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Game Recap (4/6/14) : Reds 2 – Mets 1

(Robert Sabo / New York Daily News)

By Keith Harrison

After getting swept by the Washington Nationals to start the season, The New York Mets were looking to bounce back with a sweep of their own. After winning the first 2 games of their series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Mets sent Jon Niese to the mound Sunday afternoon to make his season debut. Making his first start in more than 2 years for the Reds was Alfredo Simon, who had made 99 relief appearances since his last start.

This game was a real pitching duel.

Jon Niese was impressive in his return from a short DL stint due to inflammation in his pitching elbow. He would go on to throw 90 pitches over 5 and 2/3 and after the game went on to say he felt “great”.

The real story here though was the Reds’ Alfredo Simon, who was spectacular. He would efficiently toss 7 innings on 79 pitches, striking out 6 and only walking 1. He gave up 4 hits and surrendered 1 earned run. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t made a start in over 2 years.

The Mets would get their one and only run in the bottom of the 2nd. Curtis Granderson would lead the inning off by grounding out to first base. The next batter was Ike Davis, who was still riding high off of his pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam from the night before. He was back at it again, this time doubling to left field. Up next was Juan Lagares, who’s been off to a tremendous start to the season. Lagares proceeds to slap a single to left, Ike Davis would come around to score from second. Mets lead 1-0.

Jon Niese and the Mets would go on to cruise with a 1-0 lead until the top of the 6th inning. Alfredo Simon would do himself a favor by singling to right to lead off the inning, kicking off what would ultimately be the game winning rally. Up next was Chris Heisey who would single to left, Simon to second. Brandon Philips is up next, he singles to center. Heisey to second, Simon to third. Now the bases are loaded and Reds’ slugger Joey Votto is at the plate. Votto hits a sac-fly to left, Simon scores, Heisey advances to third. Game tied 1-1. Ryan Ludwick up next, he keeps the rally going, singling to shallow left driving in Chris Heisey. 2-1 Reds, that would be the final score.

The Mets bullpen held it together down the stretch, by far their best collective performance of the season. Pitching wasn’t the problem in this game, the Mets offense failed to answer the bell yet again. In the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings when the Mets needed to manufacture a run they failed to do so and were left looking like deer in the headlights.

The Mets are now 2-4 on the season.

Up next is a three game series on the road against the Atlanta Braves beginning Tuesday night at 7:10 pm. Bartolo Colon will be on the mound for the Mets, the Braves will send Aaron Harang to the hill.

Keith Harrison : PureSportsNY

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