Originally posted on Metstradamus  |  Last updated 5/23/12

When you're a Mets fan (or a Met for that matter), you're perpetually about one or two steps from total disaster. You might think you're in utopia, but behind door number two is always a fiery pit which doubles as the brink of hell. Jon Niese pitched great for close to eight innings. Then he opened the door.

Niese had a good matchup today as the Pirates have been providing nary a pushback offensively since Michael McKenry's home run off Johan Santana. He pitched seven and 2/3's and only gave up one run and struck out five. But with a chance to close out the eighth inning, he walked Gorkys Hernandez and risked undoing all that good work. I don't want to kill Niese after a very good outing (albeit against the Pirate lineup), but you absolutely cannot walk Gorkys Hernandez. Not only was Hernandez just an okay hitter in triple A, he was a strikeout machine down there. Absolutely cannot walk Gorkys Hernandez with Andrew McCutchen on deck. Especially when that's the tying run. When he did it, the facepalm was cued.

And the facepalm was put into play when Hernandez was picked off first by Rob Johnson only to have Ike Davis let the ball go through him and move both tying runs to scoring position. It sure as hell looks like Ike is taking his hitting problems to the field with him. And though I don't know if that's actually true or just a myth that baseball managers have perpetuated for a hundred years, the fact of the matter is that Ike is a plus fielder making bonehead errors. How do you go from making David Wright look like a much better fielder than he was last year to making these ridiculous and potentially (at least) soul crushing errors this season? Looks less and less like a coincidence every day.

(And don't even get me started on Ike, for the second time this season in the ninth inning, swinging at a pitch that hits him.)

Luckily for Niese and Ike, Bobby Parnell has become less thrower and more pitcher as he masterfully set up McCutchen for an outside corner fastball to strike him out and end the threat. I know there's an 11 game homestand coming up, so next road trip Parnell had better make sure he eats well courtesy of Jonathan and Issac. One angst free ninth inning from Frangag Frantisisk later (if Frantsisk vs. Rod Barajas had resulted in anything other than a strikeout I would have checked outside for pigs with wings), and the Mets wind up splitting the road trip. It might not feel like it since the three losses were stunningly helltastic. But the good thing is that today would have been the worst of all, and it was avoided by a great performance by Parnell.

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