Yes, the Mets yet again lost again last night (3-1), this time to the hapless Houston Astros, a team that has dropped 36 out of their last 43 games prior to Friday. The Mets are now currently riding a six-game losing streak.
There appears to be no end in sight, as the wheels have completely come off the bus.
As much as we have maligned this club for its utter ineptitude of late, I thought I’d dole out some praise in the face of agonizing frustration. With that said, have you noticed how good Jonathon Niese has been pitching lately?
In the Mets’ last 12 games they are 3-9 and Niese has been the winning pitcher in two of the contests. And last night, Niese deserved a better fate as he pitched a solid game, completing seven innings and allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Alas, Niese was tagged with the loss.
Actually the whole staff deserves better, as several of the Mets’ starters have kept the Mets in most games of late. In the last seven games for the Mets, the offense has been good for no more than two runs in a single game!
Getting back to Niese though, his recent stretch is a very encouraging sign. In his last three outings, Niese is 2-1 while pitching 22.1 innings and allowing just four earned runs on 17 hits and four walks.
It’s looking like Niese is finally turning that corner and streaking to close out the season. That was always a big bugaboo for Niese. He would always start out great but falter and/or get hurt down the stretch. However, he looks to be gaining steam as the season winds down.
For a staff that will be depending on Dickey, some young emerging hurlers (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler) and a couple of pitchers coming off injuries (Johan Santana and Dillon Gee) for the foreseeable future, Niese will be a reliable front-end pitcher to count on. Niese is giving the Mets everything they could have hoped for when they locked him up long-term in the spring with a reasonable 5-year $25.5 million contract (with options for 2017 and 2018 that could push it to $46 million).
While Dickey is the pitcher getting all the fanfare (and rightfully so) and Harvey generating the most buzz, there is Niese in the background quietly doing a very good job stabilizing a rotation that has been ravaged by injuries and inconsistencies.
Although these are trying time for Mets’ fans, at least we could find solace in some silver linings and Niese’s strong finish is something we can hang our hats on.
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