The Mets looked to Jonathon Niese to play the role of stopper this afternoon, as New York entered today with two straight losses to their name. It took the southpaw 100 pitches to get through six innings, but it was the 22nd consecutive time Niese has thrown at least six frames in a start.
After going down 1-0 in the top of the first inning, New York answered immediately in the bottom of the inning against Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco. Mike Baxter walked, and both David Wright and Ike Davis singled to load the bases before John Bucktied the game with a sacrifice fly. The Amazins grabbed their first lead of the series in the bottom of the sixth. It started with hits by Wright and Davis again, and Buck came through in the clutch, doubling in two runs on an 0-2 pitch from Nolasco.
Baxter led the seventh off with a walk, then broke the tie for good on a long triple by Daniel Murphy. David Wright used his third hit of the day drive him in, and Buck drove in yet another run with a sacrifice fly. Collin Cowgill came in for defense to replace Lucas Duda, and hit a solo homer in his only at-bat in the eighth inning.
- Niese didn’t look nearly as sharp today as he did on Monday, but he kept the Amazins in the game by throwing six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
- Scott Atchison and Josh Edgin combined to complete the seventh, as Edgin gets his first victory of the season.
- Brandon Lyon looked impressive in his first opportunity to pitch the eighth inning, recording two strikeouts.
- Although they’re missing Johan Santana and Shaun Marcum, New York’s starting pitching ERA through five games is 1.40.
- Davis and Wright combined for five hits in the 3-4 spot of the lineup, while also combining for three runs scored and one RBI.
- Buck went 1-for-2, but racked up four RBI thanks to a two-run double and a pair of sac flies. He’s now hitting .421 in five games, and it has to be tough for Terry Collins to give him his scheduled off-day tomorrow.
- Miguel Olivo committed two throwing errors in the Mets’ half of the seventh inning, as both Baxter and Wright stole second base off him.
- After a slow start, New York ended up going 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The Cowgill homer in the eighth prevented Bobby Parnell from getting his first save opportunity of the season, but seeing him come in and shut down the Marlins 1-2-3 in the ninth was a pleasant sight. Lyon looked great in his first chance to be the team’s set-up man, and that combined with a late-game comeback allows the Mets to get back over .500 with a 3-2 record. It’s amazing how hot John Buck has been to start the season, but it’s definitely alleviated the pressure off Ike Davis’s slow start. Speaking of the devil, he put together his first two-hit game of the year, which made me feel a little better. Seeing that 430+ foot homer on Wednesday from Ike was great, but hopefully today’s ballgame will help him get on track to be more consistent throughout the entire year in 2013 than he was in 2012.
The Mets and the Marlins hook up for the finale of their first three-game set this season, as Jose Fernandez makes his MLB debut for Miami. Aaron Laffey gets the call from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his season and Mets debut in place of the injured Marcum. First pitch in Flushing is set for 1:10p.m.