Jun 17, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) waits for a new ball after giving up a solo home run to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Niese's Frustrating Season Continues

On June 12th, Jon Niese was pitching in the 7th inning of a 1-1 duel against the Brewers at Citi Field.  With two outs, the southpaw from Defiance High School in Ohio became displeased after peering over his left shoulder to see manager Terry Collins emerging from the dugout.  A clearly bewildered Jon Niese was caught by TV cameras mouthing, “what the eff?”  And at the time, I couldn’t blame Niese for his dismay with Collins’ decision to pull him for I thought the same exact thing.  But upon Collins arrival to the mound, Niese obediently surrendered the ball and acknowledged the crowd’s applause on his way towards the dugout.

Niese struck out 8 Brewers that day – a season high.  Prior to Tuesday night’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals, Niese pitched 3 games in June, threw 22.2 innings, allowed just 5 earned runs on 19 hits and 3 walks, while fanning 17 batters.  However, the game also marked Jon Niese’s fourth consecutive no-decision, and his 7th for the season.

Considering he is presently pitching the best baseball of his career with little to show for his efforts, I fully understand his frustration.

I had my doubts about Niese this season.  He avoided surgery last season by treating a partially torn rotator cuff with rest and rehabilitation.  Then in spring training Niese first complained of pain in his shoulder again, followed by pain in his elbow.  He was flown back to New York City twice for MRI’s which came back negative.  Back in March, I did not think he would make it into June, but he has since started 14 games this season to prove me wrong, and (in the absence of Matt Harvey) is emerging as the staff ace many hoped he would become last season.

In 13 starts leading into Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals, Niese’s 7.8 H/9, 2.3 W/9, 1.129 WHiP and 2.54 ERA all represented career bests.

With one out in the 5th inning of Tuesday’s game, Niese hit the #8 batter Daniel Descalso with a pitch.  Then with two outs, Niese surrendered an RBI triple to John Jay, and an RBI double to Matt Holliday, both hit just beyond Lucas Duda‘s reach at first base.  Jon Niese then utilized the eff-word in disgust again, only this time with much more vigor than he did on June 12th.  Niese’s frustration continued to grow when a pair of 7th inning Daniel Murphy misplays allowed the Cardinals to take a 5-1 lead.

This was only the second time Niese allowed a season high 5 runs in a game, but like his performance back on May 16th, only 3 of those were earned.  In fact, this was Niese’s 18th consecutive start of allowing 3 runs or less.  Although his ERA grew from 2.56 to a 2.67 mark Tuesday evening, he still ranks in the National League’s top ten.  He has now either failed to reach the 7th, or pitch into the 7th inning an equal 7 times in 14 starts.

Unfortunately for a man arguably pitching at his career best, Niese has not earned a victory since May 22nd.

His first decision since then resulted in Tuesday’s loss in St. Louis, which dropped his record to a 3-4 mark.

Eff-bombs would be flying out of my mouth too.

Tags: Jon Niese Rising Apple

  • Rivegauche610

    He deserves to throw for a winning team. He’s probably thinking the same thing.

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      Hopefully, the Mets will be that team next season. On a side note, I always thought he should pitch with a little more anger about him. But with an 88mph fastball, how angry can he seem?

    • RONBO19

      Mike, so glad I found a person to converse with concerning the Met’s.As for Murphy, in the right situation, like say the Yankee’s he might be a valuable asset. At the moment there is a gapeing hole at 2nd base where brian Robers has been disappointing both at the plate as well as in the field.Say what we want about Murph’s defensive deficiencies but he’s not drastically worse than what the Yanks are presently getting there and his bat in the 2 hole could play big in that park.
      As for Neise, i think he’s a low 90′s fastball guy who hits as high as 93-94 so I’m not aware of the 88 number you spoke of. But i do think at this point we will soon be sellers again and Neise, Gee(if healthy)Colon and Murph will all have to be made available as I just don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel in terms of the Met’s turning things around any time soon.

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      He’s traditionally been low 90′s, but this season the gun says 88mph.

  • Ken Meoni

    You know Mike, we don’t talk about Murphy much. Can he hit……….yes. But, the misplays and running mistakes are what keep his value down and make him hard to move. If he were just average at 2B we would get something of value for him, but as he is……not much.
    As far as Niese goes, you are totally correct. In fact I think the Mets should look for a Nephew. I know….that was pretty bad.
    Now, think ahead to free agency for Niese. If you are Niese, do you want to stay in this situation? This is why big changes need to be made. So that players want to come here and stay here. Otherwise, you overpay to get players to come and we know these owners won’t want to do that.

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      You’re spot on about Murphy. I’ve been leaning towards trading him for the past two seasons so that an acquiring team would still have a few years of control. But it seems the Mets are headed towards the free agency route with him, which (like Reyes) I feel is a mistake.

      To your point, word gets around; players talk. They know what the Wilpons are going through. At the moment, coming to N.Y. is definitely a questionable endeavor, and doesn’t look to improve next season. Free agents are about one thing – money – and the Wilpons owe $600 million to SNY next June. Players know what’s up. And so do we!