It is among the toughest decisions a manager will ever have to make — whether to remove a pitcher who is in the middle of throwing a no-hitter. Well, Fredi Gonzalez did it Friday night against the Mets, taking former Met Aaron Harang out of the game after seven no-hit innings. The bullpen lost the no-hitter, but the Braves won the game.
Jonathon Niese allowed a single and a walk to lead off the second and with one out Chris Johnson doubled to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
The third inning started out exactly the same way, but Niese was able to get out of it. He induced a double play from Freddie Freeman and struck out Justin Upton.
Niese pitched six solid innings, allowing just the one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out seven Braves.
Aaron Harang obviously pitched very well, but he did walk six batters. Two of them came in his final inning but was able to escape unscathed. It was clear that he was done after 121 pitches, and it was the right move considering it was still a 1-0 game.
Until the top of the eighth, that is. Gonzalez German, who has pitched so well of late, just didn’t have it. With a runner on first Freddie Freeman slammed a two-run home run to give the Braves a 3-0 lead. He walked Justin Upton and Dan Uggla doubled to center. Upton was thrown out at the plate, but when Travis d’Arnaud tried to gun down Uggla trying to advance to third, his throw sailed into the outfield. Uggla scored on the error. After Chris Johnson singled, German was lifted from the game in favor of Scott Rice. He promptly allowed a double to score Johnson to make it a 5-0 game.
Luis Avilan inherited the no-hitter. He got the first two outs of the eighth but then David Wright singled to end the no-hit bid.
Jeurys Familia allowed a run in the ninth and the Mets lose on a one-hitter, 6-0.