May 18, 2011: Niese Leads Shutout of Nats
|Date: May 18, 2011|
|Mets starter: Jon Niese|
|Winning pitcher: Jon Niese|
|Key player(s): Jon Niese, Justin Turner|
|Key play: Turner’s double in 6th|
The Mets faced the Nationals on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The teams played a two-hour and 51-minute game in front of 24,527 fans on hand. Jon Niese and a pair of relievers teamed up for a shutout as the Mets came away with a 3-0 victory over Washington.
Niese struck out Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond to begin the top of the first inning. Singles by Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos followed and Adam LaRoche flied out to right fielder Carlos Beltran. In the bottom half, Jose Reyes led off with a single against Nationals’ starter Tom Gorzelanny. Justin Turner doubled to right field, sending Reyes to third base. Gorzelanny struck out Beltran and a sacrifice fly by Jason Bay brought home Reyes. On the play, Turner was tagged out at third for the final out of the inning.
From the second inning to the fifth, Niese and Gorzelanny each pitched scoreless ball. Jon yielded a leadoff double to Michael Morse in the top of the second and retired the next twelve Washington batters. Meanwhile, Gorzelanny fanned five batters in shutting down the Mets on four hits. Bernadina singled to begin the top of the sixth. Niese then recorded outs on each of the next three batters to end the inning.
Scott Hairston got an infield single to open the bottom of the sixth. Ruben Tejada hit a fly ball to left fielder Morse that advanced Hairston to second. Gorzelanny threw a called third strike past Niese and gave Reyes an intentional walk. Turner hit a double to center field that scored Hairston and Reyes. Nats’ reliever Henry Rodriguez then retired Beltran on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Bernadina.
Niese fanned LaRoche for his seventh strikeout of the game to start the top of the seventh. Morse hit a line drive to second baseman Tejada for the second out of the inning. Danny Espinosa doubled and Jerry Hairston drew a walk. Pinch-hitter Brian Bixler singled to load the bases. Niese retired Bernadina on a ground ball to first baseman Daniel Murphy for the third out. Washington reliever Todd Coffey then pitched a perfect bottom half.
Desmond hit a single off Mets’ reliever Jason Isringhausen to begin the top of the eighth inning. Isringhausen struck out Werth and retired Ramos and LaRoche on fly balls to center fielder Scott Hairston. Against the Nats’ Doug Slaten in the bottom half, the Mets had two runners on base with two outs. Slaten then got Turner to hit into a force play for the third out.
Morse singled against the Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez to lead off the top of the ninth. Espinosa fouled out to catcher Ronny Paulino and a walk to Jerry Hairston ensued. K-Rod then got pinch-hitter Laynce Nix and Bernadina on fly balls to left fielder Bay for the final outs of the game. The Mets had a shutout win over the Nationals.