Niese Try, But Defense Downs Mets

[caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="660" caption="Jon Niese delivers a strong outing for the Mets on Thursday afternoon. He pitched 7.2 solid innings, but was a hard-luck loser as the offense and defense let him down. (Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri / Getty Images)"][/caption]

With all of the injuries the Mets have suffered in 2011, they have had to have players either play out of their natural positions, or play in close games without much big league experience.  Playing second base cost Daniel Murphy his season, and although he was not injured, Ruben Tejada booted a ball at shortstop that cost the Mets their Thursday afternoon game against the Padres.

The Mets lost 3-2 despite a strong and rather lengthy outing from Jon Niese.  The curveball throwing lefthander threw 122 pitches over 7.2 innings.  He gave up three runs (two earned), on seven hits.  He also added seven strikeouts.

But the unearned go-ahead run in the eighth inning cost the Mets.  The Padres advanced their runners to second and third with a double steal as Kyle Blanks recorded the second out of the inning by swinging at strike three.  It appeared as if Niese would escape the inning with a 2-2 tie when he got Aaron Cunningham to bounce a grounder to shortstop.

Tejada moved to his right to field it, but had the ball clunk off his glove; allowing the go-ahead run to score.

The offense could not bail out Niese, as he took a loss he certainly did not deserve.  The Mets’ only runs came when Lucas Duda doubled in two runs in the third inning; one of only three Mets hits on the afternoon.

Despite the offensive woes, David Wright did have a reason to celebrate.  After tying Met great Ed Kranepool for total bases reached as a Met last night, David Wright is now the sole leader in Mets total bases with his third inning walk.

The Mets will fly to Arizona to try and play spoiler for the Diamondbacks' playoff hopes tomorrow night.  The D-backs are currently 0.5 games ahead of Carlos Beltran and the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.  The Mets will send Dillon Gee, the National League rookie wins leader, to the mound against an 11-game in winner Ian Kennedy.


Mets Notes:

Scott Hairston started in center field for the Mets this afternoon.  The regular center fielder, Angel Pagan, was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning of last night's Mets vs. Padres contest.  The injury is listed as a back spasm, but he should miss only a day or two according to manager Terry Collins.

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