Following up on his embarrassingly bad outing against the Blue Jays over the weekend, Jon Niese settled in today and held a terrible Pirates offense — owners of a .218 team batting average and a .268 team on-base percentage — in check. Neise struck out five and walked two, but he left the tying runs on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, turning the ball over to Bobby Parnell. An Ike Davis error on a pick-off throw from catcher Rob Johnson moved the runners to second and third, but Parnell whiffed Andrew McCutchen on a perfectly placed pitch, low and on the outside corner of the plate, to end the threat. Frank Francisco tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to wrap up the game and the series for the Mets.
The Mets got at least one hit from seven of their eight starting position players — Daniel Murphy went 0-for-4 — and got RBIs from Kirk Nieuwenhuis, David Wright, and Lucas Duda. Wright went 1-for-4 and saw his average drop to a traid-able .397. Davis went 1-for-4, raising his on-base percentage to .213, which is still a tick below Niese's .214.
We knew it was over when...
Parnell whiffed McCutchen, the Pirates' only good hitter, to retire the side in the eighth.
Mike Baxter hit leadoff for the second straight game and was in the starting lineup for the fourth time in five games.
Francisco hasn't allowed a run in four straight appearances.
Wright's on-base percentage dropped below .500 again. What are we going to do with this guy?
Nice job by TKFJ; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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