Jon Niese's Steller Performance Earns the Mets Another Win
With the series set at 1-1 against the Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets are looking to steal the last game of the 3 game series against the Brewers in their first series on their 10 game road trip. To do that, the Mets put on improving lefty Jon Niese (4-5 3.75) vs the hot righty phenom Yovani Gallardo (8-2 3.72).
Jose Reyes has a 12 game hit streak, and in those 12 games, the Mets are 6-6.
Jason Bay has gotten a day off in three of the last ten games, and he has got to be frustrated about that. Jason Pridie is going to take his spot in LF.
Both Jon Niese and Yovani Gallardo pitched well in their last outings. Niese went 7 2/3 innings but got the no decision. On the other hand, Gallardo has won his last 6 outings with an earned run average of 1.32 through 41 innings.
Jon Niese, against the Brewers, has an ERA of 17.47 in 2 starts pitching only 5 2/3 innings. Hopefully he will get back on track, and not let the duo of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder overwhelm him.
In the 2nd inning, with Pridie on 2nd base after hitting a single and moving to second on a fielders choice, Ruben Tejada smoked an RBI single on a line drive to center field. Tejada went to second on the throw. That gave the Mets the early lead at 1-0.
Jon Niese through 3 innings sat down all 9 batters he faced, 4 of the batters struck out.
In the 4th inning, Pagan laced a triple down the right field line. Pridie, in for benched Jason Bay, hit a fairly deep fly ball to left bringing home Pagan with a sacrifice fly to give the Mets 2-0 lead.
After walking Ryan Braun, Jon Niese gave up a 1 run double to Prince Fielder (the scariest baseball player to pitch to). Ryan Braun scored, but Niese was able to stop the bleeding getting the struggling Casey McGehee to ground to Daniel Murphy (the first baseman) to retire the side. At that point it was 2-1 Mets.
With Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran hitting back to back singles, Murphy decided to hit a single as well, bringing Justin Turner home. Then, Angel Pagan hit another single, to bring home Beltran to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. That was the end of the red hot Yovani Gallardo. With Tim Dillard coming in for Gallardo, he struck out Pridie. With Thole batting, taking the double play out of order, Angel Pagan stole 2nd base. Josh Thole hit a high short fly ball, caught by Corey Hart. Murphy tagged from third, and Hart's throw beat Murphy by 3 steps, and that retired the side. The score stood at 4-1.
In the 7th inning, something very strange happened. With Justin Turner on 3rd and Angel Pagan on 1st, Sergio Mitre, the Brewers relief pitcher picked Pagan off. After going back in fourth in the pickle, Prince Fielder got called for obstruction. Pagan took 2nd base. While all that was going on, Turner kept inching down to to home plate, but never made the run. There, he should have ran to home plate, and stopped worrying about Pagan. There were 2 outs anyway. That was a rookie mistake, and I'm sure if Turner was put in that situation again, he would run to home plate next time. After all that, Jason Pridie grounded out to the 1st baseman Prince Fielder, and Mitre retired the side.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Jon Niese ran into some trouble. Braun hit a single and Fielder got walked to start the inning. Casey McGehee hit a liner to right field, allowing Braun to run down to third base. With the runners on the corners and Yuniesky Betancourt at the plate, Betancourt pooped a foul ball by the home dugout. Josh Thole made a fantastic play to catch the ball and get the 2nd out. The Brewers had one last hope, and it was Jonathon Lucroy at the plate. Niese threw a spectacular curveball on the outside corner for a called strike three to get out of the jam.
To start the 8th inning off, the woes for McGehee continued, making 2 consecutive errors allowing Thole and Tejada to be on base. Mitre was able to put those away and get the next 3 batters out, after Niese couldn't get down yet another sacrifice bunt.
Niese pitched 2 outs into the 8th inning, but wasn't able to get that last out in the eighth inning. He walked Weeks and allowed a single to Hart, and then the Closer Francisco Rodriguez came in to get a 4 out save. "K-Rod" had to face Ryan Braun. Braun lined the ball right at Jason Pridie out in left field, to retire the side. The score remained at 4-1.
Marco Estrada came in for the 9th for the Brewers with a bounce back performance. He let one walk but struck out 3 batters.
Francisco Rodriguez came on to pitch the 9th inning with the 3 run lead. Prince Fielder leading off, smokes a liner down the right field line doubling to start the inning. Rodriguez settled down and retired the next 3 batters.
"And the ball game is over" ~Gary Cohen (Mets play by play broadcaster). Mets went on to win 4-1.
Yovani Gallardo pitched just 4 innings with 10 hits allowing 4 earned runs pitching 96 pitches and picking up his 3rd loss of the season. Gallardo had his earned run average bumped up 3.96. Gallardo owes a thanks to Tim Dillard pitching out of the his jam stranding 2 more runners that would have been Gallardo's earned runs if they had scored.
Jon Niese again pitched 7 2/3 innings, letting up only 3 hits, with 4 walks, 8 strikeouts and just 1 earned run lowering his era 3.51 and getting the win (5-5). Sadly, he hasn't been able to finish the 8th inning yet this season, but has come so close. Niese pitched very well, mixing up his pitches. Out of the 99 pitches on the night, Niese threw 40 curveballs. Opponents average .153 on his curveball this season.
Daniel Murphy (1-4 BB, RBI) leads the majors in batting average since May 21st. Jose Reyes (0-5) is in second place on that list, trailing Murphy.
Jose Reyes ended his 12 game hit streak going 0-5. This time, other Mets decided to contribute.
It seems like Ruben Tejada (2-4), after struggling last season, has finally found his groove, and is playing with a lot of confidence. Maybe it is because he knows hes playing every night. To have him the the bottom of the order is very good because he knows how to work the pitch count on the opposing pitcher. He is not an easy out, and proved that tonight.
Whenever the Mets try to bunt, they seem to never get the bunt down. It always hurts because usually Collins asks the pitcher to sacrifice bunt for Reyes to bring home the runs. The runners are never in scoring position after the pitcher comes up. The Mets need to start figuring out how to lay a bunt down, especially when the ball is a fastball right down the middle, like Niese saw today in the 4th and the 8th inning, striking out on both occasions.
Gallardo's 6 straight wins came to a close as the Mets ripped Gallardo very early. They did this versus Jair Jurrjens when they played against the Braves.
The Milwaukee Brewers now have lost just their 2nd series home all season. The Brewers are now 22-9 at home during the season.
Meanwhile, the Mets got a series win that was much needed. Starting their 3 series road trip, beating the best home team in baseball was a big plus, and also a very big surprise. The Mets will now move to an underrated Pittsburgh Pirates team for a 4 game series.
For daily updates of the New York Mets go to @NYMetsKnicksFan on Twitter!