Misch records first MLB win as Mets roll
Bats bang 16 hits, including the first two of Thole's career
DENVER -- The Mets started something in Thursday's series finale with the Rockies. The 8-3 victory was full of firsts, with the battery of Pat Misch and Josh Thole inaugurating everything from Misch's first Major League win to Thole's big league debut.At the close of a season many of the Mets are eager to erase from their minds, Misch and Thole combined to pack a crateful of memories up from a Coors Field getaway day, with neither one looking at all eager to leave the field after achieving milestones they'd waited most of their lives for. "You got to be excited," manager Jerry Manuel said. "Those are lifelong dreams that are being fulfilled right before your eyes. A guy coming to the Major Leagues and getting his first hit; a guy getting his first win. That's always rewarding, especially at this level, to see that manifested in that fashion that it was today. No question." For Misch, the victory came three years after his big league debut in 2006, in his 55th appearance and in his 12th start, the second for the Mets (60-74) since the team claimed him off waivers following his release from the Giants in June. He and John Cummings of the 1993-94 Mariners are the only two pitchers in big league history to begin their careers with 12 starts in which their teams lost all 12 games. "It's better than setting records," Misch said of the long-awaited win. "It's a good feeling. It's stuff that you dream of and you think about. Did you think it would take this long? Who knows. No one's got the answer. I'm just pretty excited." Misch (1-1) was impeccable through the first 6 2/3 innings, holding the Rockies (74-60) scoreless on two hits before Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart smacked consecutive two-out solo homers in the seventh inning.
"I guess you never think guys are going to go back-to-back, but they did, and this is a good park to do that also," Misch said.Misch had not enjoyed success at Coors Field in the past, posting an 0-1 record with a 6.17 ERA entering the game, but his two runs over seven innings brought down his ERA just as his career win total skyrocketed. Paired with a seven-inning outing in Chicago on Friday, when he allowed just one run, Misch has been a shining light since joining the Mets' rotation. "He's looked very good," Manuel said. "His last outing kind of reminded me not of [Tom] Glavine early, but a similar-type style. He throws the offspeed pitches, and he can throw them at any time in the count. He did a good job. He very seldom fell behind, but he was able to come back and throw strikes and get ground balls and outs when he needed. "The starting part of it seems to work well for him. I think the relief doesn't give him a chance to get everything out there like he likes to do, but when he starts, it seems like he's very comfortable and confident that, 'I can do this.' He's done a good job." Misch's batterymate was equally impressive in his first game in a big league uniform, as Thole went 2-for-5 with a single in his first at-bat and a double that bounced over the center-field fence in the ninth inning. "It was unbelievable," Thole said of the entire experience. "It came and [it's] gone so fast. I looked up and it was already the eighth inning." His first hit came off the Rockies' Jason Marquis (14-10), a 2009 All-Star, and Thole drove it into right for a solid single in the second inning. "When the ball left my bat, I really wasn't sure what was going to happen," Thole said. "I seen it fall, and I guess it was just smiles ear to ear for me." With 11 friends and family in the stands -- "Mom, Dad, brother, Grandma, girlfriend, couple friends, and some cousins," Thole said -- the smiles kept coming, whether it was letting a harmless passed ball get away from him in the first inning, stealing second after singling or running for third as fans fought over his ground-rule double in the final frame. "I was going to keep running until they told me to stop," Thole said, not having seen the ball leave the park. "I knew I hit it pretty good." With Thole's fresh energy at and behind the plate and Misch's exquisite pitching shutting down the celebrated Rockies offense, the Mets followed the rookie's lead and just kept going until someone told them to stop. The 16-hit outburst featured contributions from every spot in the lineup, including hits from all eight position players and a pinch-hit single from Jeremy Reed, who batted for Misch in the eighth. Along with Thole's two hits, the first four Mets in the lineup -- Angel Pagan, Anderson Hernandez, David Wright and Daniel Murphy -- all had multihit games, with Pagan and Wright notching three knocks apiece, and with Murphy slugging his eighth homer of the year, a two-run shot to pile on in the ninth. Wright's two-run double in the fifth moved him into second all-time for the Mets with 215 doubles. Both Misch and Thole left with their share of souvenirs, Misch taking a sock full of game balls and Thole having retrieved the balls from his first hit and his first double for his father, while letting the first passed ball go. They'll have the long plane ride home to negotiate the custody of the lineup card. "I'm going to go ahead and give that to [Misch]," Thole said. "He pitched really well today. That was outstanding." Misch sounded ready to settle for a personalized autograph on the game ball from his catcher on a big day of big leagues firsts for the batterymates. "I hope he has a 20-year career," the winning pitcher said. "Then maybe the ball will be worth something. He did a great job."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.