By: Stache Staff

Mets Use Famous Chicago Wind to Breakout in 17-1 Win


The wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon and the New York Mets took full advantage to break out of an offensive slump.

New York pounded out 17 runs on 16 hits, including four home runs and six doubles to back Jon Niese on the way to a 17-1 victory. Niese went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on eight hits. He walked one and struck out six.

That effort was plenty good enough thanks to an offensive outburst led by Daniel Murphy. Murph broke out of his slump with three hits — all of the extra base variety — including two home runs. Ike Davis had a 3-for-5 day with a three-run bomb accounting for three of his four RBI and Scott Hairston hit a grand slam. David Wright was also incredibly productive, driving in five runs with a sac fly, a two-run double and a two-run single.

The Mets busted out in the fourth, breaking a 1-1 tie with the extra base success they’d desperately needed. Lucas Duda got things started with a one-out walk and Ike Davis followed with a rope into the right field corner and Duda — despite stopping at second after misreading the hit — scored from first, something he couldn’t do on Tuesday. Davis stopped at second with a double and moved to third on a long fly out by Scott Hairston. The next batter was Daniel Murphy, who crushed a 1-0 pitch from Chicago starter Jeff  Samardzija over the wall in right-center — his first homer in 352 at-bats — to make it 4-1.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

New York added six more in the fifth inning. Niese walked to start it off and came around to score when Ruben Tejada and David Wright laced back-to-back doubles. Wright’s drove in a pair to make it 6-1. After a walk to Duda, Davis levied the big blow, hitting a fly ball into the wind to left-center for a three-run homer, which gave the Mets a 9-1 lead. That was all for Samardzija who exited having allowed nine runs on six hits and four walks in 4.1 innings. He was relieved by Casey Coleman and after a deep fly out to center by Hairston, Murphy got another one up into the wind for a solo homer to make it 10-1.

After a quick inning from Niese, the New York offense went back to work against Coleman and tacked on six more. It began with another walk to Niese — the second of the day to the Mets pitcher — and was followed by an infield single from Andres Torres and a line drive base hit for Tejada. With the bases loaded, Wright hit a three-hopper up the middle for a two-run single. Duda then drew another walk to load the bases for Hairston, who had come close to a wind-aided homer in his previous at-bat. Scott got enough of it this time, sending a long drive into the jet-stream in center for a grand slam to put the Mets in front 16-1.

Meanwhile, Niese was in cruise control from the fourth inning on. After permitting six baserunners in the first three innings and managing to wriggle out of three jams with just one run allowed, Niese scattered just three more hits over the next four innings, refusing to allow a runner past first base. His cutter, which had been staying out over the plate early, started biting, he flipped in a few curves and things rolled his way from there.

Niese has settled in well to the third spot in the rotation since the middle of May. Over seven starts since he was shellacked in Toronto on May 18, Niese is 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, 12 walks and 46 strikeouts.

As if 16 wasn’t enough, New York added a 17th run in the 8th on a RBI groundout by Murphy. With Niese removed after 118 pitches, Ramon Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings to close out the victory.

Game Ball: I have been very critical of Daniel Murphy in recent weeks, and with a good reason, he hasn’t been producing. Terry Collins noticed and started taking him out of the lineup against lefties. Maybe it was a wake-up call because Murph’s performance today brought to mind the offensive production he gave the team in 2010 and 2011 when his bat just couldn’t be taken out of the lineup no matter how bad his defense was. Hopefully it’s not just a flash because they can use that bat going forward. Getting of the homer schnide can’t hurt either.

Turning Point: 
Murphy’s two-run homer in the fourth sounded the alarm and three more bombs followed it, sending Samardzija for the showers early. By the end of the fifth inning, this game was a laugher.

Next Game: The Mets board a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles where they’ll take on the Dodgers Thursday in the opener of a four-game set at Chavez-Ravine. Chris Young (1-1, 3.42 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 12 K) will kick-off the series on the mound for the Mets on Thursday night. He’ll be opposed by LA’s Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 84 K) the former Met, who has been one of the league’s best pitchers in 2012. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY or heard, as always, on WFAN 660 AM.

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