The New York Mets hung on late for a rare road win at Turner Field against the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, to take the opening game of this three-game midweek series. The Mets are back to a game under .500 as they continue their string of strong starting pitching performances.
Jonathan Niese was quite good, allowing just two runs on five hits—only one of which was an extra-base hit—in 6.1 innings to pick up his sixth win of the season. After a rocky first few starts, Niese has been lights out over the past few weeks. He now has a .500 career record.
The Mets relied on great defense and timely hitting to earn this win. Carlos Beltran plated a run with an RBI single in the first inning to give the Mets the early lead.
Though Niese gave up a run in the second, the Mets responded with two in the third. A double steal by Jose Reyes and Willie Harris set up an Angel Pagan RBI single and Lucas Duda sac-fly.
The Mets beat early NL Cy Young favorite Jair Jurrjens, who lasted just 5.1 innings and gave up four earned runs which matched his season-high. Surprisingly, two of Jurrjens’ four losses on the year have come against the Mets.
New York put pressure on Jurrjens all night, especially on the basepaths. The Mets stole four bases, which was more than Jurrjens had given up all season in 11 starts.
Once Niese settled into a groove, the Braves had no chance against his swooping curveball. Niese is hot right now, and the Mets will need him to continue this pace if they want to continue their streak of playing good baseball.
Niese was pulled after just 95 pitches, but after a Pedro Beato walk, Tim Byrdak struck out pinch hitters Brian McCann and Diory Hernandez to end the seventh inning. These wound up being huge outs in the game.
Dan Uggla hit his ninth home run of the season in the eighth off Jason Isringhausen, who has been in a funk lately. Chipper Jones followed Uggla with a deep ball of his own that Beltran tracked to the wall and made a leaping catch.
Francisco Rodriduez recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his 19th save in a row.
Reyes had another stellar game, finishing 3-for-5 with an RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. One of his outs was a scorching line drive to the warning track.
The Mets will take on the Braves Wednesday in the second game of this series. Dillon Gee and his 7-0 record will face Tim Hudson at 7:10 p.m.
About the Author
Written by Jim Mancari
James (Jim) Mancari hails from Massapequa, NY. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA with degrees in History and Kinesiology. Jim currently is pursuing a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY). He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets' fans, Jim has plenty of hope. Jim also writes for the NJ Nets on this site. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He appreciates and respects additional opinions.