Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mets Defeat Dodgers--Reach High Water Mark

The New York Mets won their 4th consecutive game and clinched a series win tonight in Los Angeles, winning their third consecutive against the Dodgers. On a night when both offenses seemed quiet from the get-go, the New York Mets struck for blood first and continued with their parade of 2 out RBI hits to cap off a victory.

Jonathan Niese(8-7, 3.73 ERA) picked up his 8th win on the year behind a strong 7 innings of work, allowing only 3 runs on 5 hits and striking out 6. Niese ran into some trouble on a blown call during the 6th inning and almost relinquished the lead but was able to maintain his composure, leaving Matt Kemp in scoring position as the tying run by inducing a James Loney ground out. For Niese it was an important step to see him rebound following his rough outing against the Yankees last weekend, but Niese was able to throw his curveball for strikes which has been key.

Bobby Parnell provided yet another scoreless inning of relief, striking out 2 to lower his ERA to 2.66. Parnell's command of his fastball has largely been the key to his success, but changing speeds has proved to be effective as well as he struck out Andre Either with a 90 MPH slider on the outside corner for a called strike 3 to end the inning.

Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 22nd save of the year behind a 1 hit 9th inning to lock down the victory. K-Rod lowered his ERA to a still inflated 3.24 on the year--but has been much more effective since his two consecutive blown saves

The Mets continued with their 2 out RBI parade, scoring 4 of their 5 runs with 2 out. Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner all contributed hits of the variety--with Tejada's 2 RBI double proving to be the difference in the game. It was only Tejada's 4th extra base hit on the year but it proved to be a big one as he lined the ball to the right-center field gap.

The Mets are now 3 games over .500, their high water mark on the year. Although the Mets didn't gain ground in the Wild Card race, the Phillies lost to the Marlins in extra innings to push the Mets within a still distant 9 games of the National League East leaders.

The Mets will look to win their 5th in a row and sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow night at 10:10 PM ET.