The Braves starting pitcher entered Thursday’s game with an unsightly 4.90 ERA, and 140 hits allowed in 119.1 innings pitched. On this night, he followed up his previous outing with yet another brilliant performance. The Mets managed just 2 hits off Minor through the first 7 innings of play. In Mike Minor‘s previous start, he kept the Reds hitless through 7 innings.
In fact, it was Mike Minor‘s RBI single in the 2nd that put the Braves ahead by a 1-0 margin. He then led-off the 8th inning with a double and scored what proved to be the winning run. Another RBI by Freddie Freeman made it a 3-0 game and sent Jon Niese to the showers.
The Mets finally broke through against Minor with a run in the bottom of the 8th to make it a 3-1 game, but managed no more. The Braves on the other hand, tacked on 3 more runs off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the 9th.
The Atlanta Braves won the game by a 6-1 final, and take the series 2 games to 1.
Mets Starting Lineup:
Jon Niese‘s first pitch of the ball game to Braves lead-off batter Jason Heyward was a fastball taken outside for ball one. After Heyward was retired, center fielder Emilio Banifacio gained the Braves first hit (lined up the middle for a single). Banifacio then stole second base on a pitch to number-3 batter Freddie Freeman, and reached third base when Travis d’Arnaud‘s throw got away (E-2). Freddie Freeman was called out on strikes on the play and number-4 hitter Justin Upton was retired for the third out.
Mike Minor‘s first pitch to Mets lead-off batter Juan Lagares was a fastball taken high and away for ball one. Lagares was retired on a come-backer to Minor. Curtis Granderson struck out swinging at a curveball. David Wright also fanned to end the 1st frame.
With 2-outs in the top of the 2nd, Jon Niese issued his first walk to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Catcher Gerald Laird then singled. Mike Minor helped his cause with another single to left that scored Simmons from second base.
- In walking Andrelton Simmons, Niese bounced a pitch, threw to the backstop for ball-3, and threw wide again for ball-4. Niese issued his first walk in the 2nd, fanned his second batter, allowed his third hit and first earned run of the game. The Braves were 3 for 8 with a walk their first time through the line-up.
Mike Minor retired his sixth straight batter in the bottom of the 2nd.
Leading off the top of the 3rd, Emilio Banifacio lined a pitch off Jon Niese‘s lower left leg for a hit. Freddie Freeman then smoked a line drive gloved by Lucas Duda, who applied a tag on Banifacio for a double play. Upton was retired on a pop-up to Wilmer Flores.
- Through 3 innings Niese threw 41 pitches with 29 (70%) going for strikes. He averaged just over 13 pitches per inning and faced 13 batters.
The Mets went down in order again in the bottom of the 3rd. Mike Minor notched his forth strikeout.
Third baseman Chris Johnson led-off the top of the 4th with an infield single. Second baseman Tommy La Stella then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play (the Mets second). Playing second base this evening, Wilmer Flores turned in a nice play to retire Simmons.
Mike Minor remained perfect, as he retired his twelfth consecutive batter in the bottom of the 4th.
Jon Niese retired the Braves in order in the top of the 5th.
Leading off the bottom of the 5th, Lucas Duda defied the shift by stroking the Mets first base hit to left field. However, he was stranded at second base.
Jon Niese retired his eighth straight batter in the top of the 6th.
- Through 6 innings of work Jon Niese threw 70 pitches with 48 (68.5%) going for strikes. He faced 22 batters, and averaged just over 11 pitches per inning. He allowed 5 hits, walked one, and fanned 4 batters.
Mike Minor got back on track. He retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the 6th.
Chris Johnson led-off the top of the 7th with a single. Otherwise, the Braves went down quietly.
Leading-off the bottom of the 7th, first baseman Freddie Freeman was unable to handle a sharp liner struck by Granderson – (ruled a hit). David Wright then grounded into a softly hit 6-4-3 double play.
Mike Minor helped his cause yet again when he doubled to lead-off the top of the 8th. With one out, Emilio Banefacio then tripled off Niese, over the head of Juan Lagares to score Minor from second. Freddie Freeman followed with a single to score Banifacio, making it a 3-0 game. That ended Jon Niese’s night. Terry Collins emerged from the dugout to make a change.
- Jon Niese’s line: 7.1 innings pitched, 3 earned runs on 9 hits and one walk. He struck out 5 batters. Jon threw 93 pitches with 64 (68%) going for strikes. His ERA rose ever so slightly from 3.47 to a 3.48 mark. Jon’s record fell to 7-10 in 25 starts this season.
Travis d’Arnaud led-off the bottom of the 8th with a double off Mike Minor to the left/center gap. Eric Campbell followed with an RBI single back through the box to get the Mets on the board as Travis d’Arnaud scored from second. That ended Minor’s night.
David Carpenter entered the game in relief of Mike Minor. Eric Campbell advanced to second base on a 1-3 put-out of Wilmer Flores. With 2-outs, pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a walk, but Juan Lagares ended the threat with a ground ball to second.
Daisuke Matsuzaka entered the game in the top of the 9th inning. With 2-outs, pinch hitter Ryan Doumit hit a 2-run home run, deep, into the Mets bullpen in right. Jason Heyward then doubled and scored on Emilio Banifacio’s single which knocked Matsuzaka from the game.
The Mets went down in order in the bottom of the 9th.
Top 8th inning – Mike Minor led-off with a double. Emilio Banifacio tripled to score Minor. Freddie Freeman singled to score Banifacio, and make it a 3-0 game.
Final Score: Braves 6; METS 1
- Wilmer Flores looked smooth playing second base.
- The first 4 1/2 innings of the game were completed within one hour. The game was completed in 2 hours, 33 minutes. Nice!
- Not Nice: The Mets made 30 official trips to the plate, drew one walk, were limited to 4 hits, and fanned 6 times. They stranded 2 of 3 runners in scoring position. The Mets have 10 hits in their last 2 games. Jon Niese perhaps deserved better from his line-up. Mike Minor had other plans.
- Jon Niese pitched well this evening, but is now winless in his last 5 starts against the Braves.
8/29 Friday – Mets begin a 3-game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.