Sunday, April 8, 2012

Game #3: Mets 7, Braves 5

Jonathon Niese carries a no-hitter into the seventh inning Sunday at Citi Field, but his bid for the Mets’ first no-no is broken up by Freddy Freeman in the seventh. (
The Amazin' broom closet is opening up earlier than it ever has before.

Jon Niese took a no-hit bid into the 7th and Ruben Tejada broke out for 4 hits as the Mets took down the Braves 7-5 to complete the 3-game sweep.

The Good Stuff
  • 6 innings into the game and Jon Niese was on pace to do something no Met had done in 7970 games. Then in the 7th, Game 7971 became like every other. No, Jon Niese did not achieve the first no-hitter in Met history, but he did earn the win by allowing 4 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walking 4 and striking out 7. He ran out of steam in the 7th, but for those 6 innings he made that contract extension look awfully good.
  • On the opposite side of the plate, New York exploded for 7 runs on 11 hits, led by Ruben Tejada, who made up for a previously 0-for-the series with a 4-5, 2 double, 2 run, 2 RBI performance in the leadoff slot.
    • Daniel Murphy also had a monster day, slicing out 2 doubles and driving in 2 runs.
    • Also making a slash at the plate were: David Wright (1-1, sac fly in the 1st), Jason Bay (1-2, 1 RBI), and Scott Hairston (RBI double).
    • The team as a whole also did much better in key hitting situations, going 3-9 with RISP.
  • Once Niese made his exit, the Amazin' bullpen took care of business, once again, with Manny Acosta, Tim Byrdak, and Frank Francisco combined to stop Atlanta's offensive surge, with Francisco picking up his third save in 3 days, once again striking out the last Brave to end the game.
The Bad Stuff
  • Ike Davis had another rough go of it, going 0-3 with a strikeout. Davis finished the series 0-11 with 5 Ks.
  • The Braves would have not gotten as close as they did without Lucas Duda's error in right field in the 7th, which led to 2 unearned Atlanta runs on Niese's record.
  • While 7 runs will do any day of the week, it would have been more without a couple baserunning miscues. In the 4th, Jason Bay's bases-loaded sac fly became a double play when David Wright messed up on the way to third. In the 7th, Scott Hairston's line drive to third was knocked down; thinking it was caught, Ike Davis was tossed out at home, and a diving-into-second Bay was forced out at third to end the rally.
Final Analysis
Boy, you couldn't ask for a better opening series than that. Three quality starts from Santana, Dickey, and Niese. Three days of clutch hitting and effective offense. Three days of rock-solid relief from the new-look bullpen. The result was the Mets' first-ever 3-game sweep of a division opponent to begin a season.

It's early, I know, but this team looked awfully good this weekend. If they keep this up, the Mets may have a real shot this year. Why not us, you know?


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