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Jonathon Niese Leads New York Mets to 3-2 Victory Over St. Louis Cardinals

April 24th, 2014 at 12:02 AM
By Mike Phillips

New York-There was a feeling in the air that Wednesday night's game with the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals could get wacky. Part of that had to do with the 35 mile per hour winds that swirled throughout the game, giving it a fall feel on April 23rd. There was a little bit of history, as Cardinals' starter Michael Wacha struck out nine batters over the first three innings pitched. There was also a wild rally in the ninth that was cut off as the Mets threw out the tying run at the plate. All told, the recipe equaled a 3-2 victory for the Mets (11-10).

'Jonathon Niese' photo (c) 2010, slgckgc - license:

The Cardinals grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, when Yadier Molina's RBI double brought home Matt Carpenter. The lead looked like it would hold up against Cardinals' starter Michael Wacha, who was lights out in the first three innings. Wacha struck out nine batters over the first three innings, becoming only the seventh player in major league history to accomplish the feat. The Mets did manage to run up a lot of pitches against Wacha (2-2, 2.10 ERA), who struggled mightily in the fourth. Wacha loaded the bases and preceded to walk in two runs by walking Ruben Tejada and Kirk Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded. Wacha would only last four innings, allowing two runs on three hits while walking five and striking out 10 Mets' hitters.

Lucas Duda would add an insurance run for Niese in the sixth when he homered off of Cardinals' reliever Seth Maness. The solo shot, Duda's fourth of the season, stretched the Mets' lead to 3-1. Those runs would be all the support Jonathon Niese (1-2, 2.45 ERA) would need on the evening. Niese was strong once again, allowing only one run on six hits over 6.2 innings pitched. Niese also walked two and struck out three for the night. Niese would depart in the seventh, trusting that the hot Mets' bullpen could hold the lead over the next 2.1 innings.

The set up men did their jobs, but new closer Kyle Farnsworth ran into some trouble in the ninth. Farnsworth put the tying runners on with one out when pinch hitter Daniel Descalso ripped a deep shot to center field that Kirk Nieuwenhuis had trouble tracking. By the time Nieuwenhuis caught up with the ball, Jon Jay had scored to cut the Mets' lead to 3-2. Nieuwenhuis, however, made a perfect throw in to Ruben Tejada, who gunned it to the plate to Travis d'Arnaud. d'Arnaud was able to tag Carpenter out and prevent the tying run from scoring. Feeding off the momentum of the perfect relay, Farnsworth was able to get Matt Holliday to fly out to right field and end the game, picking up his second save of the year in the process.

Player of the Game:

Today's Player of the Game award goes to Mets' starter Jonathon Niese. Niese was brilliant again for the Mets, allowing only one run on six hits while walking two and striking out three over 6.2 innings pitched. Niese has been terrific in spite of missing most of spring training with various injury concerns.

Post Game Notes:

  • Curtis Granderson snapped his hitless skid with a single off of Wacha in the first inning. Granderson went 1 for 3 on the day with a single and a walk.
  • The Mets won in spite of only collecting four hits on the evening.
  • Matt Carpenter (4 for 5, run) and Yadier Molina (3 for 3, RBI) led the way for the Cardinals' offensively.
  • The Mets guaranteed themselves a series split with the victory tonight.

What's Next:

The Mets will look to win their series with the Cardinals this afternoon in a matinee affair. Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40 ERA) will be on the mound for the Mets, while the Cardinals will counter with Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42 ERA). First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled for 1:10 pm.

Tags: Baseball, Curtis Granderson, Daniel Descalso, Jonathon Niese, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Kyle Farnsworth, Lucas Duda, Matt Carpenter, Michael Wacha, MLB, New York, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina

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