Mets Game 3: Win Over Braves

Mets 7 Braves 5

Another day, same headline. You never would have guessed by the final score, but Jonathon Niese nearly threw the first no-hitter in Mets history.

Mets Game Notes

OK, maybe he didn’t NEARLY throw a no-no, but Niese didn’t allow a hit until Freddie Freeman dashed a single into right field in the seventh inning. It was fun while it lasted.

Other than not allowing the Braves to hit safely, Niese’s outing was somewhat uneven. He struggled early with his control, walking three batters in the first two innings and going into deep counts. Then all of a sudden he was getting one quick out after another, and the goose eggs kept appearing on the scoreboard. As exciting as it was to nearly witness a Mets no-hitter, there’s no way I could honestly say that Niese looked spectacular or dominating. For a stretch of almost four innings — from the second through the sixth — he induced outs efficiently and seemingly effortlessly. His final line was 6 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. A good outing, for sure, but it doesn’t look historic, does it?

After three games, the Braves’ offense looks feeble. Or is Mets pitching that good? You decide.

As bad as are the Braves bats, the Mets hitters are that good. Everyone is hitting, even Jason Bay, who had a single and a sacrifice fly. Today, Bay’s head looked more still during his stride, so perhaps he was seeing the ball better as a result.

Braves starter Mike Minor looked almost as good as Niese through his first three, but completely ran out of gas in the fourth. Somehow, he worked out of the fourth, struggled again in the fifth, and then was sent back out in the sixth, when he gave up another three runs. I guess the Braves were out of relievers, because if I were the manager he would’ve been out before the end of the fifth.

The Braves also were apparently out of hitters, because Jack Wilson was the last out of the ballgame. How that happens, I’ll never know. If I’m a Braves fan, I would have rather seen Livan Hernandez up at the plate than Wilson.

Ruben Tejada wants to know who this “Jose” character is that people keep talking about. All he knows is he had four hits from the leadoff spot and played stellar defense at short.

Not sure what’s wrong with Lucas Duda — he didn’t hit one single home run all day.

Matt Diaz dropped Daniel Murphy in a fielder’s choice / double play attempt in the second inning. Diaz went several feet inside the second base bag and practically roll-blockEd Murphy to the ground. It was a clean play, and Murph is going to have to get used to that. Did anyone else let out a heavy sigh of relief when Murphy got up afterward without a major injury?

Next Mets Game

The NL East leading New York Mets will defend their first-place position against the Washington Nationals at 7:10 p.m. on Monday evening in Flushing. Mike Pelfrey faces Edwin Jackson in a matchup of eternal enigmas.

Tags: ,

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Joe April 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm
    Many pitchers, including aces, at times struggle some in the first or second inning, but particularly when they don’t give up runs, I’ll take it. No hitters can be a mixed bag. One had about nine walks, as I recall. The Braves, particularly w/o NYC’s favorite third baseman, and Hudson, do look pretty beatable. Also, it helps when they don’t have a lead late. Other teams, including the Red Sox, look much more of a mess. But, then, the last couple years, the Mets were decent until mid-season. Still, with so little expectations, it’s good to start well.
  2. Gary S. April 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    Murphy is an injury waiting to happen anytime he has to pivot at second base for a double play.Looks great at the dish though.Have to hope he improves over time and Collins uses Cedeno wisely at second base in late innings for defense.
  3. jerseymet April 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm
    This game was a joy to watch.
  4. Jeff April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    Actually the hit that broke up the no-hitter should have been a double play. Murphy was cheating way towards second base as if a right-hander was up at the plate. Where Freeman hit the ball was exactly where Murphy should have been playing. I thought maybe Gary Cohen would point that out, but nobody did. Maybe Niese still doesn’t finish the game due to pitch count – but maybe we had a chance for a combined no-hitter. Murphy was way out of position on a simple grounder to second base…..Am I the only one to notice that???
    • Joe Janish April 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm
      You bring up a valid point. At the same time, I noticed Murphy cheating toward a certain direction at other times and getting a ball hit right at him. So, though in that case it worked against him, I think it worked for him at least once or twice.

      In other words, maybe the no-no would’ve been broken up much earlier had it not been for perfect positioning. We’ll never know!

    • argonbunnies April 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm
      Jeff, I had the exact same thought, the second the ball left Freeman’s bat. Niese threw the pitch right where it was called, on the inside corner. And yet the Mets clearly had Murphy covering second on that pitch. Is this Tejada’s fault? It’s the SS who makes the call on who covers, right?
  5. Mike B April 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm
    Even if it was just for a weekend it was great to watch the Mets win. There does seem to be a positive feeling around this team this year. I believe the starters can keep up 6 innings 2 runs and the offense can get the job done. My biggest concerns will be the bullpen(which has looked great) and Murphy and Duda’s defense.

    And I dont want too be to negative on a such a nice weekend but can they call off a guy on pop up?

  6. glenn edwards April 9, 2012 at 7:49 am
    I LOVE “Mets Today”…read it every single day
    but sometimes, I think you over analisize somethings..
    I respect your opinion though..
    glenn edwards
  7. Mike B April 9, 2012 at 9:33 am
    Yeah Joe

    The score and maybe mention that Niese took a NO NO to the 7th.

    I am sure if you do that for a month you could count your web visits with your two hands.

    Another gem from Glenn.