Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the Mets this season, their starting pitcher and one of the few pleasant surprises this year was pulled after the second inning. He suffered a strained quadricep running to first base when he was batting.
The team made no prognosis, so we’ll just have to wait for word on whether or not Nieve be able to continue in the rotation on Saturday. Nieve had pitched a scoreless first inning.
Tim Redding then came into the game for long relief and proceeded to serve up a home run to Yunel Escobar. He pitched a scoreless third inning before allowing an unearned run in the fourth after Jeff Francoeur had trouble scooping a ball out of the right field corner. The following single allowed the go-ahead run, which was all the Braves needed for the rest of the night.
In the fifth inning, the Braves loaded the bases after Alex Cora committed the Mets’ second error of the evening. Elmer Dessens relieved Redding, and the Braves scored two more runs on a single and sacrifice fly.
That would chase Dessens and bring in Pat Misch, who had been pretty good as of late. Not so tonight as he allowed three hits and three runs. Only four of the Braves’ seven runs were earned, however. He settled down in the sixth inning and pitched a scoreless inning despite walking two batters. Mets pitchers combined to hand over eight walks.
Brian Stokes and Bobby Parnell finished the game out and were effective.
The Mets offense, on the other hand, was not. Once again they were shut down and managed just one run off an RBI by Francoeur in the third inning to tie the game. The Mets got six hits and walked only once. You can’t win many games with that kind of offense.
It was a particularly disappointing loss coming off a high when Santana pitched seven scoreless innings in yesterday’s win. The Mets finally scored runs and played good defense. Of course, the Phillies and Marlins got rained out yesterday so the effect of the Mets’ win won’t be known until they make up the game.
The effect of tonight’s Mets loss can be felt, though. The Phillies blanked the Marlins, pushing the Mets to nine games behind in the standings. The Mets are five games below .500.
If Nieve has indeed been injured, then the Mets might bring up Jonathon Niese who has been pitching lights-out baseball in the minors. He could be a breath of fresh air to an ailing team. Knowing the Mets’ luck, however, he’ll get injured the day before he gets called.