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Houston, We Have A Problem Applesauce: Bad Start for Niese, Duda and Nickeas Have The Flu, Cedeno Working His Way Back

David Wright is smiling? TRAID!
David Wright is smiling? TRAID!

Meet the Mets

The Mets fell to the Astros 6-3 on Tuesday, their second defeat in a row and just the second series win this season for Houston. Jon Niese got the start and was lit up for a pair of early home runs, putting the Mets in a quick 5-0 hole. Niese went just three innings before giving way to Miguel Batista, who skirted trouble over 2+ innings before Ramon Ramirez walked in one of his inherited runners. None of that really mattered, though, as the Mets managed just three runs. All were scored on singles, by Andres Torres and Josh Thole in the fourth inning and Scott Hairston in the fifth. All in all, not a very exciting or fruitful couple of games after the high level of drama we saw at Coors Field over the weekend.

Choose Your Recap:, ESPN NY, NY Daily News, Associated Press, NY Times, Star Ledger, Bergen Record

Coming off of those two losses, the Mets look to salvage the series finale with the Astros this afternoon before they head back to Citi Field to face the Diamondbacks on Friday. Chris Schwinden makes his second big league start of the year and he'll take on the veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez. Game time is at 2:05 PM and you can catch the action on SNY, as well as on MLB Network outside of the local area.

Lucas Duda was out of the lineup for the second day in a row with the flu. He did pinch hit in the fourth inning and struck out. Mike Nickeas also missed the game with the flu, though the Mets did not have a need for a backup catcher in this one. Mike Baxter, Jack Of All Trades, would've served as the emergency catcher. Despite the illness going around the clubhouse, the Mets will probably not make a move in the coming days to bring up a replacement catcher.

In case you didn't realize or fallen off the face of the planet or something, David Wright had an awesome April. So did Johan Santana, despite not winning a single game. Of course, I know we all realize that pitcher wins and losses mean basically nothing in the grand scheme of things.

This is a pretty young Mets team and Terry Collins said that in order for them to reach the next level, they'll have to learn very quickly.

Toby Hyde recapped the first month of the season in Buffalo. It was a pretty good month for the Herd as they went 14-10, despite losing a few important players to big league promotions. How about Bobby Scales: the 34 year old AAAA vet has absolutely torn apart the International League through the first month to the tune of a .413/.522/.600 line.

Around the NL East

Bryce Harper made his home debut but the Nats fell to the Diamondbacks 5-1. How about this throw from Harper in left field on a sacrifice fly. Ryan Zimmerman, meanwhile, is hoping to return to action on Sunday off of his shoulder injury.

The Phillies beat the Braves 4-2, as they scored two in the eighth off of Jonny Venters to go ahead. Looks like Jason Heyward will miss a day or two with a sore oblique.

Ricky Nolasco allowed just one run over 7 innings and Giancarlo Stanton hit his second home run of the year, as the Marlins beat the Giants 2-1 in San Francisco.

Around the Majors

Tuesday was not a good day for the Tampa Bay Rays, to say the least. First, Tampa found out that former #1 overall pick Tim Beckham was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse. Next and worse off, star 3B Evan Longoria was diagnosed with a partial tear of his left hamstring and will likely miss 6-8 weeks as a result. Then, they transferred closer Kyle Farnsworth to the 60 day DL, officially pushing his return back to June. At least they won yesterday, 3-1 over the Mariners.

The Cardinals announced that they're going to retire Tony LaRussa's number 10 at a ceremony on May 11th. They also activated World Series hero Allen Craig off of the disabled list.

Tempers are flaring up in Los Angeles of Anaheim (that's what they call it, right?) as Albert Pujols is mad at hitting coach Mickey Hatcher for revealing details of a hitters' meeting that they'd had.

Orioles prospect and 2011 4th overall draft pick Dylan Bundy finally allowed a hit on Tuesday. The 19 year old righty had thrown 4 hitless starts and before allowing a single to the first batter yesterday.

Finally, Ben Badler of Baseball America has an interesting piece on player fraud in Latin American countries. In order to combat DNA tests, entire families are now swapping identities, making it tougher and more expensive for MLB to track the players and figure out their real identities.