Oh, the Mets must be regretting that strike-out promotion now… Jon Niese became the second starter to take the mound for a sixth inning and cross the 100-pitch mark in two days — and backed up Wheeler’s dominant performance yesterday with a quality start of his own.
I was a little worried about Niese being thrown out there for the sixth considering he’s rehabbing from a partially torn rotator cuff…but he looked really sharp over his six innings of work. He, like Wheeler last night, got a little strikeout happy and ran up his pitch count early because of it, but sometimes it just happens. He looked a lot more comfortable than he did in his last start, though. His only run given up was off a Will Venable solo home run.
Offensively, the Mets hit three home runs in support of Niese — one each from Marlon Byrd, Ike Davis, and Daniel Murphy. Murphy’s long ball was a two-run shot. Ike Davis has historically destroyed Ian Kennedy over the smallest sample size ever…but after today, he is 4-for-5 against him with four home runs. Yeesh. Byrd and Davis going back-to-back was quite a moment for the Mets tonight and really gave them the early momentum in the third.
Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, and LaTroy Hawkins combined to finish the game for Niese with three strong innings. Torres allowed an inherited runner from Rice to score, but Ike Davis was active on defense all night and made a nice little toss from the ground to a sprinting Torres to save a hit. Hawkins picked up save number four on the season after a solid ninth inning of work.
The official count for the Mets strikeout promotion now stands at 28% off, as the Mets added 13 Ks to yesterday’s 15. Niese struck out nine, Rice set down a pair, and Torres and Hawkins punched one man out each. Jenrry Mejia goes tomorrow to try and jump that total over 40%.