The month of May for Jon Niese will hopefully become a microcosm for the New York Mets season, it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.
In what was a horrendous start to the season for Niese, the Mets young southpaw has put together a nice stretch over the past three outings to put his year back on track after seeing his ERA balloon to 5.93.
In his first two starts on the month, Niese allowed 15 runs, all earned, in just 8.1 innings of work, amounting to a 16.20 ERA. Since then, Niese has been significantly more effective, hurling 20.1 frames allowing just three earned runs in the last three times he’s been handed the ball.
The most impressive of the three, in fact of the year, came last night in the battle of the Big Apple; the Subway Series. Niese’s seven innings of work against a depleted, yet still formidable Yankee lineup showed not only a continuation of his bouncing back, but a flash of ferocity in what will likely be one of the biggest stages for the Amazin’s in the 2013 season.
A few weeks ago, SNY showed some video during Niese’s outing against St. Louis of him working with Dan Warthen on mechanics in the bullpen. They focused on his release points and wrist movements; from the video it looked like his cutter grip.
Since those sessions with Warthen, the adjustment to his release has allowed for Niese to put more bite on his cutter with more command in comparison to when he would just hang it over the plate as he did earlier this month.
Consistency has been one of Niese’s weak spots in his career so far, however this last string of outings he has put together have been encouraging. Despite the lack of run support, Niese has closed out the month of May strong, and will hope to continue to do so into June.
Let me speculate… Harvey, Niese, Marcum, Wheeler, Montero… Just keep saying it and it’ll come true…