1) The Mets made every good effort to try to hand the Giants the game, but the Giants just wouldn't take it.
2) Jonathon Niese made a very good rebound start after his putrid outing in Arizona.
3) Bobby Parnell actually pitched a reasonably calm, 1-2-3 9th inning, shocking everyone, and maybe even himself.
Ruben Tejada fired the keynote, hitting his first HR in nearly two years on Matt Cain's 2nd pitch of the game, and this started a pretty good slogfest for the Mets. They won, I'll give them that, and they're a win away from winning this 4-game series against a very good Giants team, but man, these have been some ugly, Ugly victories. Usually, when the Mets stranded 13 men on base, it was back in the days when they would also hit into about 6 double plays a game and lose games by the score of 4-2 or 3-1. Well, this time, they generated the 2, but the pitching, particularly Niese, was able to keep the Giants off the board.
Niese, who's emerged as a very solid pitcher recently, was great in an important start for him, coming off a lousy outing last weekend. Every start is important for Niese now, because two things he hasn't done in his career are 1) Finish off a season healthy, and 2) Finish off a season effectively. These are crucial things in the development process for Jonathon Niese, so each time he shakes off a 6-run outing and follows it up with a 1-run outing, it's an encouraging sign.
It's also an encouraging sign for the Mets in general when they can actually win a 1-run game. It's never going to feel secure, but at least it's possible. I still don't trust Parnell as closer (I barely trust him in general), but Francisco will be back soon I hear, so that will, hopefully, get things a little closer to normal. Maybe.
3:45 start time today, so it's going to be an afternoon in the office with Howie and Josh. This has generally been a good combination. Hopefully it holds true today.