I’m really, really glad that I watched the Olympic closing ceremonies last night. Even though they weren’t live and even though NBC made a bunch of cuts without telling me, it still meant that I didn’t have to suffer through a Mets bullpen meltdown.
Well, I sort of suffered thanks to my phone, but it would have been worse if I was actually watching.
The near-complete bullpen meltdown at the end of the game took some of the attention away from Jon Niese, who pitched a wonderful game. In fact, with only 106 pitches thrown in eight innings, I’m rather curious as to why Niese wasn’t allowed to go the distance. Niese allowed just one run while striking out six and walking two, but he was pinch hit for in a 6-1 game in the bottom of the eighth.
Josh Edgin, who has been a pleasant surprise thus far, walked the bases loaded while recording two outs. Frank Francisco came in for what should have been an easy save, but he walked Juan Francisco and Michael Bourn and then allowed Martin Prado to double in a pair of runs. Now with the score 6-5 and with Prado representing the go-ahead run on second base, Terry Collins brought in Jon Rauch to pitch to Jason Heyward.
Even though Rauch doesn’t miss a lot of bats and even though he’s not left-handed, Rauch managed strike out Heyward and save the Mets from catastrophe. Or did he? Strike three got away from catcher Rob Johnson and his throw to first was just a split second ahead of Heyward and nearly hit the runner in the leg. Ike Davis made a nice snag to finally end the game. What a terrifying ninth inning that was.
Here’s the box score. Ike Davis had a pair of RBI singles against Atlanta starter Ben Sheets, Jordanny Valdespin crushed a home run down the right field line, and David Wright hit an RBI double. For the Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run for the second day in a row.
Despite the game almost being a disaster, the Mets still won.
“There’s nothing like taking a day off after a win,” Collins said. “The food tastes better on the plane. The sun is going to be brighter tomorrow.”
Starting on Tuesday, New York will play three games in Cincinnati against the Reds. In the meantime, check out this article about Scott Hairston that I wrote for The Daily Stache.