The Good Stuff:
- The 24-hour frenzy that started with Matt Harvey's downfall and Marlon Byrd's and John Buck's trade to the Pirates bore no weight on Jonathon Niese, who manhandled the visiting Phils with a complete-game, three-hit shutout in which he walked one and struck out five on 113 pitches.
- Niese also took care of business at the plate, capping a four-run 6th inning with a three-run double to left center to make it 5-0.
- Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud also added RBIs for the suddenly-short-of-offense New Yorkers.
- Marlon Byrd was traded the night of Marlon Byrd T-Shirt night at Citi Field. The aforementioned t-shirt, which you can see here, was taken quite literally by Sandy Alderson and the Met front office. As Keith Olbermann would say, "Only the Mets..."
- It's pretty jarring to start the month with David Wright as your #3 hitter and finishing it with Andrew Brown in the same slot. Oy.
The move is a good one, and I give Dilson Herrerra the benefit of the doubt considering Alderson's Amazin' track record when it comes to trades, but it's just downright sad to see Marlon Byrd and John Buck go. Byrd redeemed himself right from the beginning, earning the first walk-off of the year against the Marlins, and Buck thrilled fans with a sizzling start and groomed our starting pitchers for years to come. Their contributions will not be soon forgotten, especially with this as our last image of John Buck as a Met. Caution: repeated viewings will cause much sadness.
What has been forgotten in the midst of the whirlwind is that the Mets till have a darn good rotation, and Jonathon Niese is a big part of it. Even with Harvey's absence, he doesn't need to be the ace (that role should be reserved for Zack Wheeler), but it's awfully encouraging to see him pitch this well. All is not lost.