There will be days like Sunday, where the meltdown is complete in all phases, beginning with Jon Niese, who had an inability to get hitters out, an offense that offered little resistance to Tim Hudson, and a porous defense.
It’s not alarming the Mets couldn’t do anything against Hudson, but what should be a source of concern is Niese, who was hit hard in his fourth straight start – all lost by the Mets – and this one by the score of 9-4 against a division rival.
Manager Terry Collins said Niese was too strong and overthrew his pitches, leading to his lack of control. Collins gave his pitcher an out, but Niese didn’t take it, saying he can’t afford to have games like this.
“He just had no feel today”, Collins said. “It’s been seven days since he pitched and he was a little strong. He didn’t have good command.”
Niese gave up seven runs, all of them earned, on seven hits and six walks in four innings, and has been rocked for 14 runs in his last four starts totaling 19 innings, but wanted to put this start in particular behind him.
“Today is one of those outings that I just want to forget about,” Niese said after the game. “I walked way too many guys. It’s embarrassing.”
One of those games was April 23, when he took a hard comebacker off his right ankle and lasted just 2.1 innings. With Saturday’s rainout and today’s off day, the four innings worked by the bullpen shouldn’t be too taxing.
Another pitcher who will have seven days between starts, will be Tuesday’s starter Matt Harvey. The hope is that he won’t be “too strong” as Collins said about Niese. That’s assuming you buy into that theory.