The Mets and the Reds concluded their two-game set at Citi Field with an afternoon matinee, allowing New York time to get up to Toronto for their weekend series against the Blue Jays. For Cincinnati, they will be heading across town to take on the Yankees. Mat Latos and R.A. Dickey took the mound, with Dickey trying to become the second pitcher to get to six wins in 2012.
The scoring opened up in the top of the 4th inning with a Joey Votto home run, then Cincy continued their scoring against Dickey and the Mets in the top of the 5th. The inning got off to a great start for the Mets (in opposite world) by surrendering a hit by pitch and walk, followed by a Ryan Hanigan double, plating Ryan Ludwick. Mat Latos came to the plate and worked the count full before he flew out to Lucas Duda in right field, deep enough for a sacrifice fly. Mike Nickeas showed it’s not fun catching a knuckleballer; two passed balls in a row with Zack Cozart batting allowed Hanigan to score, ballooning the deficit to 4-0.
However, New York came back in the bottom of the inning to put together a two-out rally. Andres Torres singled with one out, followed by a David Wright walk after a Nieuwenhuis strikeout. That brought up Lucas Duda, who worked an eight-pitch at-bat, eventually doubling in two runs to cut the lead to 4-2. New York started another rally in the next frame, ignited by a lead off walk from Ike Davis. Ronny Cedeno followed with a single, then a botched play by Todd Frazier and Joey Votto on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Mike Nickeas loaded the bases for Mike Baxter, and the New York native answered with a sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to only
Despite the rough 5th inning, R.A. Dickey had another solid outing for New York, continuing his run as one of the team’s most consistent starters on the staff. He went six innings overall, surrendering four runs (three earned) on five hits, only one walk, and eight strikeouts. After his 92 pitch performance, the knuckleballer gave way to Jon Rauch, trying to right the ship from his poor outing last night. Todd Frazier greeted him with a lead off double, but that was all Rauch would allow in the 7th, bouncing back from the previous night’s performance.
Finally, the 7th inning came, which is the perfect time for the comeback kids to do what they do best; Aroldis Chapman came in for his second appearance in two days, and this one didn’t go nearly as smooth as the first. He handed Wright a lead 0ff walk (his third of the game), followed by a Duda single. Daniel Murphy hit a ball to center that Drew Stubbs couldn’t handle, loading the bases for Justin Turner, who tied the game with a sacrifice fly. A walk to Scott Hairston re-loaded the bases with two outs for Mike Baxter, but Chapman struck the left fielder out on three pitches.
Bobby Parnell took on 8th inning duties today following Rauch’s appearance, and continued to do nothing but impress, setting down the Reds without a run and only giving up a two-out single to Brandon Phillips. His ERA has now dropped to a lovely 2.00 on the season. David Wright stayed perfect on the day and gave New York the lead in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double off Logan Ondrusek. With two outs and two on, Justin Turner once again came through when the team needed him most, driving in an insurance run to make it 6-4. To top things off, Ronny Cedeno hit his first home run in a Met uniform, a three run bomb that put the game out of reach.
Much to everyone’s chagrin, Frank Francisco came in to shut the door in the 9th, which he did, but not without 24 pitches to make the fans left in the stands groan. Either way, it’s a great comeback win for the Mets as they evened up their short home stand at 2-2 and improve their record to 21-17 before they hop on the plane for their hockey themed trip up to Toronto.
Latos pitched well today, but the Mets were able to knock him out early and touch up two of Cincinnati’s most dependable relievers, scoring all 9 runs in their last four times at bat. The offense came back to life today, with Wright, Duda, Murphy, and Cedeno all registering two hits a piece, driving in six of the nine runs scored. One of the biggest at-bats of the game was Turner’s second time to the plate in the 8th inning. Without him grinding out that single to keep the inning going, the Mets don’t build that insurmountable lead.
Probable Pitchers tomorrow:
Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.40 ERA)will kick off interleague play for the Mets in 2012 by making the start at the Rogers Centre in Toronto against Justin Turner’s good buddy, Ricky Romero (4-1, 3.88). First pitch is scheduled for 7:07pm on the button.