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On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

Mets' struggles at Citi Field continue -- is it in their heads?

Mets leftfielder Chris Young reacts after striking out

(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Consider the pall that hovers above Citi Field, which has been a house of horrors for any Met who happens to be holding a baseball bat. By now, the problem is well documented. The Mets have a .700 OPS on the road and a dreadful .598 OPS at home.

They can't hit here, and some of the issue may be talent. You get what you pay for, after all, and there's a price to pay for slashing payroll $60...

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Juan Lagares returns to Mets after death in family

Mets' Juan Lagares stands in the on-deck circle

(Credit: AP / Joe Mahoney)

Centerfielder Juan Lagares made it to Citi Field in time on Wednesday night to be in the starting lineup against the Dodgers. Lagares had been in the Dominican Republic since Monday because of a death in his family.

The Mets declined to put him on the bereavement list, which would have prevented him from playing on Wednesday.

The Mets also got some good news regarding catcher Travis...

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Ruben Tejada to get second chance at shortstop

Ruben Tejada (11) reacts after he singled to

(Credit: Ray Stubblebine)

WASHINGTON -- Ruben Tejada’s modest improvement over the last week has been enough to buy the embattled shortstop a second chance.

Even though prospect Wilmer Flores started on Saturday against the Nationals, Tejada will likely see the majority of the playing time at short, even after his struggles to start the year put his job in jeopardy.

“He’s getting to be the guy we know,” Mets...

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Jacob deGrom, Chase Whitley a 'hit' during Subway Series

Jacob deGrom of the Mets is congratulated on

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Yankees starting pitcher Chase Whitley singled for the Yankees in the third, and Mets starter Jacob deGrom singled in the bottom of the inning, breaking an 0-for-64 streak to start the season by Mets pitchers.

But by Whitley and deGrom singling, they combined to achieve another feat, becoming just the third pair of opposing pitchers to get a hit during the same Subway Series game.

Jon...

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Fantasy baseball: The Mets' closer situation

Jenrry Mejia looks on before a game against

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

The Mets' closer role has been a mess since Bobby Parnell went down with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his elbow on Opening Day after first suffering the blown save.

Since then, veterans Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth have both had a go at the role, but Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday that the ninth-inning man will be "kind of a game by game" situation. Now that the...

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Masahiro Tanaka a 'complete' pitcher for Yankees

The Yankees hold an introductory press conference for

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

It was a virtuoso performance.

Masahiro Tanaka completely shut down a Mets lineup that had scored 21 runs during the previous two games, restoring order to the Yankees' universe. Tanaka allowed four hits (one double), walked none and struck out eight over nine scoreless innings.

It was the third complete game shutout in Subway Series history. Dave Mlicki tossed the first for the Mets...

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Mets pitchers not entirely unproductive at the plate

Mets' Bartolo Colon singles on a ground ball

(Credit: AP / David Goldman)

We get it: Mets pitchers don't have a hit yet.

But does that mean they've been unproductive?

One of the prevailing narratives surrounding the Mets during the early part of this season has revolved around Mets hurlers' almost inexplicable inability to manage even a single. They're 0-for-64 and counting, the lone National League team without a hit from their pitching staff. Among American...

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MLB debuts a rarity in Subway Series history...until now

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is photographed during photo

(Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

When Rafael Montero steps on the mound at Citi Field to start Wednesday's Subway Series game for the Mets, he'll be just the sixth player on either team to make his MLB debut during the intra-city contest.

When Chase Whitley debuts as the Yankees starter on Thursday, he'll also join the club.

When Jacob deGrom debuts as the Mets' starter on Thursday, he will, too.

A Mets or Yankees...

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Rafael Montero: What to expect from the Mets prospect

Mets pitcher Rafael Montero looks on during spring

(Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

Rafael Montero, one of the top pitching prospects in the Mets organization, makes his major league debut in a start against the Yankees on Wednesday night.

Here's what you can expect to see from the 6-foot righthander:

IN CONTROL

Montero's calling card is his excellent command. In 390 minor league innings, he's struck out 367 hitters and walked 85 -- a 4.32 strikeout to walk ratio.He's...

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Brett Gardner's rare Subway Series feat

Yankees batter Brett Gardner, center, is welcomed at

(Credit: Ray Stubblebine)

Brett Gardner's two-out grand slam against Bartolo Colon on Monday turned out to be inconsequential in an eventual Mets victory.

But, in the 100th game the teams have played against each other, Gardner's home run was just the seventh grand slam either team has hit. The Yankees have hit five of them, the Mets two.

Here are the others (click on the date for a full game recap and box score):

-...

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