Mark Teixeira says Vicente Padilla “doesn’t have too many friends in the game”

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Mark Teixeira had the key hit in a wild 10-8 win over the Red Sox last night, delivering a go-ahead two-run triple off Vicente Padilla in a four-run seventh inning.

After the game, Teixeira told reporters that the triple was especially satisfying because he managed to get the best of a long-time nemesis.

“Game-winning hits always feel good,” he said, “but that one definitely felt good.”

“He doesn’t have too many friends in the game,” said Teixeira, who has called out Padilla before for throwing at batters’ heads. “Guy throws at people. Fact of the matter, I’m not saying anything that’s news.”

“In the NFL, he’d probably be suspended by (commissioner) Roger Goodell eight games or a whole season,” Teixeira said. “There’s only one guy in baseball. No one else does this. That’s the thing that is unbelievable to me.”

Padilla’s reputation as a headhunter is well-documented, as he has drawn criticism in the past for putting his teammates at risk for retaliation.

This particular feud stems back to June 9, 2005 when Teixeira was with the Rangers and Padilla was pitching for the Phillies. Teixeira homered in his first two at-bats against Padilla before getting plunked. He was hitless over his last eight at-bats against Padilla before last night’s triple, with three walks and two other hit-by-pitches sprinkled in.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.