Friday, April 20, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Giants 4, Mets 3 (10)
By Mike Mazzeo
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets came back to force extra innings, but Frank Francisco gave up his fourth earned run over his last three appearances in the top of the 10th, and the Giants won 4-3 on Friday night.
The Mets (7-6) have now lost three straight.
Francisco issued a four-pitch walk to Melky Cabrera leading off the frame. Cabrera stole second on a pitchout -- the 34th stolen base on Francisco in 37 attempts since 2008 -- and scored on Hector Sanchez's two-out RBI single.
Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled to open the bottom half of the 10th, but were stranded at second and third. Lucas Duda flew out to deep center field, ending the 3-hour, 41-minute affair.
KINDA NIESE: Jon Niese labored through a six-inning, 109-pitch outing on Friday night. The left-hander was tagged for three earned runs -- all in the third inning -- on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Niese’s length was greatly appreciated. Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey had combined to give the Mets six innings combined in the previous two games.
CAPTAIN KIRK: Kirk Nieuwenhuis' first-ever hit off a lefty? How about an opposite-field solo shot off Barry Zito into the Party City Deck leading off the fifth. The Mets now lead 3-1 in homers aided by Citi Field’s shorter dimensions. Nieuwenhuis had been 0-for-7 off southpaws prior to the blast.
According to the team, his opposite-field shot was the first by a Mets left-handed hitter over the wall in Citi Field history.
Nieuwenhuis also ended the eighth by robbing Sanchez of an extra-base hit with a full-extension diving catch on the left-center field warning track that has to be a Web Gem. The rookie center fielder also committed his first error in the 10th.
MAKING HISTORY: Wright became the first player since 1999 to start a season by reaching base at least twice in 10 straight games (two walks). Wright remains tied with Darryl Strawberry for the franchise lead in RBIs (733). Wright extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 10th-inning single.
BLAST-A-BAY: Jason Bay broke up Zito’s no-hit bid with a two-out home run into deep left in the fourth. It was Bay’s third of the year, and easily cleared the old fence. Bay led off the ninth with a single and scored on Thole’s game-tying hit. But he struck out with runners on second and third and one out in the 10th.
PAYBACK: In his first game against his former team, Angel Pagan took Niese deep into the Party City Deck in left-center field for his first home run of the season leading off the third inning. Pagan was booed lustily by the crowd when he was introduced for his next at-bat.
ABOUT TIME: Mike Nickeas snapped an 0-for-21 streak dating back to last season with a fifth-inning single to right.
NICE TURN: Murphy barehanded Ruben Tejada's flip feed and threw in one motion to complete a 6-4-3 double-play that ended the seventh.
FIX ME: Ike Davis and his broken swing combined to go 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Davis popped out to third, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth.
UP NEXT: Mets vs. Giants, Saturday afternoon, Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 3.09 ERA) opposes Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 2.84) at 1:10 p.m.