Friday, June 11, 2010

No More Mr. Niese Guy!

I guess I should have gone to that makeup game last night.

We've seen some very encouraging signs from Jonathon Niese thus far this season. While there was certainly no guarantee that he would ascend as the 5th starter this season, he was certainly more worthy of the job than his competitors. But last night's magnificent 1-hitter was something else.

First of all, on the heels of Niese's solid outing last weekend against Florida, it appears Niese has turned a bit of a corner. He's demonstrated an ability to buckle down and get key outs when he absolutely needs to get him. But he was undercut by the fact that he was getting himself into all these jams in the first place. It was a little bit of John Maine in the sense that he just wasn't putting hitters away. Too many dinky hits, too many walks, too many baserunners, and he was toast by the 6th inning of a 2-2 game. The stuff is there. Niese features, among other things, a sick bender, that curve that he really should be able to just drop out of the sky if it's working well. Last night, he appeared to have it working, and the result, allowing simply a 3rd inning hit, speaks for itself.

Second of all, it took away the sting from the first game, where you can decide what the bigger story was. Was it a) Lady Gaga making a spectacle of herself (something that, knowing her, could have easily been staged) or b) Johan Santana having what was for him a pretty lousy game, coughing up an early 2-run lead and giving up too many annoying 2-out, run scoring hits while the Mets had a hard time figuring out Mat Latos.

Either way, by time Niese had finished off the nightcap, which I annoyingly missed out on, the happenings of the afternoon were long forgotten and the Mets capped off yet another homestand that saw them lose 1 game. Now, off to the road. A dicey proposition, except that the Mets have the good fortune of seeing a couple of the worst teams in the league on this trip.

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