The Mets swept their first home series of the season, against the division rival Phillies. The starters kept the team in each game, including a solid effort from Niese tonight (6.1IP, 9H, 1ER, 2BB, 4SO) and the bullpen continued to close the door with relative ease (Alex Torres excluded). Considering tonight started a stretch that the Mets will be without their Captain, David Wright, they did not seem to realize they were missing a key ingredient to their offense as they put up 6 runs on the board against pretty mediocre Phillies pitching.
d’Arnaud proved Collins has an idea of what he’s doing (sometimes). Batting for the first time in the 2 hole while Wright is out, he contributed with 2 hits, 2 runs and walk. He handles the bat well, and displayed some nice pop tonight, pulling a homerun down the left field line.
Niese, while never spectacular but usually consistent, pitched another game where he battled and kept the opponent struggling to string much together, only surrendering the 1 run on the evening. He always seems to tire around the 5th inning, despite how many pitches he throws, but lasted 6+ tonight. Hopefully he can push through and battle a little bit deeper into games, but with the way this bullpen has pitched, Niese getting into the 6th should be enough, for now.
The Mets beat up on a team that should get beaten up on. If the Mets truly want to improve upon the last few seasons and make the playoffs this year, they need to continue to beat teams such as the Phillies. While it is unrealistic to expect sweeps on a regular basis, it is nice to see, and winning the series against the lower echelon of teams will be crucial, especially as Washington gets healthier and starts scoring runs for that imposing pitching staff.