Amid Mets’ misery, at least Jon Niese is showing signs of finishing strong

This is just is getting downright depressing.

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.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

6 comments for “Amid Mets’ misery, at least Jon Niese is showing signs of finishing strong

  1. August 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Well said. He has been a bright spot.
    2013 Pitching staff is quite promising, even if we discount Santana.
    I am still scratching my head about Sandy not making any moves at the trade deadline.

    Do you think the clock is ticking on Terry Collins? Has he lost his team?

    • Chris F
      August 25, 2012 at 10:49 am

      There will be a strong loyalty bond to break, but there will come a point that when perception meets reality (hmm, have I heard that somewhere?), few choices will remain but to clear house. Yesterday in the chatter discussion I posted this gem from a press conference last year:
      sure the exact conditions were different, but the song remains the same. Here is the conference from last night:
      What is clear is that TC is defeated. He has made it clear he is out of ideas. He says the same thing, yet nothing changes. More than a year later, TC and crew have no answers. Its not entirely on his shoulders, but the coaching staff is the easiest thing to change. If this trend extends through the Astros, and lets face it, off to Philadelphia next where a surging Phillies could nail the door shut on the Mets and I would not expect Collins to even survive 2012, perhaps to his great relief.

  2. Chris F
    August 25, 2012 at 10:51 am

    On that second link, scroll to this, and click.

    Terry Collins and Jon Niese react to loss
    Added: 08/24/12
    Duration: 03:08

  3. Chris F
    August 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

    and lest you thing we Mets fans suffer in isolation, this beauty of a read, forwarded to me by another die hard Mets fan, lent some help to my ailing mind this morning. Insert Mets for Raiders…

  4. steevy
    August 25, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Every day a new low.1 run against the Astros!TC still has a job?!

  5. Name
    August 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    The problem with Niese most of the team is that he tends to have innings where he totally falls apart and gives up a bunch of runs, which usually costs him the Win (and bloats his ERA). This year, he seems to have curbed this habit a bit, but occasionally we still see it.

    As for his future, his numbers would indicate a #2-3 type starter, but the # that you are “assigned” by the fans depend on a team, for example, Hamels/Lee is 2/3 starter with the Phillies, yet with any other team they would be considered #1. So obvsiouly i hope that Niese is a 3-4, because that would mean we would have 2-3 pitchers even better than Niese, who is pretty darn good.

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