Saturday, August 17, 2013

Game #120: Mets 5, Padres 2

When (if?) one thinks of Petco Park, "hitters' haven" is not a word commonly used in description. No one told that to the Mets last night.

Marlon Byrd and Ike Davis(!) went for back-to-back in the 3rd and Daniel Murphy's two-run shot in the 4th sealed it for Jonathon Niese and the Mets, who knocked off the Padres 5-2.

The Good Stuff:
  • New York got on the board with Eric Young's RBI groundout in the 2nd, but the real fireworks started in the 3rd as Marlon Byrd took Ian Kennedy deep to center field for his 19th home run of the year (one shy of his career high from Texas in 2009). On the very next pitch, Ike Davis connected for only his second longball since leaving Las Vegas.
  • San Diego got one back in the bottom of the 3rd on a solo shot by Will Venable, but Daniel Murphy's two-run blast in the next half inning all but assured the Mets' triumph in the sudden launching pad of Petco Park.
  • The hitting champion of the night for the Mets, who managed 12 hits off Kennedy and company, was the unlikely Anthony Recker, who went 3-3 with a double and a run after being thrust into the starting lineup due to the (finally) imminent arrival of the Baby Buck. On Saturday night, Recker will likely take a back seat for Travis d'Arnaud's much-anticipated major league debut.
  • All the offense was more than enough for Jonathon Niese, who went six innings and allowed a single run on six hits, walking one and striking out nine, including an impressive six in his first two frames.
  • LaTroy Hawkins returned to action to nail down the save.
The Bad Stuff:
  • The Mets may have put up five runs but probably should have managed more, hitting 2-8 with RISP and stranding 10.
Final Analysis:
Now there's the Jon Niese we all know and love. After a good-not-great return to the rotation the last time around, Niese showed flashes of the brilliance he has shown capable of. And like the last time, he was given enough offense (including an encouraging swing from Davis) to nail down the W that has so alluded Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler in 2013. It's good to have our lefty back.


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