Thursday afternoon the Mets closed out their three game series against the San Francisco Giants. The Mets sent out Jonathon Niese to the hill to face the Giants’ lefty of their own in Madison Bumgarner. Niese came into the contest with an even record of 7-7 and a 3.88 ERA. Despite the pitching’s best efforts, the Giants took the final game by a score of 2-1.
Through the first three innings Madison Bumgarner matched the zeros that Niese put up, not allowing a base runner until the third inning when Travis d’Arnaud was able to work out a lead-off walk. Despite the first batter of the inning reaching, the Mets could not bring home their rookie catcher.
In the fourth the Giants were able to finally break the scoreless tie on the board with two runs in the frame. Hector Sanchez was able to leg out a double to left followed by a single to center by former Met Joaquin Arias. Juan Perez followed with a single of his own, driving in Sanchez. After Sanchez’s hit, Ehire Adrianza hit into a fielder’s choice, driving home the second run. Despite the trouble, Niese eventually did escape the jam, down 2-0.
In the bottom half the Mets answered right back two batters into their half of the inning. Josh Satin, last night’s hero, started off the inning with a double. Second baseman Daniel Murphy followed suit with a single, scoring Satin cutting the Met deficit to 2-1. Despite back-to-back hits to start the frame, the Mets could not cash in anything more, as Andrew Brown went down swinging, and Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares both grounded out to end the inning.
In the seventh the Mets looked to even the score when Omar Quintanilla singled to right with two outs. Despite a solid outing of seven innings and only two runs allowed, Niese was lifted for a pinch hitter in Zach Lutz. Lutz was able to work out a walk, making it first and second for the Mets. Eric Young, Jr. came up with a chance to do some damage, but grounded out ending any opportunity.
In the bottom of the eighth inning the Mets went to their bullpen. Scott Atchison and LaTroy Hawkins were able to each work scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth respectively, punching out three hitters between them.
In the ninth the Mets looked to recreate the magic they had on Wednesday with another walk-off win. Santiago Casilla came out for the ninth for the Giants and promptly walked Matt den dekker to start the inning. Lagares came up next and laid down a sacrifice bunt to the third base side, good enough to move up den dekker. Terry Collins and Giants’ Manager Bruce Bochy then had some chess games, as Collins sent out Lucas Duda to pinch hit and Bochy came out to bring in his lefty specialist Javier Lopez.
Lopez was able to get Duda out on a fly ball to shallow center. Collins next decided to take out lefty Quintanilla and bring up back-up catcher Anthony Recker. Despite a long turn at bat, working the count full, Recker chased a low 73 mph breaking pitch that won the game for the Giants.
- Niese looked strong again, going seven innings, giving up two runs and striking out four along the way. His ERA is now lowered to 3.81. His record falls to 7-8
- The Mets offense was lackluster again, and collected just four hits against both Bumgarner and the rest of the Giants pitching staff.
- Wilmer Flores went 0-3 in the game, and has been slumping since his red-hot start in early August. His batting average currently stands at .211 and his OBP is .258.
- Daniel Murphy collected another hit and his 71st RBI during the game. He’s been one of the few consistent players recently, hitting .276 the last week.
It was a typical quick getaway game for both teams. Both pitchers were quick to the plate and for the most part did not get into too much trouble. Jon Niese looked good again, getting a truly hard-luck loss today. His efforts have been spectacular since rejoining the rotation after missing over two months of the season.
Without Marlon Byrd on the team and David Wright just not ready the offense again has just been starved for runs. They have been punch-less for the most part, so the news of Wright returning possibly for tomorrow’s game is great news for the team filled with young, inconsistent players.
Tomorrow night the Mets will head to Citizens Bank Park to take on the struggling Philadelphia Phillies. In the first contest the Mets will send out Daisuke Matsuzaka to the hill against Cole Hamels. Matsuzaka won his first start in over a year in his last outing, looking the best he has since joining the Mets. He’ll be looking for that second win in a tough park for pitcher’s to pitch in.