Overcoming an ugly ninth inning, the Mets were able to back Niese’s excellent outing and avoid being swept by the Braves by a final score of 6-5.
Last time the Mets faced Ben Sheets, the result was quite unsightly. This time around however, the Amazin’s got a little bit of revenge.
It started in the first when Wright roped his 34th double of the year, scoring Mike Baxter. Wright would move to third on a throwing error before Ike Davis would deposit a knock to right to stake Niese to an early 2-0 lead. Then in the next frame, on a 3-2 pitch, Ruben Tejada snuck one through the left side of the infield to bring home Rob Johnson. Bottom five, Ike Davis was at it again, driving in Wright for the second time in the ballgame, collecting his 63rd RBI on the year. The final blow that the Mets delivered to Ben Sheets came in the sixth, in the form of a Jordany Valdespin solo shot, making it a 5-1 ballgame. Sheets would be pulled after six, charged with five runs, his worst start as a Brave in 2012.
Niese on the other hand was dominant. Allowing just a solo homer to Freddie Freeman to lead off the second, Niese baffled the Atlanta lineup, tossing 71 of his 106 pitches for strikes. He had excellent command of all of his pitches and did more than enough to give the Mets a chance to win. Picking up his ninth win on the year, Niese’s final line for the evening was eight innings pitched, allowing one run on six hits while walking two and striking out six, improving to 9-6 while lowering his ERA to 3.67.
Come bottom eight, with the Mets already up 5-1, Andres Torres singled home Valdespin to make it a five-run lead. This run would prove to be HUGE come the next half inning.
Josh Edgin came on to pitch the ninth and had himself a night to forget. Edgin walked Chipper Jones to lead things off then hit Freeman. After getting the next two batters out he walked Paul Janish to load the bases and was quickly ousted for Frank Francisco, who wasn’t much of an improvement. Francisco walked his first two batters with the bases loaded, making it a three run game. Martin Prado then stepped in and poked a double down the right field line, scoring two and making it a 6-5 game. Jon Rauch then came in to relieve Francisco and got his man, punching out Jason Heyward including a nice play by Rob Johnson to nab him at first after the ball got loose to end the ballgame and hand the Mets a much needed win.
Hero of the Game:
Jon Niese, for an outstanding performance. Honorable mention to Rauch for getting easily the biggest out of the game for the now 55-60 Amazin’s.
-Jon Niese has now gone at least six innings in each of his last 13 starts with today’s gem against the Braves.
-David Wright picked up his 800th career RBI tonight and is also sitting on 199 career homers.
-Ike Davis went 2-for-4 on the night with a pair of RBI singles. Jordany Valdespin and Wright also had two-hit games.
-I really hope the Mets don’t overuse Edgin to the point where they blow out his arm. He is obviously going to be a key part of next year’s ‘pen, why ruin that now?
Flushing’s Finest will hand the slumping Chris Young the ball to open up a series with the Reds starting Monday at 7:10 pm.