After Wednesday’s 11-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and Thursday’s day off, the Mets welcomed the San Francisco Giants to Citi Field for a four game series.
It’s hard to label a 5-1 game as a pitcher’s duel, but, oddly, Friday night’s affair seemed just that – at least in my opinion. Both starting pitchers worked into the 9th inning.
For the most part, Niese was very effective. However, his throwing error in the 2nd inning led to an early 2-0 deficit. That was all the Giants really needed, as Ryan Vogelsong was masterful over a full 9 innings pitched.
He allowed the Mets one run, two hits, one walk, and nothing else. He faced one batter over the minimum and fielded the final ground ball tapped by Curtis Granderson to end the game.
The Mets fell to the Giants by a 5-1 final. An un-happy recap follows.
Mets Starting Lineup:
Jon Niese‘s opening pitch of the game to Giants lead-off batter Hunter Pence was a fastball, fouled straight back for strike one. Pence struck out on three pitches. With 2-outs, catcher Buster Posey picked up the Giants first hit of the game. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval followed with another single to left. First baseman Mike Morse then grounded to Ruben Tejada to end the Giants first at-bat.
Ryan Vogelsong‘s first pitch of the evening to lead-off batter Curtis Granderson was a fastball for strike one. Granderson was retired on a pop-up in front of the visitors dugout, and Daniel Murphy followed with a pop-up to short. David Wright then looked at strike three to end the opening frame.
Left fielder Juan Perez led-off the top of the 2nd with a double pulled down the left field line. Gregor Blanco followed with a come-backer to Niese. With Perez caught off second base, Niese misfired to Ruben Tejada covering, which allowed Perez to reach third. Brandon Crawford then singled back through the box to drive in Perez. Ryan Vogelsong successfully bunted the runners over to second and third. With one out, Hunter Pence bounced to Murphy. Gregor Blanco scored on the play.
The Mets were retired in order to end the 2nd.
With 2-outs in the top of the 3rd, Michael Morse collected the Giants fifth hit of the game.
- Through his first 3 innings pitched, Jon Niese threw 28 pitches with 25 (89%) going for strikes, and averaged just less than 10 pitches per inning. He allowed 2 unearned runs as a result of his own throwing error, and surrendered 5 hits. He walked no batters and struck out a pair.
The Mets went down in order again in the bottom of the 3rd.
Jon Niese retired the Giants in order for the first time in the 4th.
Curtis Granderson drew a lead-off walk to open the bottom of the 4th. He was the first Met to reach base against Ryan Vogelsong. Granderson was promptly erased when Daniel Murphy grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. David Wright‘s shallow fly to right ended the frame, as Vogelsong continued to face the minimum number of batters.
- Through 4 innings, the Mets were 0 for 12, drew one walk and fanned 3 times.
With one out in the top of the 5th, Niese struck Matthew Duffy with a pitch. The Mets then turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Mets went down in order in the bottom of the 5th.
- Through 6 innings, Niese was up to an economically efficient 58 pitches with 45 (77%) going for strikes. He allowed no hits through the middle 3 innings, walked none, and upped his strikeout total to 4.
Juan Lagares led-off the bottom of the 6th with the Mets first base hit of the game. He advanced to second on Tejada’s grounder to third. Jon Niese then stroked a liner to Morse at first, who then threw to second to double up Lagares.
With 1-out in the top of the 7th, number-8 batter Brandon Crawford hit a triple into the right field corner. Niese then hit Ryan Vogelsong with a pitch. Hunter Pence plated both runners with a triple into the right/center gap. Youngster Matt Duffy drove in Pence with his first MLB run batted in. Heading into the 7th inning stretch, the Giants owned a 5-0 lead.
- Ryan Vogelsong continued his mastery over the Mets as he retired the side in order yet again in the bottom of the 7th. He was up to 82 pitches with 53 (64%) going for strikes. He allowed just the one hit to Lagares, walked one and fanned 5. He averaged just over 11 pitches per inning.
Jon Niese went back out for the 8th inning and retired the side in order. It was the fourth time he faced the minimum.
Lucas Duda led-off the bottom of the 8th with his 20th home run of the season – a low liner into the party seats in left.
After just 84 pitches through 8 innings, Jon Niese came out for the 9th inning and promptly surrendered Brandon Crawford’s third hit of the game. Ryan Vogelsong stepped to the plate, but not before Terry Collins emerged from the dugout to make a pitching change.
Vic Black entered the game in relief of Jon Niese. Vogelsong’s bunt was fielded by Lucas Duda, who started a 3-6-4 double play.
- Niese’s Line – 8 innings (faced one batter in the 9th), 5 runs/3 earned, 8 hits, no walks, 4 strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches with 66 (78%) going for strikes.
Ryan Vogelsong made quick work of the Mets in the 9th to close out a dominant performance at Citi Field.
- Top 2nd inning - Juan Perez hit a lead-off double. Gregor Blanco reached safely on a throwing error by Jon Niese. Perez advanced to third. A single by Brandon Crawford scored Perez. After Vogelsong’s bunt advanced the runners, Hunter Pence’s grounder to second scored Blanco from third to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.
- Top 7th inning – Brandon Crawford hit a 1-out triple. Vogelsong reached on a hit by pitch. Hunter Pence tripled to make it a 4-0 game. Matt Duffy‘s single plated Pence to make it a 5-0 game.
- Bottom 8th inning – Lucas Duda led-off with a home run to left, making it a 5-1 game.
Final Score – Giants 5; METS 1
- This was Jon Niese’s third start since coming off the DL for a sore arm. He is now 0-3 in those starts with an ERA over four. In Friday’s game, he largely failed to break 90mph with his fastball. He was consistently throwing in the 87-89mph range. However, through the first 6 innings he pitched very effectively. Then things went awry in the 7th. Niese also hit 2 batters. Make of it what you will.
- At the plate and in the field, the maturation of Lucas Duda continues.
- The Mets sent 28 men to the plate Friday evening. They averaged 3.7 pitches per at-bat. They managed 2 hits, one walk, and fanned 5 times.
8/2 Saturday – 7:10pm, Giants @ METS