Santana Struggles, Niese Dazzles In Doubleheader Split

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”  Charles Dickens

When I set out to write tonight’s recap,. I thought about both games and couldn’t help noticing how different the ebb and flow of each game was. I immediately recalled the opening words to the Dickens’ literary classic “A Tale Of Two Cities”, and marveled at how perfectly it described the decisive elements I took away from today’s doubleheader.

Game 1 Summary

The Mets sent Johan Santana to the mound in the first game, but he struggled with his command and eventually was removed before he completed the seventh inning. Santana gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks and took the loss to drop his record to 4-3.

Pedro Feliciano, Jenrry Mejia and Fernando Nieve were flawless in relief and combined for 2.1 scoreless innings.

The Mets offense was non-existent except for a two run homer by catcher Henry Blanco in the second inning, his second of the season.

Padres pitchers led by starter Matt Latos retired the last 23 Mets in a row, with 2-5 hitters Angel Pagan, Jason Bay, Ike Davis and David Wright going hitless and combining to go 0 for 13.

Game 2 Summary

Making his second start since returning from the disabled list, lefthander Jon Niese wowed the crowd at Citi Field allowing just one hit in a complete game shutout, the first of the year for a Mets pitcher. Wow!

Chris Denorfia got the only hit off Niese with a leadoff double in the third, but after that it was pure brilliance from the young southpaw who was coming off another brilliant start last week against the Marlins. His record improves to 3-2 with a 3.61 ERA.

The Mets got on the board when Jeff Francoeur lined an RBI single in the second inning, then two more runs in the third on a David Wright groundout and an Ike Davis single. That would be enough for the Mets in the nightcap.

The Mets scratched out eight hits including three from Jose Reyes and a deuce from Ike Davis.

Second baseman Ruben Tejada hit into a triple play in the game when he hit a hard grounder to third baseman Chase Headley who stepped on the bag and threw to Lance Zawadzki at 2B for the second out, and Zawadzki then fired it to Adrian Gonzalez, just beating Tejada at first base.

With the win, the Mets capped their homestand at 5-1, improving to 24-10 overall at Citi Field.

Game Balls

Game Ball Game #1: Henry Blanco is a given. Blanco accounted for the only two runs in the game on a homerun that drove in David Wright in the 2nd inning. Oh Henry is amazing!

Game Ball Game #2: Can I get a standing ovation for Mr. Jon Niese! Niese pitched a shutout and the Mets first complete game of the year. He was only one double from pitching a perfect game. Wow, Wow, Wow! Well done young man, well done.

On Deck

The Mets travel to Camden Yards in Baltimore tomorrow for a 3 game series against the Orioles. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. as the Mets newly discovered gem, R.A. Dickey (3-0), faces the Orioles Jeremy Guthrie (3-6).

About Joe D 7965 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.