After dropping three games at Wrigley Field to the National League’s worst team, the Mets traveled to California for a weekend series against the San Francisco Giants whom own baseball’s best record.
Making his 12th start of the season, Jon Niese climbed the hill in Friday’s opener, and was opposed by Matt Cain for the Giants, whom was making his 1st appearance since pitching 3 innings on May 21st.
Niese kept the Giants scoreless through four innings, while Matt Cain kept the Mets hitless through 5 innings.
San Francisco led 1-0 after 5 innings largely due to second baseman Brandon Hicks exacting a measure of revenge against the organization that cut him last season. But Daniel Murphy put Niese on the winning side in the 7th with a mighty 2-run blast to right.
Of course, the scoring didn’t stop there. Jon Niese did himself no favors in the 7th, as his wild pitch put a runner in scoring position, which eventually came around to score the tying run.
This was the Mets 4th consecutive loss. They are now 5 games under .500, with a 28-33 record.
Mets Starting Lineup:
Jon Niese‘s first pitch to lead-off batter, and former team mate, Angel Pagan, was an inside fast ball for strike one. After two quick outs, Buster Posey struck the first base hit off Niese, but was then forced out at second on Pablo Sandoval‘s grounder to third.
In the home 2nd, second baseman Brandon Hicks hit a two out, opposite field double off the base of the right field wall. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, the lone left handed bat starting against Niese, then lofted a threat ending fly to left.
In the top of the 3rd, Matt Cain completed his first time through the Mets lineup without allowing a hit or walk. His pitch economy was good – 11 pitches per inning. He threw 34 pitches, with 22 (64%) going for strikes.
Jon Niese retired the Giants in order for the first time in the 3rd. He was up to 44 pitches, with 28 (63%) going for strikes. He averaged 14.6 pitches per inning. His best fast ball was an 89mph offering in the 3rd. Jon’s overhand curve was averaging 71mph, while a few tighter versions registered 76mph.
Matt Cain retired the side in order in the top 4th inning.
In the bottom of the frame, Buster Posey collected his second hit off Niese, and was then erased when Michael Morse grounded into a 6-3 double play.
In the top of the 5th, Curtis Granderson drew a lead-off walk, but was erased when Andrew Brown bounced into a 4-3 double play. First baseman Michael Morse then made a nice play off the bat of Lucas Duda to retire the side.
With one out in the home 5th, Brandon Hicks unloaded with a long triple to the left/center gap. He then scored on Brandon Crawford‘s sac fly to left field. Andrew Brown made a fairly good throw which made contact with a sliding Hicks.
Leading off the top of the 6th, Ruben Tejada finally spoiled Matt Cain’s no-hit bid with an infield hit, grounded deep in the hole to short. Cain then induced Travis d’Arnaud into a 4-6-3 double play. Through 6 innings, Matt Cain still only faced the minimum.
Through the 6th, Niese threw 78 pitches, with 49 (62.8%) going for strikes. His economy was also good, still only averaging 13 pitches per frame.
The lead would not hold. In the bottom of the 7th, San Francisco tied the game at two. Brandon Hicks factored yet again by drawing a two out walk. He moved to second base on Jon Niese’s wild pitch, then scored on a hit from Brandon Crawford.
Sergio Romo entered the game in the 9th inning for San Francisco, and retired the Mets in order to earn his league leading 19th save.
- Bottom 5th inning - Brandon Hicks hit a one out triple. Brandon Crawford sac fly to left field scored Hicks to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.
- Top 7th inning – Matt den Dekker’s lead-off double, and Daniel Murphy’s long home run to right field gave Mets a 2-1 lead.
- Bottom 7th inning – Brandon Hicks drew a two out walk, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Brandon Crawford then singled to score Hicks, and tie the game at two.
- Bottom 8th inning – Buster Posey’s 2-run home run off Carlos Torres gives Giants 4-2 lead.
- FINAL SCORE: Mets 2; Giants 4
- Remember me? Brandon Hicks was a one man gang. He was 2 for 3 with a walk, double and triple, and scored the tying run in the 7th. In 51 games for the Giants and 159 at-bats prior to Friday, second baseman Brandon Hicks was batting .182 with 8 home runs and 20 RBI. Brandon Hicks played 91 games of the 2013 season for the Las Vegas 51′s. Entering Friday’s action, Daniel Murphy was batting .297, with 3 home runs and 21 RBI. In what turned into a second baseman showdown, Murphy offset Hicks with a majestic home run to the Levi’s Landing in right.
- SNY – Loved listening to Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt together.
- Jon Niese pitched 7 effective, yet hard luck innings. He allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and one walk. He fanned 3 batters, and threw a total of 94 pitches, with 59 (62%) going for strikes. His record remains at 3-3, and he marginally lowered his ERA to a 2.68 mark.
- Carlos Torres took the loss in relief. His record dropped to 2-3, with a 2.72 ERA.
- Travis d’Arnaud bounced into a pair of double plays, and was 0 for 3 on the night.
- Ruben Tejada, 2 for 3, had half the Mets hits.
6/7 – Saturday, 10:05pm EST – Mets @ GIANTS