Takeaways from the Mets 4-0 win over the Braves on Monday…
The Mets shutout the Braves by the score of 4-0 on Monday night at Citi Field. Here are my takeaways from the win…
A quietly efficient win.
This wasn’t the most exciting game the Mets have played on their schedule, but wins are certainly wins, and as Terry Collins said before Monday’s game, the Mets need to do more of that these days.
The Mets jumped on Shelby Miller early for a run in each of the first and second innings. They probably should have had more in the first, however. Travis d’Arnaud grounded into a double play which plated a run with the bases loaded, but Daniel Murphy inexplicably ran the Mets out of the inning when he decided to take off for third base.
But, Murphy will be Murphy. When they win, it’s ok.
The Mets then got another run thanks to a solo home run from Michael Conforto – one of three flyballs he hit to left field – in the second inning. The scoring was capped for the Mets in the seventh inning when Daniel Murphy capped the scoring in the seventh with a two-run double to plate Eric Young Jr. – who ran for Michael Cuddyer after he singled to start the frame – and Curtis Granderson who followed with a single of his own, and that was basically that for the Mets offense.
The Mets got six excellent innings out of Jon Niese, who looked as good as he has in about six weeks, and the bullpen took care of the rest with three solid innings of relief to complete the shutout.
Other than that, the game was pretty uneventful. Given how Sunday night went, that was probably a good thing especially since the Mets came up with a badly needed win against the Braves, ticking down the magic number and ticking down the number of games on the schedule at that.
A much Nieser day.
This was just what the doctor ordered for Jon Niese.
This was a very refreshing and reassuring performance from Niese, who featured precise command of his two-seam fastball, curve and cutter, thanks to a clean, over-the-top delivery which he repeated consistently on Sunday.
He cruised, needing just 88 pitches and inducing 13 groundball outs. He worked quickly, hardly found any kind of trouble on the night, and perhaps most importantly, took a necessary step in the right direction to help fix his season.
This start probably doesn’t guarantee Niese anything down the stretch and in the postseason. But he simply needs to pitch well at this point and eat up these innings to get the team the necessary wins to secure the National League East.
Needless to say, he did exactly that on Monday night.
It wasn’t a spectacular night for the Mets offense – they were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position on Monday night. But, they made one of those two hits count with Murphy’s double in the seventh inning which accounted for two of the four runs on the night.
They’ve got to walk before they can run again, for sure. And they certainly did that with on Monday night. But their situational hitting is still off from where it was before the homestand, and it’s going to have to improve as October draws nearer.
But the Mets will take what they can get, especially if they win and get that good pitching back like they did on Monday.
The Mets weren’t necessarily in trouble after losing two of three to the Yankees. The problem and bad taste from the weekend involved Sunday’s circus surrounding Matt Harvey, which is the kind of distraction the club had been hoping to avoid since he returned at the beginning of the season.
But for the moment anyway, the discussion is about a winning night and good feelings coming off of it, which is really the direction the conversation needs to be going about the club.
In other words, its about time the talk centers around the team, rather than a single player on the team.
Other notes from Monday:
Yoenis Cespedes continued to emerge from his week long slump with three hits, two of which were doubles.
D’Arnaud went 0-for-4 despite his first inning double play grounder which plated a run – he’s 0-for-his-last-17 at the plate.
Murphy extended his hitting streak to four games with his two-hit performance on Monday – he’s 6-for-13 during that span, although he’s just 14-for-his-last-65 since August 28.
With his pinch hit single, Cuddyer is hitting .348 since August 10.
After the bullpen allowed 11 runs in four innings on Sunday, they delivered three scoreless innings of relief on Monday.
The Mets recorded their 13th shutout win of the season on Monday.
The Mets improved to 46-22 against the National League East with their fifth straight win over the Braves.