COMMENTARY | The New York Mets live for another day.
On the verge of having their season end before Memorial Day, the Mets snapped their six-game losing streak by beating the St. Louis Cardinals and ace pitcher Adam Wainwright 5-2 on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
That the Mets beat Wainwright was one thing. That the offense -- at least certain parts of it -- came to life, was another. That Jonathon Niese pitched well and picked up his first win in over a month, may have been the best news of the day.
As good as Wainwright is, he's now 1-4 against the Mets over the course of his career. The Mets scored four times off Wainwright, collecting six hits over six innings. Having lost six in a row and with their offense struggling, facing the Cardinals' ace was a daunting prospect. But when all seemed lost, the Mets responded.
For once, the offense did its job. Daniel Murphy was 4-for-4, David Wright drove in two runs, and the Mets collected 11 hits.
As for Niese, he picked up his first win since April 12. His earned run average had skyrocketed to 5.93 entering the game and he was struggling with his control. It was the first time since last month that Niese worked late into the game -- he pitched into the eighth inning, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks -- and overall, he looked like the pitcher the Mets sent out there on opening day.
With Matt Harvey pitching today as the Mets open a series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, there's at least a trace of optimism after yesterday's win.
Because we're talking about the Mets, we at least have to mention one negative: Ike Davis, who went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts yesterday, is now batting .157.
Had the Mets lost on Thursday that would have been an even bigger story. Instead, the Mets get their first win in a week, Niese pitches well, and some of the bats get going.
One win doesn't change everything. The fact remains that this team has some major issues. But a performance like the one the Mets turned in yesterday can't hurt either.
"It's a step in the right direction," Niese said according to Newsday.
One the Mets desperately needed to take.
Charles Costello has followed the Mets closely since the rookie years of Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). He was a beat reporter assigned to cover the Mets during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
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