Harvey is amazin’ and the Buck doesn’t stop for Niese. Time for a weekend recap!
Game 10: Jon Niese
You almost feel bad for Niese. Harvey is doing so tremendously well it makes Niese performance thus far look pedestrian. While the final line wasn’t much to look at – 5 runs and 4 walks in 5 innings – It was especially cold, and Niese relies on his breaking pitches. If you can’t feel your fingers, chances are that curveball won’t curve. The reason he’s getting the PotG is for his intelligence of the situation. Once the Mets staked a 10-2 lead in the second, he abandoned his breaking stuff and focused on pitching to contact. The twins eventually caught up to it in the 5th with the three runs, but the strategy worked overall. He sacrificed his statistics to help the team win.
He also lost two impressive streaks I, and I think most fans, were unaware of:
22 consecutive starts of six innings or more
21 consecutive starts of three walks or less.
Special mention should be given to the much-ridiculed back of the bullpen, as Atchinson (2 innings), Burke, and even temporary 5th starter Aaron Laffey all kept the Twins off the scoreboard, allowing just a single hit.
Game 11: Matt Harvey
I was born about the same time as Gooden came up for the Mets, so I can only imagine that the excitement Harvey is bringing to each start is equivalent to those days in the 80s. In freezing cold temperatures he had a no-hitter going with two outs in the seventh until a Justin Morneau home run ended the chance. He finished the night with two runs in eight innings. On a night when most pitchers lose control, he managed to keep it.
As you probably know by now, ESPN Stats and Info reported Harvey is the third pitcher since WWII to start a season with 3 games of 7IP and 3 hits or fewer. The other two, some journeymen named Jim Rooker and Nolan Ryan.
Game 10: John Buck
I know that I cannot expect this to last, but I am enjoying the ride. On a night when Niese did not have his best stuff due to the conditions, his battery mate came through with a huge Grand Slam in the second to extend the lead. It allowed Niese to pitch to contact for the rest of the outing, as well as ease the pressure on the pen.
Buck has more home runs after 10 games than ALL of the Mets catchers had last year, and 19 RBI. Through ten games, only 3 other players had that many RBIs: Chris Davis, Manny Ramirez, and Lou Gherig. Chris Davis was too selfish to join Ramirez and Gherig alone this year.
Also congrats Buck, you’re going to be an SNY Trivia answer for a LOT of upcoming Aprils.
Game 11: Marlon Byrd
This was a very hard call. Despite four runs it is very difficult to choose one player when it all comes in one inning. The Mets staked Harvey to a four run lead in the 5th with seven consecutive hits. The seven hits were one shy of the team record and last duplicated on August 1, 2001. Byrd is the word and the PPotG because he started the rally, and his Home Run gave the Mets the lead. With it, the Mets now have had a home run in each game to start the season. If you predicted that before the season started, you’re a dirty liar.
Pitcher of the Game Scoreboard:
Matt Harvey: 3
Jonathan Niese: 3
Scott Atchinson: 1
Greg Burke: 1
Josh Edgin: 1
Dillon Gee: 1
Jeremy Hefner: 1
Position Player of the Game Scoreboard:
John Buck: 5
Marlon Byrd: 1
Colin Cowgill: 1
Lucas Duda: 1
Daniel Murphy: 1
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 1
Special Thanks to Sean Engel for the Kiner’s Korner Pitcher and Position Player of the Game graphics. You can follow him on twitter with the handle
Posted by Robert Z