video thumbnail

MIL@NYM: Former Mets great Piazza on tenure with club

There won't be anything on the line for the Brewers and Mets when they play in their final game of the regular season on Sunday -- both teams were eliminated from postseason contention long ago -- but it still means something to the team's starting pitchers.

For the Brewers' Marco Estrada, it's about proving he is worthy of a spot in Milwaukee's 2014 starting rotation. For the Mets' Jon Niese, it's about ending the season strong in order to build toward next year.

Estrada entered the season as the Brewers' No. 2 starter, but inconsistency early in the year and a hamstring injury that caused him to miss more than two months has left him in a position where he has to prove himself all over again.

After going 4-4 with a 5.32 ERA in 12 starts before going on the disabled list on June 3, Estrada has rebounded to post a 3-0 record and a 2.26 ERA over his final eight outings since coming off the DL on Aug. 7.

"For me, it's a good thing, because I missed two months [on the disabled list] and I've got a lot of innings in me," Estrada said. "Another opportunity to show the team what I can do."

Niese also missed a large chunk of time between June and August, spending nearly two months on the DL with a partial tear in his rotator cuff. He has been stellar since returning on Aug. 11, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in his last nine starts.

Because he's thrown only 137 innings this season, Niese wants to pitch the regular-season finale in an effort to make sure his arm is ready to pitch a full season in 2014.

"He just said, 'Listen, I want to make sure my innings are up.' He talked about the fact he missed enough time, he felt great, he wants to pitch," manager Terry Collins said. "He wants to make sure next year he's ready to go 200 innings."

Brewers: Segura returns to the lineup with NL stolen bases crown on the line
Shortstop Jean Segura returned to the Brewers' lineup on Saturday for the first time since Sept. 18, setting up an interesting Sunday showdown with Mets center fielder Eric Young Jr.

Segura -- who has been sidelined with a hamstring issue -- enters Sunday's game tied with Young for the National League lead in stolen bases, with 44. The 23-year-old infielder will have a chance to fend of the hard-charging Young and win the steals crown in his first full season in the Majors.

Mets: Piazza to be inducted into Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday
After a stellar career in Queens that stretched from 1998 to 2005, longtime catcher Mike Piazza will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame prior to Sunday's game.

Piazza -- who also played for the Dodgers, Padres and A's - hit .308 with 427 home runs and 1,335 RBIs in his 16-year career, and he was part of the Mets team that went to the World Series in 2000.

Worth noting
• Mets third baseman David Wright returned to the lineup on Saturday. He sat out Saturday's game after suffering a jammed thumb on Thursday after being hit in the helmet with a pitch.

• The Mets and Terry Collins are reportedly nearing a two-year contract extension.

MLB.com Comments