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Jon Niese hammered for eight runs as ERA rises to 5.93

May 11, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Jon Niese Getty Getty Images

When Jon Niese was awarded his first Opening Day assignment this year, the hope was that he would help lead the Mets’ rotation with Johan Santana sidelined and R.A. Dickey in Toronto. However, while Matt Harvey has quickly emerged as that No. 1 guy, Niese hasn’t looked anything close to the same pitcher.

Niese’s early season struggles continued this afternoon against the Pirates, as he was hammered for eight runs on eight hits and three walks over just 4 1/3 innings. The eight runs allowed matched a career-high.

Niese took a nice step forward last year with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts, but he now has a 5.93 ERA through eight starts. Meanwhile, he has compiled an ugly 21/22 K/BB ratio over 41 innings and has even lost a tick off his velocity. Not what you want to see from someone who averaged 7.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 for his career coming into 2013.

It’s worth noting that Mets manager Terry Collins said Niese was dealing with “a knot” in his back after he gave up seven runs in four innings against the Braves last Sunday. Niese later downplayed the situation, but one wonders whether he has altered his mechanics to compensate for the discomfort. Either way, something isn’t right.

  1. heyblueyoustink - May 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Like I said yesterday, crud.

  2. Last Road Reviews - May 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    The poor numbers are a bit skewed by this and the last start. Prior to that he was pitching well. This article makes it sound like a season long funk

    • D.J. Short - May 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Heavily weighted by the last two, no doubt. That tends to happen with early season numbers. But his whiffs were still way down even going into last Sunday. Potentially fluky, but the back thing raises some doubts.

      • Last Road Reviews - May 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        Yeah the K rate can be a concern. Niese isn’t IMO a 1-starter but he can be a very solid 2 or a great 3. These last 2 are rare for Jon. Typically even if not at his best he can keep you in the game.

        Hopefully this is just a rare thing and not an injury. Mets rotation outside of Harvey & Niese(despite the last 2-starts) is really bad. They don’t have the hitting to make up for subpar pitching.

        Guess we’ll wait and see

  3. dondada10 - May 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Doesn’t help that Gee has seen his stuff diminish since his injury.

  4. chill1184 - May 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    He’s got to be hurt, unless Niese has gone down the Rick Ankiel/Tim Lincecum path in which he becomes completely devoid of his stuff with no explanation?

    • duckthefodgers - May 11, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Lincecum or Niese aren’t so horrible that they’re going to get converted to the outfield.

      • chill1184 - May 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        Thats why I hope that Niese is just injured and not losing his talent.

  5. Stiller43 - May 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Liriano had 9 K’s (1 ER) over 5 and 1/3 innings.

    Hopefully he can do with sanchez never did with that rotation spot!

  6. ch0psuey - May 12, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Only the Nose Knows.

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