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Night Cap: Good Starting Pitching + Run Support = Win

Alex Trautwig - Getty Images

With the lowly Miami Marlins in town, the Mets managed five runs in the first two innings on Friday night to take an early lead they would never relinquish. As bad as the Mets have looked over the past few weeks, the Marlins managed to look a whole lot worse on a series of incredibly poor plays right out of the gate.

Ike Davis plated the first run of the night with a single in the first inning, and Scott Hairston followed up with a two-run bomb to put the Mets up by three in the blink of an eye. Hairston is undoubtedly a platoon player, but his 18 home runs in 351 plate appearances would put him on pace for 31 home runs in 600 plate appearances. There's no guarantee that Hairston would actually hit that many home runs if the Mets played an entire season against left-handed pitchers, but the pace helps demonstrate what a great year he's had as a part-time player. He's one of the bright spots on this team.

In the second inning, the Marlins helped the Mets widen the lead. Josh Thole doubled to start the inning, and Jon Niese reached first safely on an error by Jose Reyes. Despite the fact that Thole was thrown out in a rundown on Fred Lewis's ensuing ground out, but both Niese and Lewis advanced while the Marlins nearly botched the pickle. Niese then scored on a wild pitch, and Daniel Murphy brought Lewis home with a sacrifice fly.

Speaking of Niese, the 25-year-old lefty went 6.1 innings and allowed three runs with seven strikeouts and one walk. That makes nineteen consecutive starts in which Niese has gone at least six innings. With a 3.49 ERA and a couple more starts left this season, he should finish the year with easily his best season to date. The contract extension to which the Mets signed Niese is looking more and more like a bargain for the team with every start he makes.

The first of the three Miami runs scored in the third inning on a single by Donovan Solano, but Niese really got into a jam in the sixth. He wound up allowing two more runs in an inning that could have been a little better but also could have been a whole lot worse.

The Mets tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning when Ike Davis hit a bomb into the Pepsi Porch, his twenty-eighth home run of the year.

After Niese was pulled by Terry Collins with one out in the seventh inning, Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch combined to set the Marlins down in order for the final eight outs in the game.

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Fish Stripes Gamethread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Scott Hairston, +19.0% WPA, Ike Davis, +11.3% WPA, Jon Niese, +9.6% WPA
Big losers: Fred Lewis, -5.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Scott Hairston's two-run home run in the first, +16.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Donovan Solano's run-scoring double in the sixth, -5.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +17.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +32.1% WPA
GWRBI!: n/a — Niese scores on a wild pitch in the second