Is there something wrong with Jonathon Niese? He turned in yet another poor performance as the Pirates drubbed the Mets Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.
The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the second inning via two hits and a walk. Clint Barmes singled to right to score the game’s first run and keep the bases loaded. Fortunately opposing pitcher Francisco Liriano was the next batter. He hit a chopper to David Wright, who fielded it right on the bag. Wright stepped on it and threw to first to turn the inning-ending double play to help Niese escape with just one run allowed.
Niese wasn’t so lucky in the third. With a runner on second Andrew McCutchen singled to make it a 2-0 game. Jose Tabata then hit a two-run homer to center to extend the Pirates lead to 4-0.
The wheels fell off in the fifth. With one out Jordy Mercer hit a solo home run to make it 5-0. Niese then walked two straight batters and Jose Tabata doubled to deep center to bring another run home. That was all for Jonathon Niese, who gave way to Scott Atchison with runners on second and third. Atchison got the second out, but then Michael McHenry singled to left to score two more runs to make it an 8-0 game. Barmes singled on the next pitch to knock in McHenry to extend the lead to 9-0.
So Jonathon Niese went 4.1 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, three walks and just one strikeout. Niese dropped to 2-4 and his ERA soared to 5.93.
The Mets finally broke through against Liriano, who was making his first start of the season, in the sixth. Wright led off with a single and with one out Justin Turner singled to advance Wright to third. Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single to score Wright and put Turner on second. Liriano was taken out of the game and Bryan Morris was able to retire the next two batters to keep the score 9-1.
With the score 10-1 in the eighth, Mercer added another solo shot to make it 11-1.
The game was stopped by rain in the middle of the ninth inning. As usual it is beautiful here in sunny Los Angeles and I want to go out. I am not waiting around, so I assume the game will be called and end at 11-1.
Did they really finish this game?! Apparently yes, after the stupidest 47-minute rain delay ever — stupid except for Andrew Brown, who hit his first home run as a Met, a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth to make it an 11-2 loss.