Terry Collins was rendered speechless after last night’s loss to the Cubs, their second in a row and fourth overall. Today, Collins was looking for Jonathon Niese to give the Mets a quality start, allowing them to salvage the finale of this three-game set. Well, the offense took care of the problem, as they exploded in the fifth and sixth innings, chasing starter Jeff Samardjiza after giving up 9 runs.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
New York got things started in the first inning, Andres Torres led the game off with a walk. While Ruben Tejada was up, Torres stole second base, then moved to third on a ground out. David Wright gave the Mets an early lead with another sacrifice fly to right field. The Amazins re-took the lead with a three-run fourth and never looked back; Lucas Duda walked with one out, then Ike Davis hit a double to right, scoring Duda from first, unlike last night. Then, Daniel Murphy clubbed a two-run homer for his first long ball of the year. Jeff Samardjiza started the top of the fifth with a walk to Niese, which proved costly. Tejada doubled in front of Wright, who also hit a two-bagger, scoring both, extending the lead to 6-1. After another walk to Duda, Davis hit a three-run homer, chasing Samardjiza from the game. Oh, and just for good measure, Murphy hit his second homer, out to center field.
It was more of the same in the 6th inning, as Niese walked to lead off for the second time today, followed by three consecutive singles from Tejada, Torres, and Wright, who collected two more RBI with his second hit. Duda walked again to load the bases, then Scott Hairstonhit a grand slam, giving the Mets two straight innings of six or more runs. In the top of the eighth, the scoring was finally done for New York, as Murphy drove in Davis with an RBI ground out.
Cubs Offensive Highlights:
Chicago once again answered the early Met run with one of their own. Darwin Barney singled to left with two outs, bringing up Luis Valbuena, who hit his second RBI double of the series, tying up the score at one each. However, Niese was able to keep the Cubs bats silent as the Mets went on a scoring spree, putting the game out of reach for an offense that is generally unproductive. They were only able to muster five more hits after they scored their lone run in the second inning, while the Amazins scored 16 unanswered runs. Darwin Barney was the only Cub to collect multiple hits.
It took Samardjiza 73 pitches to exit the game after 4.1 ineffective innings. He gave up two long balls on the afternoon, and ended up getting tagged with 9 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks, and only 1 strikeout. Casey Coleman didn’t fare much better in his 1.2 innings, as he gave up 7 more runs.
Niese was fantastic in getting his sixth win of the year, working the final three innings of his outing stress-free with a big lead. He ended up throwing 7 innings, giving up 8 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run on 6 strikeouts. Ramon Ramirez threw the last two frames, striking out two and allowing one hit.
Daniel Murphy hit his first home run of the year today. Period. Then, he decided to hit another one in the same inning, which marked his first multi-homer game ever. He had gone more than 350 at-bats dating back to last year since his last long ball, and got the always wonderful silent treatment as he returned to the dugout.
All 17 runs were driven in by either Wright, Davis, Murphy, or Hairston, with all driving in at least four runs each, which is the fourth time that’s happened in MLB history. New York is now 19-10 in day games this season, and Wright is leading the way, hitting .408 during the day. This outburst of runs is by far their largest of the season, and the first time they’ve scored more than 6 runs since June 14th against the Rays.
The win snaps the Mets’ four-game skid before they head to LA, improving their record to 40-36, but still in third place and most likely be 4.5 games behind the Nationals, as they are leading big against the Rockies at the moment.
Probable Pitchers Thursday:
The Mets continue their journey out to the West Coast, as Chris Young (1-1, 3.42 ERA) heads to the hill against former Met, Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60 ERA). Sandy Alderson opted to not give Cappy the money he was looking for, and he’s having a terrific year for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled at Chavez Ravine at 10:10pm EST.