Mets Game 44: Win Over Pirates

Mets 3 Pirates 1

Mets take the series in Pittsburgh with an early afternoon victory.

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese rebounded from his worst outing of the year (maybe his career) with perhaps his best outing of the year. He pitched into the eighth inning — 7 2/3 innings to be exact — and allowed just one run on five hits and two walks. What was unusual was the number of ground balls he induced — a season-high 13 — and the contrastingly low number of fly balls (5).

Also of note: MetsToday reader “Dave” emailed me the following info prior to the ballgame:

SAMPLE SIZE ALERT! Niese during day games: 4 G 0.935 WHIP 2.75 SO/BB
0.489 OPS 1 HR. Niese during night games: 4 G 2.059 WHIP 1.70 SO/BB
1.074 OPS 7 HR. Interestingly his K/9 actually goes UP at night, but so do his walks. It will all likely even out over the course of the season, but I love little quirks like this in baseball.

Niese’s daytime numbers improved over the above with this latest performance. Does it mean anything? Not sure, but it’s worth watching. The K/9 going up at night doesn’t surprise me too much, as it’s probably slightly more difficult for hitters to see under the lights. Why the walks go up, though, is another story.

On offense, Ike Davis finally connected with a hard base hit that didn’t look like an accident. But it was pulled into right field, so not sure if it’s an indication of anything.

Two hits, a run scored, and an RBI from Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Is it time to make him the everyday center fielder for at least the short term, or what? It would seem to me that Andres Torres has played himself out of the starting lineup, for the time being anyway.

David Wright‘s slump continues; he was only one for four. As a result, what we all feared happened: his average fell below .400. It’s time to dump him before his stock plummets too far.

Next Mets Game

The Mets return home to play a four-game set against the San Diego Padres. Game one begins at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday night. The pitching matchup is Jeremy Hefner vs. Eric Stults.

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. DaveSchneck May 24, 2012 at 8:37 am
    Joe,
    Nice bounce back by Niese. Let’s see if he can do it at night next time. Yes, it’s the Pirates O, but it would be great if Frankie Frank and Parnell could perform in this manner more often than not. One other observation from this series – while I don’t root for any opponents, it was very refreshing to see McCutchen execute a feet-first pop-up slide on a stolen base. What happened to this skill – is he the old player in the league that can do this? Why wouldn’t everyone slide like this on every play?
    • Joe Janish May 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm
      Dave, good point on the feet-first slide. Damned if I know why more players don’t use it. I would imagine that feet-first sliding is what is taught and practiced during spring training (?) but why it isn’t carried into the season is baffling. When sliding feet-firts, it’s a heckuva lot easier to get up and continue to the next base on an overthrow.
  2. SiddFinch May 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    Falling below .400?? Not good, not good. I think, like Ike, David needs a bit of time down in Buffalo to get his swing back.