In the offseason, the Mets and Indians were both coming off terrible seasons (88 and 94 losses respectively). The two teams went completely different routes, with the Mets choosing to forego any long-term contracts and bolstering their farm system, and the Indians giving big money contracts to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.
Judging anything after year one is probably foolish, but right now, the Indians have to be pretty happy.
Making his first start since leaving with a cramp on Sunday night, Jon Niese did not fare well at all, allowing five first-inning runs in an eventual 9-4 loss. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings, including a homer. The Mets offense fared better than last night, but it wasn't nearly enough in the end.
Eric Young led off the game with a single. However, Indians starter Corey Kluber would end up getting out of the inning on only four more pitches, retiring Daniel Murphy on a flyout and getting Zach Lutz to ground into a double play.
Bourn also had a leadoff hit, but unlike Kluber, Niese would not manage his way out of it. Swisher followed by ripping a double down the left-field line, scoring Bourn to make it 1-0. The critical play of the inning came when Jason Kipnis attempted a sacrifice bunt. Niese fielded it and threw to first, but Lucas Duda was ruled off the bag (incorrectly?), putting runners at first and third with nobody out. Things would fall apart quickly from there.
Carlos Santana made it 2-0 with a soft single to right, and Yan Gomes followed with a single of his own to load the bases. After Gomes' hit, Niese was able to retire Asdrubal Cabrera on a flyout. However Ryan Raburn would give the Indians all the runs they would end up needing as he ripped a double to right-center, which cleared the bases and made it 5-0. Mike Aviles would follow with another hit, the Indians sixth of the inning. The Indians wouldn't add another run though, as Drew Stubbs lined into a double play to end the inning.
The Mets would scratch back in the second. With one out, Justin Turner singled, and would end up scoring on a two out single by Matt den Dekker, to cut the deficit to four.
Cleveland would respond in the bottom of the frame as Nick Swisher ripped a Niese fastball over the giant wall in left, making it 6-1 Indians.
The game would remain 6-1 until the top of the sixth. Eric Young Jr. led off with a walk against Kluber, and after strikeouts by Murphy and Lutz, Lucas Duda would also walk. That set things up for Turner who launched a booming double high off the wall in center, scoring Young Jr. and Duda to make it 6-3. Juan Lagares would follow with a single to right, scoring Turner from second to make it 6-4. Den Dekker would strike out to end the inning.
After six, Niese was relieved by Scott Atchison, and like Niese, Atchison would feel the wrath of the Indians lineup. Atchison walked two batters in the inning, Swisher to lead off the inning and Gomes with two outs. That set things up for Cabrera who launched a 2-1 fastball down the line in right. It landed just inside the line, making it 9-4.
The Mets would go down meekly after that, seeing their final six batters retired, with d'Arnaud flying out to Bourn to end the game.
Tonight's loss dropped the Mets to 63-77, while the Indians improved to 76-65 and moved a game and a half back of the second wild card.
The series concludes tomorrow afternoon with Daisuke Matsuzaka facing off against Danny Salazar.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Justin Turner, +7.5%, Juan Lagares, +4.8%
Big losers: Jonathon Niese, -32.8%, Daniel Murphy, +10.1%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Justin Turner two-run double in the sixth, +7%
Teh sux0rest play: Ryan Raburn three-run double in the first, -11.4%
Total pitcher WPA: -41.7%
Total batter WPA: -8.3%
GWRBI!: Ryan Raburn