OK folks, Jon Niese is warming up as we speak. Check back here for updates and discussion on his first pro start.
7 Reyes, SS
6 Evans, LF
5 Wright, 3B
15 Beltran, CF
21 Delgado, 1B
17 Tatis, RF
3 Easley, 2B
40 Cancel, C
49 Niese, LHP
23 Weeks, 2B
7 Hardy, SS
8 Braun, LF
28 Fielder, 1B
1 Hart, RF
25 Cameron, CF
2 Hall, 3B
18 Kendall, C
43 Parra, LHP
UPDATE, 7:20 p.m.: Niese will learn you can’t groove a get-me-over fastball in the bigs. Not a good start for the kid.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Niese deserves an inordinate amount of credit for settling down there. He struck out Corey Hart and Mike Cameron, a pair of righties with 44 homers and 145 RBI between them, to strand runners at second and third. That’s big-time pitching.
UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: To answer someone’s question, Robinson Cancel has caught Niese. I talked to him about Niese on Sunday in Florida. He had good things to say about Niese, said he’s confident, has good stuff, etc.
UPDATE, 8:02 p.m.: Carlos Beltran isn’t just fine. He’s playing his best baseball of the year when the Mets sorely needed it. That’s five HR and 13 RBI in his last nine.
That’s simply Delgadoian.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Niese doesn’t throw awfully hard (he’s been 88, 89 the whole game), but he has routinely kept the Brew Crew off balance.
Bernie Brewer thought the focus was going to be on him tonight, but Bernie’s Dugout has been quiet since the Weeks home run to open the game.
Speaking of Bernie, is there a better mascot in pro sports? The guy runs this stadium.
UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: Uh-oh. Niese is in trouble. No out, 5-3, man on first and third, and he just gave up a two-run double to the pitcher. I bet Jason Kendall and a pitcher haven’t hit two balls so hard back-to-back all year. Now here comes the meat of Milwaukee’s order.
Nelson Figueroa is up in the ‘pen.
And if you said this wasn’t a good matchup for him (like Dan Warthen said to me in Florida), you were probably right.’
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: What a terrific play blocking the plate by Cancel. He basically used his left forearm to absorb the cleat of J.J. Hardy, which is not for the faint of heart.
It’s still tied 5-5. With the Mets escaping tied there, it’ll a commendable job by Figueroa.
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Here’s the final line on Niese: 3+ IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Manny Parra wasn’t exactly Steve Carlton either. Here’s his line: 5+ IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: The Polish Sausage won it tonight in a lopsided race with the Italian Sausage finishing dead last. He looked like he was struggling keeping the giant chef’s hat on his head.
UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: The Mets have Wright-Beltran-Delgado in the top of the eighth. The Brewers have the bottom of the order here. If Brian Stokes, the ‘pen’s new stopper, can hold them, the Mets have to strike in the eighth.
Also, Endy Chavez just came in to play LF for Nick Evans. Strangely enough, Manuel didn’t double-switch, which would’ve been the natural move so Stokes can pitch two innings here if he’s rolling.
UPDATE, 9:42 p.m.: This, folks, is baseball. Ned Yost brings in Eric Gagne the day after he was tattooed. He even brings him in to face Carlos Delgado, who homered off him, and Carlos Beltran. What does Gagne do? He gives up two absolute lasers to those guys, but both are hit right at outfielders.
In the box score it will say Gagne threw a perfect inning.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: Geez, Dan Murphy is good.