Recap: Mets score nine, shut out the Diamondbacks

Christian Petersen

The Mets shut out the Diamondbacks 9-0 on their way to a .500 record. Jenrry Mejia pitched 5 effective innings before leaving with a blister. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Eric Young Jr. both recorded 3 hits, including a Nieuwenhuis home run.

The Mets entered tonight's game on Jackie Robinson Day seeking to achieve an elusive .500 record for the first time in six tries so far this season.  Taking the mound for the Mets was Jenrry Mejia, who came into the day striking out an impressive twelve batters per nine inning, but also walking an equally shocking seven.  Facing Mejia was longtime Mets rival Bronson Arroyo.  Arroyo has developed a long-standing reputation with Mets fans of outperforming his career averages when facing them, to the tune of a 3.65 ERA and an 8-3 record.  In order to reach the .500 plateau,they would need to solve the riddle of their old nemesis.

Tonight, it seemed the Mets had Arroyo's number from the beginning, treating his pitching outing as if it were extended batting practice.  The Mets swung early in counts, and were able to make solid contact on his offerings from the start. Eric Young Jr. began the first inning by beating out an infield single, utilizing his patented speed which has kept him at the top of the batting order.  Daniel Murphy followed this up with a single of his own, and David Wright, not to be left out also singled to load the bases.  Lucas Duda hit into a fielder's choice, driving in Young while erasing Wright at second base.  A sacrifice fly by Andrew Brown scored Daniel Murphy and allowed Duda to advance to second base.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis, just rejoining the team to replace an injured Juan Lagares, hit yet another single, driving in Lucas Duda for the fourth run of the inning.  Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to end the inning, but the Mets had already scored three runs and set the tone for the game.

Mejia cruised through the first three innings, not allowing a baserunner to reach. In the fourth inning, the Mets restarted their scoring barrage.  Andrew Brown started the inning off with a single, which was promptly followed by Kirk Nieuwenhuis blasting a 2-run home run to right field to put the Mets up 5-0.  The Mets weren't finished scoring yet. Travis d'Arnaud drew a walk and advanced to third base on a rare Omar Quintanilla double to the gap.  Jenrry Mejia flew out to shallow left, unable to advance the runners and recording the first out of the inning.  Eric Young Jr. knocked in two more runs with a single of his own, and another single from Murphy allowed Young to score due to a fielding error on AJ Pollock.  Young had been running on the pitch, and Pollock couldn't cleanly handle the relay, allowing Young to go from first to home on the single.  David Wright then singled, ending Bronson Arroyo's night.  Arroyo's final line would be ten hits and nine runs against once the dust settled.

Arroyo was replaced by Randall Delgado, who promptly hit Lucas Duda with a pitch to load the bases.  Andrew Brown hit into a fielder's choice to drive in Daniel Murphy, while erasing Duda at second.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out to eventually end the rally and the Mets scoring for the day, with the Mets sporting a 9-0 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, the Diamondbacks mounted one of their two scoring threats for the evening.  Mejia started the inning off with a walk to Gerardo Parra. After striking out Martin Prado, Paul Goldschmidt singled to put runners on the corners with one out.  Mejia rose to the challenge and induced a fly out from Miguel Montero and struck out Aaron Hill to eliminate the threat.

In the fith inning, the Diamondbacks made one final valiant attempt to get on the scoreboard. Kirk Nieuwenhuis recorded the first out with a diving catch which made fans at least temporarily consider the idea we can live with his defensive skills until Juan Lagares is healthy.  Mejia then walked Chris Owings.  AJ Pollock hit a slow roller to David Wright who appeared to make a great barehanded grab and throw to first base to record the out. The Diamondbacks challenged the call, and the umpires overturned it, despite the play being extremely close even upon replay.  This left runners on the corners again with only one out.  Again Mejia remained calm under pressure, inducing a broken bat ground out from Eric Chavez, and another ground out from Gerardo Parra to escape the inning unscathed.

In the top of the sixth inning, Mets fans had a moment of nostalgia as none other than the infamous Oliver Perez came out of the bullpen for Arizona.  In typical Mets fashion, the team promptly allowed Ollie to record a 1-2-3 inning against the heart of the batting order, but given the lead the Mets were holding, it was more amusing than frustrating. Perez would record two scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit.

Mets fans received a bit of a scare at the beginning of the sixth inning when it was reported Jenrry Mejia had been removed from the game.  The reason was revealed to be a torn blister on his middle finger soon afterwards.  This relatively minor injury ended Mejia's day with a final line of 5 innings pitched, two hits, two walks, three strikeouts and no runs.

Gonzales Germen came into the game to replace Mejia in the 6th inning, and pitched three stress-free innings, giving up only a harmless slow-rolling single to Chris Owings in the 7th.  Kyle Farnsworth entered the game and pitched a perfect 9th to preserve the shutout and ensure the Mets finally reached .500 this season.

With a .500 record firmly in hand, and momentum on their side, the Mets will look to achieve their first winning record of the season tomorrow, along with a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Win Probability Added

20140415_mets_diamondbacks_0_2014041603534_live_medium

(What's this?)

Big winners: Kirk Niuwenhuis, 16% WPA; Jenrry Mejia, 14% WPA; David Wright, 6.8% WPA

Big losers: Lucas Duda, -0.7%

Teh aw3s0mest play: Kirk Nieuwenhuis 2-run home run, 8.5% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Lucas Duda ground out to first, -0.6% WPA

Total pitcher WPA: 14.4%

Total batter WPA: 35.6%

GWRBI!: Lucas Duda fielder's choice in the first


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