Mets Game 146: Win Over Marlins
Mets 4 Marlins 3
Have the Mets finally solved their nemesis?
Mets Game Notes
Jonathon Niese pitched an OK, not great, ballgame, and certainly better than his previous two starts. OK, however was all he needed to be to beat the struggling Marlins. Well, he also needed the Mets to score more than three runs, which, miraculously, they did.
Niese relied heavily on his curveball for maybe the first time since his rookie season — per BrooksBaseball, 31 of Niese’s 103 pitches were curveballs — 20 for strikes. Considering that is the pitch that vaulted him to the big leagues, and has always been his best weapon, it was nice to see him throw it so often. On the other hand, why was he throwing it so often? Is he still experiencing shoulder pain, and using the curve as some means of compensation? Though he hit 93 MPH on the radar gun a few times, his fastball velocity was mostly in the 87-90 MPH range, with the cutter 85-88. Remember, this is a pitcher who threw in the 93-95 range not so long ago, and whose mechanics suggest he should/could be able to reach 96-97.
The biggest play of the game came in the fifth, when, with runners on the corners, one out, the score 2-1, and pitcher Brad Hand at bat, the Fish elected to sacrifice bunt. Hand bunted hard back to Niese, who easily started a 1-6-3 DP to end the inning.
Perhaps watching the Nationals tee off for four straight days, the Mets learned something — or were inspired — because all of their runs came courtesy of the homerun. Andrew Brown blasted a towering solo moon shot into the upper deck in left field, and Lucas Duda hit his first 3-run homer of the year to give the Mets the victory.