Last night versus the S.F. Giants, New York Met starter Jonathon Niese needed 105 pitches to get through 7 masterful innings, allowing 1 ER while striking out five improving his record on the year to 8-5. Niese bounced back from his worst start of the season to toss an absolute gem, telling reporters the following after the contest:
“That’s the beauty of this game, is that when you have outings like that, the next five innings you start all over again. You start with a clean slate.”
Other than two stellar plays from David Wright (who made an error in during the game as well), the Mets defense did Niese no favors last night. Pitching around multiple defensive miscues, the 25-year-old still managed to take a one-hit shut-out into the sixth inning. After retiring the first two batters he faced to start the frame, Buster Posey drilled a 1-1 offering 380 feet over the left field wall. Niese responded by retiring three of the next four batters he faced including the newly acquired Hunter Pence and former Met Angel Pagan to end the sixth and seventh innings respectively. Manager Terry Collins was very pleased with his starter, saying:
He was very good. He threw all his pitches for strikes. I thought his change up was good tonight and his sinker was good. After the first inning he was outstanding. …He knows he’s got very good stuff and when he has a bad outing, he takes it as hard as anybody. He was bound and determined to show that was on the side of aberration.”
Provin his last start was an aberration is exactly what the left-hander did last night. Niese, who is under team control through 2018, is quietly putting together a nice season. With all the hype surrounding R.A. Dickey, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler, Niese has gone virtually unnoticed. Meanwhile, he has gone six or more innings in each of his last 11 starts allowing two or less earned runs seven times. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.10 earned run average (26 ER/75 1/3 IP) over that span, lowering his season ERA to 3.72 while improving to 8-5 in the process.