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Nite Cap: Niese Brilliant, Bullpen Not So Much, As Mets Beat Braves

Let's briefly review how poorly the Mets' bullpen handled the ninth inning before getting to the good stuff. With a five-run lead, Josh Edgin got two outs but mixed in three free passes — two walks and one hit-by-pitch — to load the bases. Frank Francisco was called upon to get out of Edgin's jam and issued two walks of his own plus a two-run double that drew the Braves within one. With runners on second and third, Jon Rauch came in and struck out Jason Heyward, but Rob Johnson let the ball get away a bit and scrambled to make a just-in-time throw to first to end the game. In short, the ninth inning sucked.

Before the near-meltdown from the bullpen, there were eight very enjoyable innings in the Mets' victory. Jon Niese was excellent as he allowed just one run on a Freddie Freeman home run in his eight-inning outing. He notched six strikeouts, walked two, and allowed just four hits in total. Niese threw 105 pitches in the start, 71 of which were strikes. Through 23 starts, he has a 3.67 ERA, easily his best single-season mark to date.

At the plate, the Mets scored six runs, every single one of which was necessary for the win. David Wright doubled in a run in the first, and Ike Davis followed up by knocking in Wright with a single. Ruben Tejada brought home a run in the second with a single. Davis singled to score Wright again in the fifth, and Jordany Valdespin hit a solo home run in the sixth. Andres Torres tacked on the difference-making sixth run in the eighth inning with a single.

The Mets are off on Monday but begin a three-game series in Cincinnati on Tuesday at 7:10 pm. Chris Young gets the start — Mr. Flyball in Great American Ballpark should go really well — against the Reds' maybe-not-an-ace-outside-of-Petco Mat Latos.

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Talking Chop Gamethread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Jon Niese, +25.7% WPA, Jon Rauch, +19.8% WPA, David Wright, +14.0% WPA
Big losers: Frank Francisco, -18.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright's rib-eye double in the first, +14.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Martin Prado's two-run double in the ninth, -12.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +26.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +23.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Andres Torres