The Mets took the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays and beat them 5-3 thanks to another solid performance from Fernando Nieve and a three run homer from catcher Brian Schneider.
Some of the other starters in the rotation can learn a thing or two from newcomer Fernando Nieve who continues to impress. Nieve did an excellent job of throwing strikes and keeping the Ray’s hitters off balance. He allowed just one run on three hits in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out four.
Bobby Parnell came in to pitch the seventh inning and struggled again. He allowed the Rays to pull within one run by allowing two runs to score on a couple of hits and a walk. Pedro Feliciano came in and pitched to one batter and got out of the inning without further damage.
Sean Green came in to setup in the eighth and allowed two baserunners, but came away unscathed after striking out the side.
K-Rod was back on the saddle again and closed it out with a 1-2-3 inning to pick up his 18th save of the season.
Brian Schneider hit his first home run of the season, a three run blast to rightfield and put the Mets up 3-0 in the second inning. The Mets would never look back. An inning later, David Wright slapped a run-scoring double that scored Alex Cora, who had led off the inning with a single.
Later in the eight inning, with the Mets lead down to just one run, Ryan Church added a much needed insurance run and he did it against a lefthander.
Game Thoughts and Notes
Daniel Murphy went 3-4 and seems to have turned a corner and is locked in at the plate. His batting average is slowly creeping back up and stands at .256 now.
Ryan Church is kicking it into gear and had a couple of key hits in the game in addition to a walk and two stolen bases. Memo to Manuel: Please don’t bench Church!
David Wright struck out another three times in the game, but did manage a run scoring double.
Philadelphia lost to the Orioles tonight so the Mets are now just two games out of first place.
Fernando Nieve - Another fine job for Fernando who is now 2-0 in two starts!
Johan Santana tries to make it two in a row tomorrow. LGM