The Mets had a substitute starter instead of Johan Santana today, and Jon Niese put together a pretty nice outing, as the Mets won 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Niese went 4 2-3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits. Niese walked 6 batters and struck out 1. He was pitching very well until he hit a wall in the 5th inning. The bases were loaded with none out, and Niese got some key outs to limit the damage.
He looked good, but still raw. Give him a few years, and if he's still with the team, I think he can be a good 3 or 4 starter.
Ivan Maldonado pitched 1 1-3, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits. Converted catcher Joe Hietpas pitched 1 1-3 of an inning, allowing three hits, but no runs. Ricardo Rincon continued his hot spring, going 1 2-3, allowing only one hit.
Rincon has been really good, but like Steven Register, there's just no room for him in the 'pen.
Carlos Beltran went 1-2, with a double, and scored twice. Both times he scored, there were plays at the plate, and he made the same slide both times, getting around the catcher and swiping the plate with his hand.
He looked excellent running around out there today. His knees seem to be feeling fine, which is amazing news.
Raul Casanova went 1-3, crushing a solo home run into the wind in right field. The ball had to be hit very hard to get out in right, as there was a stiff wind blowing in through the entire game.
Casanova might catch on, and it's looking very likely, as we haven't seen Ramon Castro in a while.
Rafael Arroyo drove in Brady Clark in the bottom of the 9th inning with a hit just fair down the right field line.
The Mets played a bit of small ball this inning, as Clark walked, moved to second on a sac bunt, picked up third on a wild pitch, and came home on Arroyo's hit. Good stuff.
Game Ball: Beltran.