Sunday afternoon the Mets closed out their season taking on the Brewers in the final game of a four-game series. Before the game former Met catcher Mike Piazza was honored for his time with the Mets and inducted into the Mets’ Hall of Fame. After all was said and done honoring the greatest hitting catcher of all-time, the game would start with Jonathon Niese making his final start of the year against the Brewers’ Marco Estrada. With a rally in the bottom of the eighth, the Mets won their 74th game of the year, 3-2.
In the first inning the Mets jumped on the board. Eric Young Jr. singled to center, then stole both second and third, good for his 45th and 46th steals of the year. After Lucas Duda went down on strikes, David Wright came through with a short fly ball to right field, but Young used his speed again and scored to give the Mets the lead.
Through the first three innings Niese was nearly spotless, not allowing a hit and punching out two Brewers in the process. The only base runner through three was former Met Carlos Gomez when he walked in the second.
In the fourth the Brewers got three straight hits and nearly got a run on the third hit, when Gomez blooped one in front of Young but Young made a perfect strike home and gunned out Jeff Bianchi. Niese then walked Yunieski Betancourt, loading the bases.
Sean Halton hit into a slow ground ball to second which Daniel Murphy quickly flipped to second to Wilfredo Tovar who appeared to clearly gun out Halton to end the inning, but umpire CB Bucknor missed the call and Halton was ruled safe and a run scored tying the game. Logan Schafer hit a slow grounder to second which Murphy had no play making it a 2-1 game. Scooter Gennet then singled to center and nearly brought in another run but Juan Lagares recorded another outfield assist, keeping the game 2-1.
In the bottom of the sixth Josh Satin came up for Niese, ending a solid performance from the Mets’ lefty. Despite coming up for Niese, Satin and the rest of the Mets’ offense could not muster any runs for Niese who left the game down a run.
Gonzalez Germen came in for Niese in the seventh and made it look easy with a 1-2-3 inning of work.
After not getting on the board for six innings in a row, the Mets got back in it. Juan Lagares reached on an error by Bianchi. Juan Centenno looked to sacrifice Lagares over and bunted down the first base line. Gennett had trouble covering from second and catcher Jonathon Lucroy had to wait to throw the ball. He threw it too late and wide, allowing Lagares to score and Centenno to make it to second base.
Two batters later the Mets took the lead when Young hit a little tapper just far enough for pinch runner Matt den dekker to score from third, giving the Mets the 3-2 advantage.
In a move reminiscent of 2012, Frank Francisco was brought in to close the bottom of the ninth. Francisco looked strong and pitched a scoreless frame, earning his first save in over a year.
- In his final start of the year Niese pitched well, going six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out two. After an inconsistent start to the year, Niese buckled up down the stretch and finishes the year with a 3.71 ERA.
- Eric Young, Jr. continued his trend of stealing bases, taking two today, bringing him in the National League lead.
- The Mets’ offense did not really do much in the way of hitting, getting only three hits in the game.
- The bullpen behind Niese had a solid effort, with Germen, Vic Black and Frank Francisco each pitched scoreless innings.
The long and trying season for the Mets is finally over. Although it is the club’s fifth-straight losing season, the team did end the year on a positive note, getting the win. Especially on a day where a Met great was honored, it was great to see the Mets come away with a win.
Niese looked solid in his final outing of the season, having only one bad inning where he gave up five of his six hits. If he can continue this trend, he should have a solid 2014 campaign.
Not enough can be said about Eric Young and his stolen bases. Although he’s around a .250 hitter, he’s given the Mets a true base-running threat at the top of the lineup since coming over from Colorado.
It was an odd to see Frank Francisco closing this one out, and it was relatively painless for the interesting “Frankie Frank.” For a guy who hasn’t pitched much this year, it was nice to see him have a strong effort on the season’s final day.
Well it will be a long off season for the Mets. The team can go in a variety of directions, but I think Sandy Alderson knows that 2014 is a year the Mets should be competing. It should be interesting with who the Mets target in free agency or via trades. That’s it for 2013, here’s to an exciting 2014 season for the Mets!