The Mets guaranteed themselves a series win in Cincy, and beat the Reds in a back-and-forth game.  They move above .500 once again, and improve their record to 52-51.

The game started out with the Reds basically trying to give it away.  The Mets took advantage of shoddy Reds defense to build a 4-0 lead after 3 innings — all runs were unearned.  Starter Jon Niese cruised through the first 4 innings — just 3 hits and 1 run.  But an awful 5th inning that was punctuated by a Joey Votto 2-run homer did him in for the night.  He left with a 5-4 deficit.

This lead didn't last long...(AP Photo/David Kohl)

But the Mets once again showed their resilience in storming back.  Jason Pridie hit a go-ahead 2-run double in the 6th inning to put the Mets back up ahead.  The Mets bullpen took it home from here, with Tim Byrdak recording the final out (and his first save since 2007).

3 Up:

-The Bullpen: A fine effort in the post-K-Rod era.  Manny Acosta, Ryota Igarashi, Pedro Beato, and Tim Byrdak pieced together 4 innings of 1-run ball. 

-The Bench: Angel Pagan drove in a key pinch-hit run to make it 8-5, and Willie Harris made a nice running catch on Drew Stubbs’ deep shot to end the 8th inning with a man on. 

-Mets Offense: Banged out 12 hits and 8 runs.  What’s most important is that they made sure that the Reds’ lead lasted only a half-inning before reclaiming it. 

3 Down:

-Reds’ Defense: Wow, was it bad.  3 errors on the night, which led to 6 out of 8 Mets runs being unearned.

-Jon Niese: Not only for his pitching, but his failure to bunt Pridie over in the 4th.  Little things.

Carlos Beltran: Only for the uncertainty regarding his future with the club.  In his words, “…it’s a little sad. I’ve been here seven years, and I’ve made a lot of friends. It’s hard to let go of seven years just like that.”  If this is his last stand here, he’s making the most of it — he scored 3 runs tonight.

On Deck: Third game of the 4-game series; first pitch at 7:10 PM.

NYM Pelfrey (5-9, 4.73 ERA) vs. CIN Arroyo (7-8, 5.56 ERA).