200 Miles From the Citi

June 23, 2010 5:35 AM

Most Nerve-Wracking Blowout Ever


It's not even the fact that the 10-0 lead became 10-2, then 11-6.

Though that made it a little nerve-wracking.

It's not even really that Jonathan Niese didn't get the win, despite those huge leads, because he couldn't pitch out of the fourth inning without getting rocked - giving up bomb after bomb to the deepest parts of Citi Field.

Though that was nerve-wracking as well.

It's more that once Niese came back out to pitch after the rain delay, every step he took on the wet field made you think the Mets' rotation could be thrown into upheaval by another Niese leg injury.

I don't care that he didn't pitch five innings and be eligible for a win - I'm just glad he'll be back to pitch in his next start.

I'm a big stats guy, so I'm a little bothered that in a game the Mets led 10-0 the starting pitcher didn't get the win.

But for whatever reason Niese wasn't throwing well coming out of the rain delay (maybe because he was sitting for an hour and a half and then hitting between his mound appearances) - and I'm willing to give him a pass on the six earned runs in 4 and two-thirds innings because of the unusual circumstances of Tuesday night.

There were more encouraging aspects of the 'blowout that should have been', not least of which was the fact that the Mets bounced back from those two losses to the Yankees to notch yet another win at Citi Field.  And though they're not the American League's best, the Tigers are a decent team.

The other impressive aspect was the way they won at Citi Field - racking up a ton of runs, most notably in an 8-run 3rd inning.  (Please here take a moment to think good thoughts Jay Sborz's way - he had a pretty horrible major league debut, hitting the first two batters he faced, then proceeding to give up 5 runs while only getting 2 outs in that third inning.)  The top and middle of the Mets order - Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Ike Davis, and Jason Bay - were a combined  14-for-23 with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored Tuesday night.

And so the Mets return to Citi Field, and they return to the win column.  They survived the wet turf unscathed.

They even picked up a game on the first-place Braves.

All this on a night when the news came that Carlos Beltran could return by the All Star break - not a bad addition for a possible playoff push.

It wouldn't hurt, though, if some of the blowout wins along the way came without so many nerve-wracking moments mixed in.

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