In a game that was played in frigid temperatures, both starting pitchers got off to rocky starts. Jonathon Niese bent by giving up two runs in the first – it was Vance Worley, however, who broke and failed to make it out of the second inning. Shortly after Worley departed, the Mets had already put 10 runs on the board. They touched up Worley for five runs in the first, and then five more in the second (the big blow being a grand slam off the bat of John Buck).
The Mets led 10-2 entering the fifth, when the Twins pulled within 10-5 by scoring three runs off Niese. Jordany Valdespin appeared to throw out Justin Morneau (who scored the third run of the inning) at the plate, but he was ruled safe as the Twins pulled within five.
In the seventh, the Mets increased their lead to 14-5. First, Daniel Murhpy roped a three run double. David Wright followed that by smoking a run scoring triple off the right field fence. The Mets added two in the ninth for good measure, upping their lead to 16-5 and closing out the scoring.
- Jonathon Niese got the start for the Mets and had a rough first inning. He gave up two runs, but limited the damage. Niese settled in after the first, but got touched up a bit in the fifth. He allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out one.
- Jordany Valdespin got the start in center and took over the leadoff duties. He responded by going 2 for 4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
- John Buck hit a grand slam in the second, his fourth homer in as many games.
- Daniel Murphy continued his strong start, going 4 for 5 with three runs scored and four RBI’s.
- David Wright drove in four and scored three.
- Scott Atchison tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh for the Mets.
John Buck is playing out of his mind right now, creating a fantastic dilemma for the Mets. It’s expected that Travis d’Arnaud will be called up before the summer, but Buck’s hot start allows them to delay things a bit as far as d’Arnaud is concerned. Once d’Arnaud is promoted, it may be a better option for the Mets to trade Buck for something of value if the alternative is holding onto him as d’Arnaud’s backup.
Ruben Tejada continues to let the ball play him at short. His defense around the bag has been fine, but he’s turned tons of routine grounders into adventures and/or errors. Tejada needs to be more aggressive, plain and simple.
The Mets take on the Twins at 4:05 PM tomorrow at Target Field. Matt Harvey will be on the hill.