The Mets played two this afternoon, losing the first game, yet winning the second game behind a one hit complete game shutout by Jonathon Niese. Johan Santana took the loss in the first game, while Niese moved to 3-2 on the season behind his first complete game, and first shutout of his career.

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Game 1:

Initial Reaction:

Johan Santana was pitching on eight days rest and it was obvious the extra rest may have hurt him. He didn’t have the command that he normally has. After being staked to a 2-0 lead on a Henry Blanco home run, Johan allowed four runs to score. The Mets couldn’t battle back as they couldn’t get a hit after the 3rd inning.

The Positives:

Henry Blanco: He was the sole run producer in the afternoon affair, accounting for both runs on his home run. He’s hitting .294 in limited at bats on the season.

The Negatives:

Johan Santana: While the Mets were able to muster only two runs and two hits, they did stake him to a 2-0 lead that he was unable to hold. Johan is much better than his 4-3 record suggests, and I expect him to bounce back in his next start.

Interesting Facts:

2: Number of hits the Mets were able to produce in game 1.

22: Consecutive Mets retired to end the game.

Game 2

Initial Reaction:

Jonathon Niese was on his game. The pitching staff is starting to come together as Niese threw his first complete game shutout in his 18th career start. The lone hit he allowed came in the 3rd, a double off of Chris Denorfia. The Mets were able to split the doubleheader and finish their homestand at 5-1. They’re 32-28 through 60 games on the year.

The Positives:

Jonathon Niese: Niese made his 2nd consecutive excellent start since coming off of the DL. He moved to 3-2 on the season behind his 1 hit shutout and lowered his ERA to 3.61 on the season. Niese is looking like the lefty the Mets hoped Ollie would have become.

Jose Reyes: Jose was 3-4 in the second game with a stolen base and one run scored. It was his 15th stolen base of the season. Reyes appears to be out of the slump he had fallen into and has his average back up to .254 on the year.

Ike Davis: 2-4 on the day with an RBI. He’s hitting .261 on the year and I couldn’t be happier with his performance so far this year.

The Negatives:

Triple Play: Ruben Tejada hit into a triple play and killed a Mets scoring chance.

LOB: The Mets had 15 men left on base in game 2 tonight.

Interesting Facts:

21: Consecutive batters Niese retired to end the game

1: number of hits Niese allowed, along with the number of complete games by Mets pitching so far this year.

What’s Next?

The Mets head on the road for nine games, all against American League teams. They’ll be in Baltimore tomorrow to begin a three game series with the worst team in baseball.

First Pitch- 7:05pm SNY

Probables:

NYM R.A. Dickey (3-0) 3.20 ERA vs. BAL Jeremy Guthrie (3-6) 3.71 ERA