Notes: Henderson here to help
Special instructor on tap to work with Reyes, Gomez
NEW YORK -- With the return of summer -- actually, one day before its return -- has come the return of a man who used to own summer in these parts, one Rickey Henley Henderson, also known as Jose Reyes' personal tutor. Henderson, officially identified as a special instructor in the Mets media guide, is back for five days of ... well, special instruction, and, as he put it, "Give 'em a boost with my special lucky charms."
"Back in the day," Henderson said, "I had something that I would rub when we got into a funk. And they thought I lost my mind."
Henderson will spend time with Carlos Gomez, of course, and any other Mets who want to pick his brain. But Reyes -- or, as Henderson calls him, Rey -- is the primary student.
"He don't need me on how to play," Henderson said. "I want him to think about his leadership. I told him in the spring that he is the leader. It's that 'you go, we go' thing."
In other words, as Reyes goes, so go the Mets.
"I told him, the other guys don't have to look at no home run. Make them look at you. This is your club. When things go bad, you've got to create. I told him he has to make some 'Rickey runs.' ... You know, runs when you get no hits -- a walk, a steal, an out and you score."
Not surprisingly, Reyes is scoring less of late. He scored 26 runs in April and, through Tuesday, 23 in May and June combined. But that diminished rate of production can be attributed to the shortfall in production of Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and David Wright.
Yet Reyes isn't blameless. An extra-base-hit machine in April, he had three extra-base hits -- one double, one triple and one home run -- in 30 games from May 15 through Tuesday. His slugging percentage in 118 at-bats in that period is .347. It was .537 through May 15.
Reyes is taking more pitches and walking more then he did early in the season, but his on-base percentage through the game of May 15 was .411. In the subsequent 30 games, it was .391.
The 'Cy-ze' of it: Tuesday's 9-0 loss to the Twins -- and Johan Santana -- was the Mets' sixth in 10 games in which they opposed a former Cy Young Award winner. They have beaten Roger Clemens, Brandon Webb, Randy Johnson and Chris Carpenter. The losses have come in games started by Santana, John Smoltz (three times) and Barry Zito (twice). Smoltz was not the winning pitcher in one of those three starts.
Missing persons: Through Tuesday, the Mets (Wright and Delgado), the Pirates (Jason Bay and Adam LaRoche), the Marlins (Dan Uggla and Miguel Cabrera) and the Padres (Adrian Gonzalez and Mike Cameron) were the only National League teams with two players with at least 60 strikeouts.
Hey, dollface: The second Paul Lo Duca bobblehead doll will be distributed on Sunday, but it was unveiled at Shea on Wednesday.
"I know someone in here will say it's life-size," Lo Duca said.
The Dodgers produced a Lo Duca doll when he played for them, but it didn't have beard stubble or a removable mask as this one does -- or a removable arm. When Willie Randolph picked up the doll, the left arm fell off.
"Must have taken a bunch of foul tips," Lo Duca said.
This date in Mets history, June 21: The Mets' winning percentage was 17 losses below .500 in 1963, but Little Al Jackson had a 6-7 record after pitching a complete game in the 3-1 victory against the Phillies at the Polo Grounds. The late Bob Murphy called Jackson "little," although, as Jackson would say, "I could sip soup off Bob's head." Jackson, still working for the Mets and a delightful man with the best laugh in the game this side of Reyes, is generously listed as 5-foot-10 in baseball reference books and Web sites.
In 1965, Jackson beat the Dodgers, 1-0, in Los Angeles, allowing three hits in a complete game, one more than the Mets managed against Claude Osteen. But the Mets' second hit was a leadoff home run by Billy Cowan in the ninth inning.
Tom Seaver, suffering from sciatica, pitched the first five innings of the Mets' 3-1 victory against the Phillies at the Vet in 1974. The Mets overcame four errors to beat Steve Carlton. They beat Lefty with some regularity, as his career record against the Mets is 30-36. The Reds are the only other National League team with a winning record against him, at 21-14. Seaver and Carlton opposed each other 17 times, with Seaver's teams winning 13 times. Seaver had an 11-3 record and Carlton a 3-12 record, even though their ERAs in the 17 games were comparable -- Seaver at 2.74, Carlton at 2.77.
Coming up: After a day off on Thursday, the Mets play the A's on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Shea Stadium in the first game of their final Interleague series this season. The A's last played at Shea in 1975, the Yankees' second season as Queens residents. But the A's -- whether of Philadelphia, Kansas City or Oakland -- have never played a National League team in New York other than in the World Series of 1905, 1911 and 1913 (against the Giants) and 1973 (against the Mets).
Having lost the eight most recent games in which they were been opposed by a left-handed starter, the Mets on Friday face lefty Lenny DiNardo, who has beaten the Red Sox and lost to the Rangers and Cardinals in his four starts this season. Left-hander Tom Glavine starts for the Mets, trying for the sixth time to gain the 296th victory of his career. The A's have won 14 of the 22 games in which they were opposed by a left-handed starter.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.