The New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves by the score of 7-5 on Sunday afternoon. It was a three game sweep for the Mets to open up the season. They may have needed this more then any other team or at least just as much as maybe a couple of other teams. The Mets haven’t been good in the last couple of years and they have also taken a beating in the public relations department. The only way they can win back the fans is by going out and winning games. Jon Niese started and pitched great until he ran out of gas in the seventh inning. Ruben Tejada had four hits and two RBI and Daniel Murphy had two hits and two RBI.
Niese pitched six innings giving up two hits and four runs with three of them being earned. He walked four and struck out seven. Niese got the win, Manny Acosta pitched 1 2/3 innings giving up a hit and a run with two strikeouts, Tim Byrdak got out the only hitter he faced and Frank Francisco earned his third save of the season in three chances. He pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout. Mike Minor started for the Braves and took the loss. He pitched five innings, giving up six hits and six runs with four walks and six strikeouts. Cristhian Martinez pitched one inning giving up two hits and one run with two strikeouts, Kris Medlen pitched one inning giving up two hits and a walk and Eric O’Flaherty pitched one inning giving up a hit and striking out one.
Tejada had four hits and two RBI for the Mets. Murphy had two hits and two RBI, David Wright had a hit, an RBI and drew two walks and Ike Davis drew a walk. Jason Bay had a hit, an RBI and drew a walk, Lucas Duda had a hit and drew a walk and Scott Hairston had a hit and an RBI. Niese had a hit, Tejada had two doubles and Murphy had a double. Hairston had a double and the Mets were 3-9 with runners in scoring position. They left seven men on base, Duda had an error and Nickeas a passed ball.
Martin Prado drew a walk for the Braves, Brian McCann had a hit and an RBI and Dan Uggla drew two walks. Freddie Freeman had a hit, Matt Diaz drew a walk and Jayson Heyward had a hit and two RBI. Jack Wilson had an RBI, Heyward had a double and McCann had a homerun. The Braves were 1-4 with runners in scoring position and left three men on base. Heyward had a stolen base and Diaz had an outfield assist.
The Mets got on the board first in the first inning. Tejada doubled and moved over to third on a Murphy ground out. Wright hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. In the fourth Bay hit a sacrifice fly which was a double play. He flied out to left field, the throw came in to third where Wright got caught in a rundown and was forced out at third. It was 2-0 Mets. In the fifth Murphy hit a two run double to make it 4-0 Mets. In the sixth Hairston hit an RBI double and Tejada hit a two run double and it was 7-0 Mets. The Braves got on the board in the seventh, they also got their first hit in the inning. Uggla walked and Freeman hit a single. Diaz reached on a fielding error by Duda and a run scored. Heyward doubled home two runs and it was 7-3 Mets. Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4 Mets. McCann hit a solo homerun in the eight to make it 7-5 and that would be the final score.
The Mets swept the three game series and will now take on the Washington Nationals in a three game set at home. They will play Monday and Tuesday night and then Wednesday afternoon. The Mets will have Thursday off and then go to Philadelphia for their first road series of the year.
The Mets swept the Braves because they pitched well. The remade bulllpen looked great including three saves by their new closer Frank Francisco. The Mets offense also produced putting up some runs and even hitting a few homeruns. The Mets looked great but also took advantage of a Braves team that just can’t score any runs. They don’t have Chipper Jones and that is really hurting them right now.
The main reason the Mets won though is because they did pitch so well. The final score today 7-5 is not an indication of how well Niese pitched. He had a no-hitter until the seventh inning and then simply ran out of gas. The bullpen looked great in the three games. The Mets got good performances from their top three pitchers and will look for that to continue the next three games against the Washington Nationals, another division foe.