August 18, 2012: Niese and Davis Lead Shutout of Nats

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Date: August 18, 2012
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 2
Nationals: 0
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Jonathon Niese, Ike Davis
Key play: Davis’s home run

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Saturday night in Washington. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Jonathon Niese pitched five-hit ball and Ike Davis slugged a two-run homer in a 2-0 Mets win.

Niese and the Nats’ Edwin Jackson each started the game with six scoreless innings pitched. Jonathon allowed four singles and a fourth-inning double to Adam LaRoche. Meanwhile, Jackson yielded only a triple to Mike Baxter and recorded ten strikeouts. Neither Niese nor Jackson issued a walk during the six innings.

David Wright drew the game’s first (and only) walk to open the top of the seventh. Davis homered to put the Mets in front by two runs and Daniel Murphy grounded out to first baseman LaRoche. Jackson retired Jordany Valdespin on a ground ball to second baseman Danny Espinosa and fanned Andres Torres for his eleventh strikeout to end the inning. Niese then set down all three Washington batters in the bottom half.

Nationals’ reliever Ryan Mattheus retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Niese and the Mets’ Jon Rauch combined for a perfect bottom of the inning. Mattheus threw called third strikes past both Baxter and Wright to begin the top of the ninth. Davis followed with a single against the Nats’ Mike Gonzalez, who then struck out Murphy to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco retired Ryan Zimmerman on a line drive to right fielder Baxter to start the bottom of the ninth. Mike Morse went down on strikes. Francisco then got LaRoche to ground out to first baseman Davis and end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory over the National League East Division leaders.