As the unkind weather and my desire to go to sleep fought an epic battle of wills, the Mets' offense pounded out 16 hits, drew seven walks, and plated 14 runs against Tigers pitching, including five runs on five hits and three walks in just two innings against Justin Verlander.
Less encouraging was Jon Niese, who let a 10-0 lead slowly trickle away to the point that he couldn't even finish five innings, instead ceding the mound to Fernando Nieve who retired the final batter in the fifth and eventually held on to get credit for the win. Niese gets a pass to some extent because he actually pitched quite well before the third-inning rain delay but struggled to keep things together after sitting on his keister for an hour.
There's plenty to debate about whether Niese should have been brought back into the game at all. Jerry Manuel apparently said that he wouldn't have done so if Niese had thrown 50 pitches prior to the delay or if the delay had lasted more than an hour. Well, the rain delay lasted 58 minutes and Niese tossed 45 pitches through three innings before the weather interrupted play. I don't know if he actually had those arbitrary figures in his head before the rain delay or if he invented them afterwards to fit his actions, but their arbitrariness is indisputable. At all events, the decision to bring Niese back to pitch the fourth inning did not go according to plan. If there was a plan. I'm guessing no.
A few tidbits.
- Rod Barajas drew two unintentional walks in the same game for only the 11th time in his career. He has never drawn three walks of any kind in one game.
- With Jenrry Mejia's departure does that leave Ryota Igarashi to inherit the late-inning mop-up opportunities? He pitched a flawless ninth with an eight-run lead.
- Jason Bay is 10-for-10 in stolen base chances this season.
- Former Mets interim GM Jim Duquette is on Twitter at @Jim_Duquette. Do with that information as you please.
- Tell me again why Jeff Francoeur should get the bulk of the playing time in right field whenever Carlos Beltran comes back? Pagan was 4-for-6 tonight with a double, a triple, four runs knocked in and another three runs scored. Jeff Francoeur went 1-for-4 and drove in a run when he got hit with a baseball thrown by the opposing pitcher. Pagan leads in wOBA .358 to .318 and in WAR 2.5 to 0.6.
- Bobby Parnell made his first appearance of the season, striking out two and allowing a walk, helped in no part by the mysterious shrinking strike zone of home plate umpire Bob Davidson.
R.A. Dickey takes on Jeremy Bonderman Wednesday at 7:10pm.
Unintentionally sexual quote of the game: "Nevermind the humidity, it's getting sticky in other ways here tonight." --Howie Rose on the narrowing of the Mets' big lead, or something.
Poem by Howard Megdal
Downpour of runs after rain ran game aground
Niese, post-delay, gets himself knocked around
With Beltran looming, Pagan answers the bell
Four hits for fourth outfielder? Only Beltran's knee can tell
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Bless You Boys Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Angel Pagan, +16.1% WPA, Jon Niese, +10.3% WPA
Big losers: Jon Niese (batter), -3.2% WPA, Fernando Nieve (batter), -0.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pagan RBI triple in first, +14.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Boesch walk in second, -3.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +13.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: +36.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Angel Pagan
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by metsguy234; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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