Missed it by that much. The first of four games between the Mets and the Giants was a good one, but it inevitably was a tough loss for New York. After having an off day following two tough outings for the pitching staff in Atlanta, Terry Collins turned Jonathon Niese to stop the bleeding and get the Mets back to winning in front of the home crowd. Even though most fans are waiting for Tuesday to roll around so they can see Jose Reyes visit with the Marlins, Angel Pagan returned to Citi Field for the first time since he was traded by Sandy Alderson in the winter…and he made his presence known.
Niese put together a solid outing (6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 5 Ks), but it was the third inning that gave him the most trouble. Pagan led off the inning with a solo home run to center field, followed by back-to-back singles from Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval. Buster Posey stepped in and laced an RBI double, then Sandoval scored on a wild pitch. Poof. Just like that, the Mets saw themselves in a 3-0 hole. New York did get to San Francisco starter Barry Zito a bit in his five innings of work, with Jason Bay and Kirk Nieuwenhuis contributing solo home runs in the fourth and fifth inning, with the score staying at 3-2 into the bottom of the ninth.
Well, game over, right? Bring in Brian Wil-… I mean, someone else since he’s in Florida recovering from his Tommy John surgery.
Manager Bruce Bochy brought in Santiago Casilla, who gave up an infield hit to Jason Bay, then was told to hit the showers in favor of Javier Lopez. He walked Captain Kirk, then surrendered the game-tying hit to Josh Thole. With the winning run on third and less than two out, New York was unable to push across the winning run, but they were unsuccessful, forcing the game to extras.
In the 10th, Frank Francisco couldn’t hold the Giants at bay, giving up the go-head run off of a Hector Sanchez single. The Mets weren’t done yet; they once again put together a threat in the bottom of the inning, with the tying run on 3rd base, but it wasn’t meant to be as Lucas Duda eventually flew out to center field to put the game in the books.
Some positives for the Mets from last night’s loss: Jason Bay is continuing his rise back up to respectability at the plate. He collected two more hits, one being a home run, and is now hitting .233. David Wright pushed another hit across and walked twice, now becoming the first player in the Major Leagues to reach on base twice in each of his first ten games to start a season since 1999. Also, outside of Francisco not holding the Giants scoreless, the rest of the bullpen performed well.
Probable Pitchers today:
The Mets and Giants come back and play this afternoon at Citi Field, with a 1:10p start time in Flushing. Mike Pelfrey will try and record his first win of the year as he takes the bump against Ryan Vogelsong, who is also looking to crack into the win column. After New York started the year 4-0, they have gone 3-6, and hopefully Pelfrey can help put the team back on track.