After getting swept this week by the team with the worst record in the league, the Mets lost to the team with the best record in the league. Jon Niese pitched a fine game tonight, so the culprits were the lineup and the bullpen. Mets batters had just four hits against Giants starter Matt Cain and two relievers, and Carlos Torres allowed a tie-breaking two-run home run to Buster Posey in the eighth inning that gave the Giants a 4-2 lead. Last weekend's four-wins-out-of-five destruction of the Phillies feels like it happened a long time ago.
Niese gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking just one. It wasn't a dominant start for Niese, in that he didn't miss many bats, but he got ahead of batters and rarely worked deep counts. The seventh inning is the one he would like back. After Daniel Murphy gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run, Niese quickly recorded two outs in the bottom of the frame. However, he then walked Brandon Hicks, who advanced on a wild pitch that Travis d'Arnaud maybe should have blocked. Brandon Crawford followed with a single to drive in Hicks and tie the game 2-2. Niese departed after the seventh inning for Torres.
This was Torres' 32nd appearance. The Mets have played 61 games. He's been busy, having now worked seven innings over five appearances since last Friday. I wonder if he was a little fatigued tonight. He walked Angel Pagan on four pitches to start the eighth inning. Two batters later, Buster Posey took him deep over the left center field wall, giving the Giants the lead for good. Torres has been the Mets' best reliever this season, but he could probably use a rest.
The Mets' offense was ugly. Matt Cain was perfect through four innings and had a no-hitter through five. Travis d'Arnaud went 0-for-3 and grounded into two double plays. Outside of Murphy's home run, the only other highlight was Ruben Tejada going 2-for-3. Both Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo pitched one inning of scoreless relief after Cain hit the showers. Where is Giants killer Scott Hairston when you need him? (h/t @graves9)
The worst part of the Mets losing a Jon Niese start is watching Niese's depressing postgame interview. Just try not to cry as Jon talks with this face:
Hang in there, man.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Daniel Murphy +27.0%, Ruben Tejada +8.7%
Big losers: Carlos Torres -34.3%, Travis d'Arnaud -23.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy two-run home run in the seventh inning, +31.1%
Teh sux0rest play: Buster Posey two-run home run in the eighth inning, -29.8%
Total pitcher WPA: -40.0%
Total batter WPA: -10.0%
GWRBI!: Buster Posey two-run home run in eighth inning