And so Jonathon Niese took the mound in the first start since signing a five-year extension with the Mets. One might say it was his resurrection into the core of the Mets.
The Mets took an early lead in the bottom of the first, when Tejada led off the inning with a deep double to left-center field. After reaching third with a Murphy ground-out, Tejada scored on a David Wright sac fly – giving him a big ribbie in each of the Mets’ first three games this year.
Murphy got his chance to touch home in the bottom of the fourth, when Jason Bay flied out with the bases loaded and no one out. However, the inning’s momentum was quickly squashed as Wright made a base-running blunder on the same play, getting himself thrown out at third.
The Mets’ lead was again extended the next inning by a two-run scoring double thanks to Daniel Murphy, who was in some way involved in each run the Mets scored this afternoon. With a four-run lead mid-way through the game, focus shifted to Jonathon Niese who hadn’t yet allowed a hit.
Three more runs for the Mets in the bottom of the 6th would make it a 7-0 lead with Niese’s no-hitter in tact heading into the 7th inning. But with one out and a man on first, Freddie Freeman broke up the no-no with a single to right field. Niese would soon exit the game and the Braves would go on to score a total of 5 runs between the 7th and 8th innings, putting a Mets’ sweep in doubt.
Frank Francisco took the mound in a save-situation in the 9th inning, looking to become the first Met ever to record three saves in the first three games of the season. I think we can all agree it’s a far better record to claim than a lame old no-hitter. Francisco came through with a 1-2-3 ninth, allowing the Mets to claim a 3-0 record for the first time since 2007.
Consequently, the Mets also swept a 3-game series against a division rival to start the season for the first time ever. We’ll save the no-hitter for another day…