inning. Travis d’Arnaud belted a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. “We dug ourselves an early hole,” Sandberg said. The manager has said that a lot this season. And chances are he will again before it's all over. -- Jim Salisbury, CSNPhilly.com

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 29, 2014 at 9:34 am



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The Grand Slam: Vance Worley shuts out the Giants in exactly 100 pitches (Big League Stew)

A day after Greg Maddux was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame , Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Vance Worley nearly achieved a "Maddux" — the Internet-recognized feat of throwing a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches. But this wasn't any complete game. It was a 5-0 shutout against the San Francisco Giants in which Worley gave up four hits and struck out three. He completely dominated the Giants, handing them their second shutout loss in three games.  Yes, we said Vance Worley did this. The same Vance Worley who was a big-league castoff after a 7.21 ERA in 2013. He ended up one pitch away from the Maddux, however. Worley finished with 100 pitches exactly, one too many for Maddux status. Blame a ninth-inning triple by Hunter Pence. It wasn't a Maddux, but a great performance still, the best of Worley's career, and he certainly won't worry too much about that one pitch. This is the high point in his return to the big leagues. After that ugly 2013 with the Minnesota Twins, Worley was traded to Pittsburgh this spring for cash or a player to be named. He was sent to the minors first, but Worley worked his way back into the Pirates rotation and is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight games since joining the big-league team in mid June. Greg Maddux, since you're probably wondering, threw a Maddux 13 times . JAYS, DICKEY DOMINATE RED SOX The recipe for the Toronto Blue Jays' rout of the Boston Red Sox on Monday night: two homers from Melky Cabrera, 14 total hits and 10 strikeouts from starting pitcher R.A. Dickey. It wasn't even close. The Jays won 14-1 , crushing the Red Sox like the windshield of an ill-placed car behind the Green Monster. Dickey had his good knuckleball going, even though he didn't exactly need it because of all those runs: ''I kind of wish they could divide them up over, like, three starts,'' he said. ''(I) almost kind of wish we'd have only scored two runs because I felt like I had that kind of knuckleball tonight and saved this outing for when I gave up five, but I'll take it.'' This was Toronto's third straight win. They're 2 1/2 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East. Your browser does not support iframes. MARLINS COME BACK, STUN NATS The Washington Nationals took a 6-0 lead into the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins, a lead that's generally pretty safe no matter who's across the field. But the still-hanging-around Marlins scored seven runs in the final three innings to stun the first-place Nats, concluding the 7-6 comeback win on a walk-off single by Jeff Baker with two outs in the ninth. The Marlins scored four runs in that ninth inning, and skipper Mike Redmond did not shy away from declaring this the biggest win of the Marlins' season : ''At this stage, that's got to be the biggest game of the year - right? - with where we are in the standings, and where we've got to go,'' manager Mike Redmond said. ''These guys understand that.'' The Marlins are a surprising 52-53. Playoffs don't seem particularly likely, but they're 4 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot and six out in the NL East. Like a six-run comeback, it's not impossible.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 29, 2014 at 2:04 am



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Travis d’Arnaud homers, Mets crush Phillies 7-1 (The Associated Press)

Bartolo Colon let the trade talk get to him - a dozen years ago, when he was dealt from the Indians to the Expos. Travis d'Arnaud went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer, Colon made his second straight strong start, and the Mets crushed the Phillies 7-1 on Monday night. ''Really after that I quit paying attention.'' D'Arnaud hit one of three Mets doubles as they took a 4-0 lead in the first. With the Mets up 7-0 in the sixth, the Phillies loaded the bases after umpire Jerry Meals ruled that Daniel Murphy's foot didn't touch the bag on a two-out force play at second base.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 29, 2014 at 12:31 am



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Phillies-Mets Preview (The Associated Press)

The New York Mets have been swinging hot bats during a positive stretch at Citi Field, though they might have a difficult time continuing that trend against one of the NL's top pitchers. As the Mets go for their longest home winning streak in four years Tuesday night, Philadelphia's Cole Hamels hopes to keep showing the Phillies why they might be better off holding on to him through the trade deadline. New York (51-55) has averaged 5.9 runs while winning eight of nine at home, scoring four in the first inning and three in the fifth off A.J. Burnett in Monday's 7-1 win to open this three-game set. New York, however, could have a tougher time with Hamels as it looks to win five straight home games for the first time since a nine-game run from May 22-June 8, 2010.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 28, 2014 at 11:40 pm



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Colon helps Mets beat Phillies (The SportsXchange)

Playing in a big ball park like Citi Field, New York Mets manager Terry Collins has preached directional hitting and taking out the home run. It seems his team has taken note, especially its two youngest stars, Travis d'Arnaud and Juan Lagares, as the Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-1 behind a sterling pitching performance by Bartolo Colon. The Mets (51-55) earned their fifth win in seven games and improved to 13-6 in their past 19 games. The Phillies (46-60) had won three of four before dropping the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 28, 2014 at 10:30 pm



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Team Report – PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (The SportsXchange)

Phillies' Burnett has disappointing outing

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm



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Team Report – NEW YORK METS (The SportsXchange)

Will recent run affect Mets' trade plans?

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm



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Mets GM Alderson suggests deadline deal unlikely (The Associated Press)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says ''I wouldn't bet on something happening'' before Thursday's trade deadline.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm



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Brewers-Rays Preview (The Associated Press)

After beating the team he grew up rooting for, Jake Odorizzi now gets to finally face the club that drafted him. The former Milwaukee Brewers first-round pick seeks his first three-start win streak Monday night at home for the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game set. Odorizzi (6-8, 3.97 ERA), who grew up about 33 miles from St. Louis in Highland, Ill., pitched on the road against the Cardinals for the first time Tuesday and allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings to earn a 7-2 win. I figured I had to tip my hat to them." The emotion seems to be different this time for Odorizzi, who was drafted in 2008 but never pitched for the Brewers.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm



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Phillies-Mets Preview (The Associated Press)

There figure to be some interested observers Monday night when right-handers Bartolo Colon and A.J. Burnett square off. Colon's New York Mets and Burnett's Philadelphia Phillies may not even be chief among that group. Former teammates with the New York Yankees in 2011, Colon and Burnett could both be pitching elsewhere soon since the Mets (50-55) and Phillies (46-59) are the NL East's worst teams leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. Burnett (6-9, 3.86) signed a deal with Philadelphia in the offseason that guarantees him $22.5 million over two seasons.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on July 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm



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