"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." -Woody Allen
The plan was that one of Shaun Marcum or Jeremy Hefner would be the one to leave the rotation. But that was before Jon Niese's tendonitis flared up again like it was a bout of hemorrhoids. His performance over the first three and a third innings was your first clue that something was wrong as he gave up eight hits … most of them hit harder than calculus. The Mets probably could have solved this problem before by just putting him on the DL in the first place. But now with Zack Wheeler in the fold, they have the luxury of putting Niese on the DL this time around, and preserving Marcum's opportunity to stay in the rotation and go 0-21. So much for your plans.
What nobody planned on, not even the Atlanta Braves, was for the Mets' bullpen to go five and 2/3 innings and not give up a damn thing. Niese gave up three runs, and then the bullpen shut the Braves down. The more amazing thing is that the bullpen did it while only striking out three Braves hitters. The team that leads the free world in strikeouts … by a lot … only struck out three times in the last five and 2/3's, and still couldn't get a run. Off LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, and Josh Edgin to boot. It gave the Mets enough time to get the four runs they needed, and despite the rules of gravity, the Mets actually touched home plate four times thanks to suspects usual (David Wright with two home runs) and otherwise (Andrew Brown with a dinger and Josh Satin with a go-ahead double) and beat the Braves 4-3.
The Mets played five games at Turner Field, a house of ill repute for them since they're always getting screwed. They won three, and were one Dillon Gee pitch away from winning four and confusing the piss out of Major League Baseball again by beating teams near the top of the standings while losing to the Marlins who, let's face it, are pointless. (But hey I hear their fans flooded the streets after they beat the Giants Thursday night.) But three out of five ain't bad, and the Braves are crying icicles instead of tears. The bad news is Niese's "left shoulder discomfort", which is kind of like when I sit on the couch and watch this team sometimes and I have to get up and walk away from the screen because the Mets give me "eye discomfort". Hopefully Niese will come back in 15 days, but this is the Mets so you know we might never see him again. But Marcum shouldn't make any plans to buy plane tickets or get acquainted with the other bullpen guys any time soon.