Jon Niese's errant throw costly as Mets fall to D-backs
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PHOENIX -- You know how a pitcher says after a game he'd like to have one pitch back? Well, Jon Niese probably would like to have a few back, plus one ill-advised throw to first base, from the Mets' 11-5 loss to the Diamondbacks Friday night.
Niese turned a bases-loaded dribbler down the third-base line into a three-run play as the Diamondbacks used a six-run second inning to hand the Mets their 13th loss in 15 games. The defeat quickly brushed away the afterglow from Matt Harvey's winning debut the night before.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead on Davis' 17th homer and Andres Torres' RBI single off Josh Collmenter (3-2) in the second.
That's when Willie Bloomquist squibbed one down the third-base line that Niese fielded and fired to first while falling backward. It was going to be an infield single anyway, but the errant throw sailed past Davis and the bases emptied to give the Diamondbacks a 5-2 lead. "I'm sure he wishes he could take it back," Terry Collins said. "He didn't have a play on it. That's a base hit. That was just one of the mistakes we made tonight."
"I think everybody in the ballpark, including myself, knew that I shouldn't have threw that ball," Niese said. "But when you're in the heat of the moment, when you're out there battling, I just tried to force it when I shouldn't have. In hindsight, I wish I would have done a lot of things different."
Aaron Hill's sacrifice fly completed the damage. "This game's real fast," Niese said. "It can humble you quickly."
Niese called it "a very unfortunate inning." He also called walking Blanco with the bases loaded "a pitcher's worst nightmare."
Wright brought the Mets back to within a run with a three-run homer to left in the third. It was his 16th of the season and snapped an 0-for-15 skid.
But Niese (7-5), whom Collins needed to pitch deep into the game to protect a worn-out bullpen, allowed single runs in the fourth and fifth to make it 8-5. Bloomquist had an RBI single in the fourth and Paul Goldschmidt singled home a run in the fifth.
Collins said before the game that he was not going to use overworked Jon Rauch and wanted to stay away from lefthanders Tim Byrdak and Josh Edgin. Also, Bobby Parnell threw 31 pitches in saving Harvey's first major-league win on Thursday.
So Niese stayed in for six innings. He allowed eight runs (six earned), nine hits and one walk, striking out five. "We had to do what we had to do because of the bullpen," Collins said. Elvin Ramirez allowed three runs in the seventh to make it 11-5.
Collmenter allowed only two baserunners after Wright's home run, striking out the side in his final inning. He gave up five runs, seven hits and one walk in six innings, striking out five.
Collins started Jason Bay (0-for-4, two strikeouts) in leftfield with Torres in center, Jordany Valdespin in right and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the bench. That could signal that Nieuwenhuis' status with the big club is in jeopardy, with Mike Baxter nearing a return from rehab. Baxter went 1-for-4 for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday against Louisville.