The Mets (35-41) beat the Marlins (37-38) by a score of 11-5 on Sunday afternoon in Miami.
Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and was much better than his line in the box score looks, although his final stats were still pretty good. Jon Niese gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 4 and throwing 87 pitches.
The Mets struck first in the top of the 2nd, after a single from Lucas Duda, a double from Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and a walk from Ruben Tejada loaded the bases against Anthony DeSclafani with no outs. Anthony Recker brought home Duda with a deep sacrifice fly and Kirk scored the 2nd run on a suicide squeeze bunt which Niese laid down nicely.
The Mets tacked on in the top of the 3rd, after singles from Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy put runners on the corners to start the inning. David Wright drove in Grandy with a sacrifice fly, and Kirk’s second double of the game chased home Murphy.
The Mets made some more noise in the top of the 4th. After Recker singled and Granderson walked, Murphy drove one over the wall in right-center to make it 7-0 New York and send DeSclafani packing.
Niese ran into some tough luck in the bottom of the 6th. Some sloppy defense and a questionable call or two behind the plate helped the Marlins score 3 runs, all of which were charged to Niese as earned runs despite the fact that none of them should have scored. Miami got the tying run to the plate with 2 outs, but Jon struck out Derek Dietrich to escape the jam. The long inning ran Niese’s pitch count up into the high 80′s, and with a big lead, Terry decided to pull the plug on the lefty after 6.
The Mets responded well to the Marlins’ rally, putting up another crooked number in the top of the 7th. Wright doubled and Duda walked to start the inning, and after Kirk grounded into a fielder’s choice, Tejada stretched the lead to 8-3 with a single through the hole on the left side. Recker added on with a double that plated Kirk, and with 2 outs, Eric Young turned it into an absolute romp with a single that scored both Ruben and Recker to make it 11-3 Mets. The Mets lost out on another run when Young was not permitted to score on Granderson’s ground-rule double, but the game had already been put out of reach.
Carlos Torres put up 2 perfect innings in relief of Niese, and Gonzalez Germen came in to finish things off in the 9th. The Marlins got 2 runs against Germen, but the righty eventually got Reed Johnson to line out to center to end the ballgame.
This was a nice win, and a nice series for the Mets. I only have a couple complaints from today’s game. Niese’s stat-line was tarnished by a flukey 6th inning, and the way he was pitching, he could have easily gone 7 or 8 scoreless. Also, I hate when we hit ground-rule doubles with a runner on 1st. I think there should be a rule that if the runner is, say, 3/5 of the way to third when the ball goes out of play, he should be allowed to score. Or it can be a judgement call by the umpire.
Anyway, this was a great game overall. Wright is starting to hit again, and Granderson looks really good. The hitting has looked a bit better lately, and the pitching has been solid. We won’t score 11 runs every game, but if we can score somewhere between 3 and 5 on a consistent basis, we’ll have a very good chance to win day in and day out.
If the Mets want to make a trade, they probably shouldn’t be hurting Wilmer Flores‘ trade value by preventing him from getting consistent playing time. Tejada has looked better lately, so if the Mets are going to give him nearly all of the starts, Flores probably should be in the minors. But Tejada seems to only perform when there is an immediate threat to his job, so I don’t know what to do, exactly.
Niese has been great this season. He deserves to have more than 4 wins, but he’s a Met… you know the drill.
We’re heading back home for 2 games. Let’s hope the offense can keep producing.
(Photos: USA TODAY Sports)