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Earth Quaking, Met Fans Shaking Applesauce: Pitching Rocked Again, Niese & Hairston to DL, Pagan's Medical Condition

Can things go worse than they've gone for the Mets in August? Well, I guess they probably could, but let's not go there just yet. Another ugly game against the Phillies sent the Mets to the showers as losers, a 9-4 defeat that looks much closer than it actually was the majority of the way. The Mets put runners at the corners in the first and runners at second and third in the second, both with no outs and ended up with nothing to show for it. That's never a positive sign. Soon after, a four run Phillies third against Jon Niese opened the scoring and then a run in the fourth and four in the fifth inning blew the doors right off the barn. The only highlights for the Mets were a ____ _____ double and triple and a two run Lucas Duda home run. Also, the fact that the bullpen went four innings and allowed just a run is somewhat a consolation, in some sick sort of way.

To make matters worse (looks like I jinxed it above, eh?), the team announced shortly after the game that Niese and Scott Hairston will head to the disabled list with rib cage injuries, a swift kick to the ol' bat and balls for a team already reeling from proverbial kicks to the stomach, face, knee and ankle (okay that one's for you, Ike Davis). It looks as if Chris Schwinden and Miguel Batista will be recalled from Buffalo in their stead, although Pat Misch is also considered a possibility. Yeesh. Either way, the Mets will need two starters for their impending doubleheader next Monday.

The Mets look to get out of Philly as quickly as possible after Wednesday's 1:00 game. You may want to find something more constructive to do with your afternoon, but if you're free and a true masochist, you can watch Mike Pelfrey throw for the Mets, up against righty Kyle Kendrick for the Phils.

Prior to Tuesday's game, you likely heard of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Virginia that swept up and down the east coast. Well, the rumbling was felt in Philly and Citizen's Bank Park was briefly evacuated. Speaking of rumbling, Angel Pagan felt some of his own during Monday night's game. Between innings, in case you missed it, Pagan felt a little gassy and decided to listen to his gut and relieve himself, nearly missing his at bat in the process. The issues aren't new to Angel, as he suffers from Colitis, which is a digestive tract issue that sidelined him previously in 2007 for two months and is something he takes medication to control.

Howard Megdal keeps Met fans up to date on the catching situation. Remember when Ronny Paulino came back on a tear, while Josh Thole looked overmatched? Well, things have certainly shifted since then.

As we near the end of the season and the Mets look towards the future, there's lots of information about minor leaguers being published around the net. Toby Hyde was in Port St. Lucie over the weekend to watch the High A St. Lucie squad, as well as the Rookie League GCL squad and he was able to snag interviews with well-spoken first rounder Brandon Nimmo and even GM Sandy Alderson. He also got some video of Nimmo at the plate and will be posting video of pitching prospects Zack Wheeler on Wednesday and Michael Fulmer on Thursday. Meanwhile, SNY's Ted Berg profiles second base prospect Reese Havens, while another site lobby the promotion of Havens to the big club.

After being delayed by a low white blood cell count, Gary Carter is headed for a more intense round of chemotherapy to try to control his malignant brain tumors.

Finally, at least we're not the Cubs or the Pirates or the Nationals, right?

Around the NL East

It hasn't been all fun and games for the Phillies these past two days. Cole Hamels was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder, a move retroactive to August 13th. Before you think that this is the big blow that could hurt Philly's chances at a World Series title, realize that he's likely to be activated when eligible on Sunday and make his scheduled Monday start. Drat.

Jason Heyward, batting eighth in the lineup mind you, hit a 5th inning grand slam and Craig Kimbrel tied the rookie saves record with 40, as the Braves defeated the Cubs 5-4 in Chicago. Mike Minor also threw a decent game for the Braves. What I would give to have a young core like that.....

Ian Kennedy shut out the Nationals for seven innings, as the Diamondbacks won 2-0, snapping their six game losing streak. Jordan Zimmermann, in the midst of an excellent season for Washington, took the hard luck loss. Let me state the obvious here: a 1-2 punch of Stephen Strasburg and Zimmermann next year is going to be very, very scary.

The Reds beat the Marlins 8-6 behind the big bat of Yonder Alonso, keeping the Mets at a comfortable three games ahead of the Marlins for last place in the division.

Around the Majors

Carlos Beltran is back from the disabled list and will start Wednesday, as the swooning Giants could certainly use his bat in their anemic lineup. In other news, Jonathan Sanchez is back on the DL with an ankle injury, retroactive to August 17th.

The Red Sox beat the Rangers 11-5, as Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of home runs. John Lackey was merely decent, though certainly not bad, especially considering how poorly he's pitched all season.

The Diamondbacks and Blue Jays made a trade on Tuesday, as the Jays acquired second baseman Kelly Johnson from Arizona, in exchange for second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop John McDonald. The Colorado Rockies also made some news, as they acquired third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from the Oakland A's in exchange for a PTBNL or cash. They're also the team that claimed Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez off of waivers. The two teams have until Thursday at 1 PM ET to work out a deal.

Finally, former Mets bench player and ageless wonder Julio Franco turned a spry 53 years old on Tuesday.