|Mets' Jonathon Niese allows just three hits in 7-2/3 innings in a 4-1 victory over the Brewers. (NYDailyNews.com)|
Jon Niese stifled the Brewers' offense for almost 8 innings and the Mets' bats pounded 10 hits off the hottest pitcher in baseball, taking the rubber match in Milwaukee, 4-1.
The Good Stuff:
- Once again, it starts with the start. Starting pitcher, that is. Jon Niese cruised through 7 2/3 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, walking 4 and matching a career high 8 strikeouts. The only Milwaukee run came in the 4th when Prince Fielder capped his stellar series with an RBI double. Niese got into some trouble in the 7th, allowing the first two batters to get on, but he buckled down and got the next three down in order. Jon has been on a roll for 5 straight starts and is 4-1 since May 12.
- It appeared that final out of the 8th would once again prove all-too elusive, with two on, Ryan Braun at the plate, and Fielder on deck. Terry Collins made the call to his closer to earn his save. Fransisco Rodriguez got ahead 1-2, but Braun hammered the next pitch as hard as a man could hammer it...right in the path of Jason Pridie in left. Inning over. Rally halted. Momentum regained. Fielder hit a double in the 9th, but K-Rod retired the next three (final two by way of the K) for his 18th straight save. While he's been hit hard in non-save situations, Frankie has been unbreakable when the S is on the line, sporting an ERA under 1.00.
- On a night when Jose Reyes proved that he is, in fact, human, the rest of the Amazin' offense made up for it. New York pounded out 11 hits, including 10 hits off Brewers' starter Yovani Gallardo, who had won his last 6 starts. The Mets chased Gallardo for 4 runs in 4 innings.
- In a strange twist of fate, Reyes was the only position player not to get a hit. The biggest standouts were Ruben Tejada (2-4 with an RBI single in the 2nd, bringing his average up to .328) and Angel Pagan (2-4 with a single, triple, RBI, run, and stolen base; he's batting .346 since his return from the DL).
- Probably should have gotten more runs with 11 hits; the Mets only went 3-15 with runners in scoring position.
It's been a great start to the 10-game road trip: the Mets dealt Milwaukee only their second home series loss all season, and were 6 outs away yesterday from making it a sweep. I'll take the series win, though. New York is 5-2 since Terry Collins' blowup last week. I'd say the message is sticking.
The Amazin's now take their 30-32 record into Pittsburgh for a 4-day weekend. If things go the way they're supposed to, we could be sitting pretty at .500 or over by the end of Monday. 100 games to go, and this team is still very much in it. Quite a far cry from 5-13, no?