Ike Davis's late 2-run homer was all the offense Jon Niese and the bullpen needed as the Mets stole one from the Nationals 2-0.
The Good Stuff:
- For the second straight start, Jon Niese gave his very best to a strong division opponent, tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed 5 hits, walked none, and struck out 7. Niese now has a scoreless streak of 17+ innings dating back to two starts ago against Miami.
- On the other side of the mound, Washington's Edwin Jackson was going just as strong, limiting New York to one hit in the first 6 innings. That second hit turned out to be oh-so important: after David Wright walked, Ike Davis stepped up and launched an opposite-field home run for the game's only runs. It was Ike's 22nd on the year and 17th on the road. He would also get the team's third and final hit of the game, a single in the 9th.
- After Niese got the hook in the 8th, Jon Rauch retired the next two Nats without fanfare. Mets fans held their breath as their closer-by-default stepped out for the 9th. But Frank Francisco put to rest any concerns on this night, finishing the night with a 1-2-3 save.
- Only 3 hits in a game is disconcerting, but the way Jackson was pitching (he finished with 11 strikeouts in 7 innings) I think we can give the team a pass tonight.
Even with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th, Dad was far from confident in the result. Okay, his exact words were: "There's no chance in hell we win this one." I'm guessing he was glad to be proven wrong this time. Pitching was on for the Mets in bunches tonight with Niese leading the charge, and while offense was absent most of the time it showed up in Ike Davis form when it needed to. All in all, a nice win and a rare chance to actually win a series tomorrow. I'm not expecting it with Jeremy Hefner going up against Gio Gonzalez, but I'd love to be proven wrong.