Mets 4, Brewers 1
Niese pitched effectively into the eighth and the Mets took two of three games against the best home team in the majors with a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night after blowing a big lead the night before.
''This team is very, very resilient. This team was flat last night, they just came back today and just realized today was another day,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''I think with all that's happened, it just rolls off their back now. It's another obstacle they've got to climb over. They're just kind of getting immune to it.''
New York has won four of its last five and has consecutive series victories over Atlanta and Milwaukee despite Tuesday night's meltdown when the Mets squandered a 6-2 lead in the eighth.
''That was the talk last night,'' catcher Josh Thole said. ''We can't let what happened last night get us down. We knew we were going to be in for a battle.''
Niese (5-5) retired the first 11 Brewers hitters and only allowed an RBI double to Prince Fielder in the fourth and singles in the seventh and eighth. He matched a career high with eight strikeouts. Niese said his biggest adjustment in the last year has been believing his abilities.
''I think confidence is the big thing, just knowing I'm able to get hitters out,'' Niese said. ''If you don't trust your stuff, they're going to hit you. ... Until you experience success in the big leagues, I don't think you can have that confidence.''
Francisco Rodriguez recorded the final four outs for his 18th save of the season, but was surprised he was needed that early because Niese was so strong.
''It didn't even cross my mind I was going to be coming in the eighth,'' Rodriguez said.
In this one, the left-hander used his sweeping curveball and a cut fastball to keep the Brewers' guessing. Carlos Gomez swung twice at the big breaking ball before watching a third for strike three to end the fifth.
''I'll throw that until they make an adjustment on it,'' Niese said.
His biggest trouble came in the seventh when Ryan Braun singled and Fielder walked with no outs. But slumping Casey McGehee hit a fly to the warning track in right field, Yuniesky Betancourt fouled out after a running grab by Thole and Niese struck out Jonathan Lucroy looking.
''That is as good as I've seen him pitch,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''You talk about command of all three pitches, all four pitches.''
Niese got the first two outs in the eighth before leaving for Rodriguez after he walked Rickie Weeks and allowed a single to Corey Hart. Braun lined out to end the threat. Rodriguez worked around a Fielder double to start the ninth.
The Mets roughed up Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (8-3) to snap his six-game winning streak. Gallardo allowed 10 hits and didn't get an out in the fifth.
Ruben Tejada's two-out, run-scoring single in the second and Jason Pridie's sacrifice fly in the fourth gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Fielder's two-out double in the fourth drove in Braun for his 55th RBI, but the Mets came right back with two more runs in the fifth.
The first four batters singled for New York, including RBI hits by Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan that chased Gallardo. It could've been more, but Hart, in right field, threw out Murphy at the plate after Thole's fly ball to end the inning.
Gallardo had a 1.32 ERA over his career-best six-game winning streak, but he looked little like the Brewers ace in this outing. New York didn't have a lot of hard hit balls with only one extra-base hit, but almost everything the Mets swung out found a spot out of reach of the Brewers' defense.
''Every time I left the ball up in the zone it got hit,'' Gallardo said.
Milwaukee, now 22-9 at home, will get a chance to take the lead in the NL Central when the Brewers host the Cardinals this weekend. New York continues this 10-game trip with four in Pittsburgh before finishing in Atlanta.
NOTES: Mets LF Nick Evans was designated for assignment. ... Jose Reyes' 12-game hitting streak ended. ... Mets LF Jason Bay sat for the first of at least two games as he tries to shake off his career-worst 23 at-bat hitless streak. ... Justin Turner singled in the fifth to break a 12 at-bat hitless streak. ... The Mets stole three bases and were perfect in six attempts in this series.