Mets manager Terry Collins was concerned about how his players would respond to a trade coming the day after Matt Harvey's injury was revealed. He wanted to make sure everyone knows what the expectations are, and he has to be pretty happy with the way the Mets responded Tuesday night with a 5-0 shutout against the Phillies.
"If they're going to play at this level, if they're going to play in this arena, there's going to be expectations," Collins said. "No matter who they are, no matter if their number's No. 5 [David Wright], there are still expectations here. If it's difficult for them to deal with, this is not the place for them to play."
Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the mound for the second time in a Mets uniform Wednesday and will be opposed by Cole Hamels of the Phillies.
Matsuzaka struggled in his Mets debut on Friday against the Tigers when gave up five runs on six hits in five innings, including home runs to Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera in the early innings. He had one walk and four strikeouts and took the loss.
"Today was my first Major League start in a while, and I was a little bit more nervous than I expected to be," he said after the game. "The homers that came those two innings woke me up."
He'd spent the first four-plus months of the season with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus and then was signed by the Mets on Thursday after the Indians granted him his release.
He's just one of the high-profile roster moves made by the Mets in the last week after a Tuesday trade sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh in exchange for Minor League prospect Dilson Herrera. The Mets recalled outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill some of the void left by Byrd, who was the team's top run producer.
Juan Lagares has played in center for most of the season, but the team is interested to see what den Dekker can do at that position. The Mets' other option is platooning him and Andrew Brown in right field.
"Juan's played great, and I will never, ever say anything different," Collins said. "Matt den Dekker is going to play some center field here. Because No. 1, we have to see it. That being said, there's going to be times Matt den Dekker's going to be in center field and there's a chance Juan Lagares is going to be in right field. Right now, if I sit here today, we'll probably do a tandem of Brownie and Matt, but that doesn't mean Matt's not playing center."
Hamels has won only one of his last five starts. The three runs he gave up against Arizona were the most he's surrendered in that span, and overall, he's lowered his ERA from 4.86 to 3.62 since May 31.
Mets: No timetable on Harvey
Harvey tweeted on Tuesday that he will return April 1 of next year, but general manager Sandy Alderson said there is no timetable for his return.
"If that's his tweet, that's his tweet," Alderson said.
Harvey could have to undergo Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed on Monday that he has a partial tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He will miss the rest of this season and could miss 2014 if he has the surgery. He was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.
Phillies: Ruiz finding his groove at the plate
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is playing so well this month it could keep him in Philadelphia despite a long injury history.
Since July 28, he is batting .325 (26-for-80) with six doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs. He was hitting just .253 (38-for-150) with four doubles and nine RBIs in his first 46 games.
"Chooch is playing well," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We'll see how things play out through the end of the year. Obviously, we have some familiarity with Chooch. He's starting to play better overall baseball. He's healthy now and he's had a chance to get his feet on the ground. He was playing catchup for a while."
• Wright, who's been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring, is heading to Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday to continue rehabbing his injury. Collins said Wright will first track pitches but won't swing since he's not ready to swing "100 percent" yet. Then the team hopes Wright can play in games by Sunday or Monday, Collins said.
• The U.S. Open is currently underway in Queens, and Phillies infielders Michael Young, Kevin Frandsen and John McDonald stopped by Tuesday. They had the good fortune to meet tennis star Ana Ivanovic.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.