Originally written on Mets Merized Online  |  Last updated 5/13/13
Including this weekend’s 11-2 flameout loss to Pittsburgh, the Mets have lost Jon Niese’s last five starts, with him giving up 22 runs and not getting out of the fifth inning in three of them. He has not come close to resembling what the Mets think he should be, and that’s the No. 1 starter in their rotation. The first game in that slide, April 18 at Colorado, and the one preceding it, April 12, at Minnesota, were played in temperatures in the high 20s. I spoke personally to manager Terry Collins about that and he said the cold might have had a residual effect on Niese. “I think there might be. He’s had some stiffness in his back,’’ Collins said when asked if there is a connection between working in the cold and his following ineffectiveness. “He’s had trouble getting loose and (prior to his May 5 start at Atlanta) he didn’t have a good bullpen session.’’ The only thing surprising about this issue with Niese is the injury wasn’t worse and there haven’t been more weather-relate
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