WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

The New York Mets entered Saturday’s play 57-58, in third place, 10 1/2 games behind the National League East leading Washington Nationals and three games behind the surprising Miami Marlins. The Kansas City Royals, whom the Mets played in the 2015 World Series, are having their own set of struggles. Ned Yost’s team is 56-59 in third place, 10 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central and five games behind the second place Detroit Tigers.

IN A PRIOR LIFE HE WAS A PITCHER

Expectations are sometimes cruel reminders of how much pressure society places on an individual.

Case in point: Mark Prior, the second overall pick in the 2001 June draft, signed a five-year, $10.5 million deal and made nine minor league starts before he was promoted to save the Chicago Cubs. Sports Illustrated compared Prior and Kerry Wood to Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.

ICHIRO RECORDS 3,000TH HIT

Ichiro Suzuki became the 30th member of the 3,000 hit club Sunday when he ripped a triple off the right field wall at Coors Field in Colorado.

Suzuki now has 3,000 hits in the United States and 1,278 hits in Japan for a total of 4,278 career hits.