Monday, May 6, 2013


The Mets could, perhaps, have springboarded from Friday night's outstanding victory and gone on to bigger and better things over the weekend in Good Ol' Atlanty. Unfortunately, a day's worth of rain washed out Saturday's game and from the looks of things on Sunday, probably killed whatever shred of momentum the Mets might have had. Instead, the Mets played a game that could have inspired a Jim Mora-esque meltdown from Terry Collins.

The Mets appeared to be comically unprepared for a baseball game on Sunday, and it wasn't as though there was one or two culprits, it was just about everyone not named David Wright or Daniel Murphy. Jonathon Niese had his Oliver Perez control, Lucas Duda couldn't field, Buck was having trouble, nobody was immune.

Niese's performance was probably most alarming. Towards the end of last season, it appeared like Jonathon Niese was ready to take a big step forward this season. He'd gotten into a good groove where he wasn't going to let an error or some adversity snowball into a big inning, and he wasn't going to start pouting and letting his body language dictate his performance. Unfortunately, both of those things happened on Sunday. Lucas Duda misplayed an eminently catchable fly ball from Bitch McFreeman, and all of a sudden, what should have been a 1-run inning became a 5-run inning, and game essentially over.

These are the sort of outings that Niese needs to avoid if he's going to earn the respect he's being afforded. He was on his way to a similar outing against Los Angeles, but Mark Ellis saved him from a similar fate by pre-emptively knocking him out of the game. Other outings against Colorado and Minnesota were similarly unimpressive.

I'm not sure what, exactly, the issue is here, whether the multiple weather-induced days off have kept him off a rhythm or if it's something else, but the Mets were sort of counting on Niese to be the complement to Matt Harvey, at least in the early going, to keep the Mets afloat. Harvey's done his job, but Niese, to this point, hasn't kept up his end of the bargain.

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