Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gettin' Back On Track at the PNC

Jon Niese bounced back from a horrific 4 home run outing in Toronto to help deliver the Mets to a 3-1 win yesterday afternoon to leave the steel city with a series victory and a .500 road trip.

After getting called out by Dan Warthen for his lack of preparation, Jon Niese was outstanding, using his backdoor cutter on the outside part of the plate to establish his sinking fastball on the inner-half of the plate. The Pirates were having such trouble with these pitches he all but abandoned his curveball. Niese's stuff is too good for outings such as the Toronto one, and as long as he makes the proper pre-game preparations and in-game adjustments those outings will be few and far between.

In yesterday's game post, I failed to mention how awesome a job both Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis did bouncing back after dropping the ball on Monday. In this win, they continued to put the error out of mind as each had huge rolls in this win. Baxter went 1 for 4, scoring on David Wright's double in the 5th inning. Cap'n Kirk went 2 for 3, touching the plate once and gaining an RBI on a sac fly in that 5th. Just as it looks as if the league might have caught up to him, Kirk continues to adjust as well and do the right things to help us win. Both him and Baxter are huge parts of this team.

Bobby Parnell has done a complete 180 from last year.  With 2 on in the 8th and after Jon Niese could not get the last out, Parnell was brought in to face Andrew McCutchen with 2 on. Catcher Rob Johnson threw down to 1st to try to pick off the runner, but Ike Davis could not handle the throw and it trickled down the line, moving the runners over to 2nd and 3rd, including the tying run at 2nd. The old Parnell more often than not would buckle under the pressure, but this year's Bobby Parnell has such confidence in his stuff that he reared back and threw a smokin' fastball to the outside and low part of the strike zone. McCutchen checked his swing, but it didn't matter because the pitch caught the strike zone. Instead of throwing the fastball as fast as he can right over the plate, he's locating it so nicely, as well as throwing his breaking stuff for strikes. He's becoming a pitcher, instead of just a thrower. BOOM!!!! Bobby P.

After only 7 games at home in the last 25, the Mets are back in the Citi for an awesome 11-game homestand, beginning tonight against the San Diego Padres. Jeremy Hefner, making his 1st Major League start, will take on the southpaw, Eric Stults. Let's sweep the Fathers.


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