Looking to set the tone against another division rival, one that has owned the Mets for far too long, the plans did not go quite as designed. Despite a 5 inning battle by Niese, being no hit through the first 3 innings, and some back to back power from Wright and Mayberry early, the Mets ultimately lost a game where their defense failed them. The Mets finally displayed some of the power that led the league in the spring after falling behind early due to some shoddy defense by Wilmer Flores. Wright and Mayberry went back to back in the 4th with two impressive long balls to tie the game at 3, but that was all they would be able to muster as they lost to the Braves 5-3.
Wilmer Flores, who typically makes all the routine plays look fairly easy, really struggled with his throws tonight. After 2 early errors (plus one committed yesterday), he seemed to develop the yips as I counted about 5 throws being double pumped and off target. If not for some solid play at first base by Cuddyer, he could have easily had 3, if not 4, errors in this ballgame.
The Mets bullpen, again, looked very solid. Although Montero will take the loss, he pitched pretty well, despite only throwing fastballs. If not for a mental gaff by Wright, Montero would have had a much better, and easier, chance to escape the 8th inning without any damage, leaving the Mets a chance to take the opener of the series from the Braves.
Niese had a typical Niese outing tonight. He looked sharp at times and inconsistent at times and exhausted by the 5th. I have learned over the years, this is Jonathan Niese. He is never overly dominant and never overly bad. He is mediocre, and I have come to the realization that for the 4th starter, especially one who is a lefty, that is more than acceptable.