Jonathon Niese was on the mound and faced former Phillie J. Happ. The 13-10 Mets were without their star second baseman Daniel Murphy, and back up catcher Mike Nickeas. Jon Niese just didn’t have it tonight.
It took J. Happ 11 pitches to get through the top of the first inning. Jon Niese wasn’t so lucky, he gave up an infield hit to Jose Altuve to lead off the game and then let Jed Lowrie go yard; and before there was an out recorded, the Mets were down by two. J.D, Martinez greeted Niese with the third hit of the inning. After a ground out, Matt Downs would end the Astro threat by hitting into a double play thus sparing Niese and the Mets any more damage.
Ike Davis had the first hit for the Mets in the top of the second and was stranded. Niese put himself in trouble again in the bottom of the second when he gave up another lead off hit to Brian Bogusevic and a second to Justin Maxwell. You knew that Niese when in for a short night when he gave up his second home run to the number eight hitter Chris Snyder. And again, before Niese could record an out, he gave up another three runs. The Mets would come to the top of the third down by five runs. The Met offense was still dormant with only a Jon Niese walk in the top of the third.
Niese walked Downs with four pitches in the bottom of the third but settled in and kept the Astros from adding to their lead. The Met offense woke up in the top of the fourth when Justin Turner lead off with a booming double off the left field wall. After David Wright lined out to third, Scott Hairston drew a walk and Turner stole third simultaneously. Ike Davis stuck out looking was picked up by Andres Torres an thus put the Mets on the board with single run. Josh Thole would push Scott Hairston home with a base hit up the middle. With runners on the corners, flu ridden Lucas Duda batted for Jon Niese in the inning and stuck out looking.
Miguel Batista would take over for Niese in the bottom of the fourth and immediately walk the lead off batter with four pitches. It looked like Batista would get in trouble because he had runners on the corners with only one out. But Josh Thole would throw out a runner trying to steal second and Batista would get a ground out to end the Astro threat.
The Met offense woke up again in the top of the fifth when, after two outs, Justin Turner drew a walk and David Wright singled. Scott Hairston hit an RBI single over the shortstop bringing the Mets within two runs. Batista held the Astros scoreless in the bottom of the frame. Batista was lifted after 2 and 2/3 innings. He left two men on in the bottom of the sixth. Ramon Ramirez came in a walked the first man he saw to load the bases and then walked a runner home increasing the Astro lead.
The Mets failed to get any offense going for the rest of the game and thus lost their second game in a row.
Side Notes: Jon Niese was terrible tonight, he left balls over the plate and the Astros made him pay. I really liked the message Terry Collins sent to him by pulling him out early. Thole threw out a couple of runners trying to steal second base. I really hope this flu thing that has both Duda and Nickeas doesn’t go through the whole team.