The Mets' acquisition of Tyler Clippard took on new importance yesterday after Jenrry Mejia's 162-game suspension was announced.

Clippard, a two-time All-Star reliever, was acquired from Oakland for minor-league pitcher Casey Meisner on Monday night, though general manager Sandy Alderson said the move was not made in response to developments surrounding the Mejia case.

"We received a call on Monday from Major League Baseball, indicating that this may happen [Tuesday] or [Wednesday]," Alderson said before Tuesday night's game. "At that time, the deal for Clippard was essentially done, so our track in talking with Oakland about Tyler . . . was independent of this situation."

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"I'm really excited to be back in the NL East," said Clippard, who made his big-league debut with the Yankees but spent seven years with the Nationals before being traded to the Athletics in January. "The Mets are right in the mix and it's gonna be a lot of fun chasing down my old teammates in Washington . . . They're beatable. There's no perfect team in baseball."

Collins said Clippard, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning last night and lowered his ERA to 2.72, would be used as a setup man, and could spell closer Jeurys Familia when needed.

D'Arnaud on deck?

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Collins said that the team will determine by the end of the week when catcher Travis d'Arnaud will return. D'Arnaud is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton.

D'Arnaud has been out since June 20 with an elbow injury. He went 1-for-4 and played the whole game last night for Binghamton.

Matz update

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Alderson said lefthander Steven Matz saw a doctor Monday, and though his "latissimus muscle has improved quite a bit," he has not been begun throwing. He will be re-examined next week, Alderson said . . . For the third straight game, Kirk Nieuwenhuis (6-for-12 before going 0-for-3 last night) started in centerfield over Juan Lagares, and Collins said "guys who are getting it done are going to be in there."