With a 3-1 victory in Pittsburgh this afternoon, the Mets finished up a six-game road trip with a 3-3 record. After dropping two of three games in Toronto to begin the trip and the series opener in Pittsburgh, the Mets got oustanding performances from starting pitchers R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese and won their last two games before coming back to Queens for a four-game set with the Padres.
Niese didn't match Dickey's 11-strikeout performance against the Pirates' feeble lineup, but he allowed just one run on 5 strikeouts and 2 walks in 7.2 innings of work. As a result, his 4.85 ERA and 4.84 FIP entering the game dropped to 4.29 and 4.47, respectively, by the time his day was done.
Without Bobby Parnell's excellent performance from the bullpen, however, Niese's line for the day might not have looked as good. Terry Collins pulled Niese in favor of Parnell with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the eighth with Andrew McCutchen at the plate.
Rob Johnson attempted threw behind the runner at first base following a pitch, but the attempted pickoff backfired as Ike Davis was unable to handle the throw. The runners advanced to second and third, but Parnell ultimately caught McCutchen looking at a brilliant pitch on the outside corner of the plate for an inning-ending strikeout. Here's hoping Parnell continues to make appearances in high-leverage situations.
The Mets' hitters scored 3 runs on 8 hits, 0 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, David Wright, and Lucas Duda drove in a run a piece.
The Mets host the Padres tomorrow at 7:10 pm. Jeremy Hefner will make his first start in the big leagues for the Mets, and Eric Stults gets the nod for San Diego.
Big winners: Jon Niese, +31.7% WPA
Big losers: Daniel Murphy, -5.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright's rib-eye double in the fifth, +9.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Andrew McCutchen's RBI single in the sixth, -8.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +47.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +2.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Kirk Nieuwenhuis