Mets Merized Online » Jonathan Niese Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:37:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Niese Fizzles Out In D’Backs Win, Draws Praise From Collins Thu, 18 Aug 2016 13:55:47 +0000 jon niese 2

In his first start with his former team, Jon Niese appeared to be the antidote missing from the Mets pitching rotation, until the 4th inning reared it’s ugly head.

Sailing through the first three innings, Niese stifled the D’backs with cutters in the 80’s until Rickie Weeks, Jr. and Yasmany Tomas took him back-to-back deep, resulting in a 13-5 crushing defeat in the desert.

In the bottom of the 5th, opposing pitcher, Zack Godley, who was godlike, (7.1 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs) slapped a single up the middle, ending Niese’s unfortunate outing with 4 runs on 4 hits in 4.2 innings.

So what does that mean for Niese’s future in the rotation? It doesn’t appear to be in any jeopardy.

“I told him, even on the mound, for a guy who hadn’t pitched in six weeks, I thought he threw the ball great,” manager Terry Collins said after the game. “I was very happy with the way he pitched.”

With the day off on Monday, it’s likely they’ll just skip the fifth starter’s spot unless they opt to give one of the young arms extra rest. ”We don’t make those decisions this far in advance,” Collins continued. “We’ve got to wait to see what happens in the next couple of days.”

Looking for some heat in relief after an early shower for Niese, Collins brought in Erik Goeddel, who had trouble with the curve, and more issues finding the plate.  After a series of balls landed in the dirt, far from d’Arnaud’s glove, Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk, then Weeks unloaded his second HR, a three run blast, to extend Arizona’s lead 6-1.

Seth Lugo held the Diamondback’s in check for an inning and a third, then 3 additional runs rained on rookie Gabriel Ynoa in the bottom of the 7th.

Josh Edgin was brought in to stop the bleeding in the 8th, but there was no tourniquet tight enough to tame the Diamondback’s bats.  Jean Segura singled to center, Mitch Haniger and Goldschmidt both got free passes on four pitches, and Segura scored a run courtesy of a wild pitch.   Then Tomas cranked a 2-0 pitch to center for a 3 run HR, his second of the game, and just like that, Arizona had themselves a baker’s dozen.

The Mets, cramming for exams in the top of the 9th, tried to stage an improbable comeback against Dominic Leone, scoring 3 runs off of a Curtis Granderson solo shot, and a pitch hit 2 run HR by Rene Rivera.  With one out, a Ty Kelly double and Kelly Johnson single was titillating, but too little too late, as the door was slammed shut by Randall Delgago, who left them out to dry.

Another night of the same old same old with men in scoring position.  The Mets were 2-15, with 8 men LOB.  Their hunt for October still has some life, but with the Pirates and Cardinals pulling away from the pack, they’re making a tough case for fans to believe.

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MMO Game Recap: D’Backs Crush the Mets 13-5 to Take Series Thu, 18 Aug 2016 04:35:48 +0000 jon niese

The New York Mets were defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 13-5 on Wednesday night. The D-Backs win the series and have taken 5 out of 6 games against the Mets this year. With the loss, the Mets now drop to four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot.


It was deja vu all over again with Jon Niese on the mound for the Mets tonight. The first three innings were stellar, striking out the side in the third, however he unraveled in the fourth allowing back to back home runs to Rickie Weeks Jr (2-run) and Yasmany Tomas (solo). Must’ve been the defense. He was eventually removed with two outs in the 5th inning after 82 pitches. So, in those 4.2 innings, Niese allowed 4 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6.

With a runner on first, Erik Goeddel was brought in to face Goldschmidt, who he walked on four pitches. Rickie Weeks then unloaded on a fastball for his second home run of the game, a three-run shot giving the Diamondbacks a 6-1 lead. He then walked Yasmany Tomas before Chris Owings slapped a single to left.

Seth Lugo came in with Goeddel’s runners on first and second with two outs, and got out of the jam via the strikeout. He then pitched the next inning and worked around two hits for a scoreless inning.

Gabriel Ynoa came in for the 7th and allowed another three runs to cross the plate, followed by Josh Edgin in the 8th who got clobbered for four more runs including a second home run for Yasmany Tomas  who had six RBIs in the game. Brutal. 


Jose Reyes made his presence felt early tonight. He led off the game with a base hit to right. Kelly Johnson then lined one at first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, but he was unable to snag it. Reyes advanced to second base, which wouldn’t have been possible if Goldy had made the grab. Jay Bruce then grounded out into the shift, and with James Loney at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Reyes to score, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

The Mets came alive late in the game. Jay Bruce got things started with an RBI double in the 8th. but then in the 9th, Curtis Granderson blasted a solo homer and then Rene Rivera hit a pinch-hit two-run shot to make the score 13-5. But it was a classic case of too little, too late.


Verizon Trivia Question: Who is the only starting pitcher to win a game for the Mets after beating them earlier in the same season?

Outfielder Michael Conforto is 12-18 (.667) since going back to Triple-A Las Vegas where he is doing most of his damage against left-handed pitching.

The New York Mets ended up going 3-6 in the nine games against the D’Backs and Padres when the team was hoping to fatten up against two of the NL’s worst teams.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Kris Benson (2004)

On Deck:

The Mets now head to San Francisco for the start of a four-game series against the Giants. RHP Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.30) gets the start in the series opener and will be opposed by LHP Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.11) for the Giants. Late tonight, reporters learned that Sandy Alderson is making the trip to San Fran. First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 PM.

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Pitching Isn’t To Blame Despite 3rd Straight Loss Wed, 08 Jun 2016 13:00:28 +0000 jacob degrom 2

While the Mets have lost three straight games, their starting pitchers shouldn’t receive any blame. Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom all pitched well enough to win, but their offense failed to provide them any run support.

Over the past three games, the Mets have only scored two runs. They have recorded just 13 hits and have struck out 32 times during this stretch.

On Sunday, Harvey lost 1-0 to the Marlins despite tossing seven strong innings and allowing only four hits.

In game one of yesterday’s double header, Matz struck out eight and gave up two runs in five innings, but still suffered the loss.

And while deGrom punched out nine and walked none in six innings last night, the three runs he surrendered proved costly as the Mets managed to score only once.

It’s disappointing the Mets wasted these solid efforts, especially since Harvey and deGrom are pitching the best they have all year. Harvey has allowed only one run and six hits during his last two starts, and deGrom has struck out 33 in his last 25 innings.

While it’s hard to fault the Mets’ offense for getting shutdown by Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez, scoring just one run against Jon Niese and Juan Nicasio is cause for growing concern.

Heading into yesterday’s games, the Mets ranked 13th in the National League in runs scored ahead of only the Braves and Phillies They also ranked 10th in OPS and 14th in average despite having the most homeruns.

The offense is no doubt hampered by injuries to David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda, but many of the team’s key players are mired in slumps. Hitters such as Michael Conforto, Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson are all batting under .200 for the past week.

While the team’s pitching is outstanding, they can’t be perfect every night. They have the 2nd best ERA in the league, as well as the best strikeout to walk ratio.

But if the Mets want to make another postseason surge, they will once again need their offense to step up.

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Mets Should Consider Trading Bartolo Colon Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:03:50 +0000 bartolo colon

There is an interesting issue that arises with fans. There is an obvious notion that often goes overlooked. It’s easy to say that the Mets should expunge the current dead weight of their rotation.

It’s easy to point fingers at Dillon Gee and Jon Niese at this point, both of whom have not been pitching well recently. Niese and Gee don’t necessarily have high upsides at this point and have experienced highs and lows throughout the years. It’s unrealistic to think any of them are anything more than a fourth or fifth starter at this point. I would imagine that Sandy Alderson doesn’t want to trade either for a bag of balls at this point, which is probably what they would return. Their values could not be lower.

If you’re not drooling over the possibilities of the 2016 Mets pitching rotation, then something is off in your brain. Assuming Sandy Alderson doesn’t make a move (i.e. the Wilpon’s give him the financial flexibility to make a move) that involves him moving one of the young-guns, here is what it could look like one through five:

1) Matt Harvey

2) Jacob deGrom

3) Zack Wheeler

4) Noah Syndergaard

5) Steven Matz

If this doesn’t excite you, then your a fan of the wrong sport.

My point on this is that for that rotation to be implemented, Gee, Niese and Bartolo Colon need to be removed from the equation. Colon is a free agent after this year so that isn’t an issue. Niese has a team-friendly contract that ends with $10 million team options for 2017 and 2018. Gee will hit free agency in 2017.

dillon gee

The most obvious yet hardest thing to do is to trade players that are contributing. Hence the root of my argument in this article: Trade Bartolo Colon.

This move would come with the assumption that one of Gee or Niese will bounce back and start contributing this season. Gee wasn’t awful earlier in the year and Niese has been better in recent years, years in which he has been hurt.

It’s not out of the question to think that one or both of them are just in a funk and the added pressure of knowing they could be dealt probably doesn’t help. Colon is obviously living up to his contract and helping the Mets stay in contention. He leads the National League in wins. His value, at this point in his career, probably wouldn’t be higher than right now.

Colon amazes me every game he pitches. I can’t fathom sometimes how he works through lineups with his repertoire. I underestimate time and time again his skills on the mound. However, trading him would clear around $5 million in salary (this doesn’t matter to us, but I know of some owners who might take well to this) as well as possibly bring some sort of return to the Mets, possibly a B-level prospect or a high-upside guy in the lower minors.

With this move, Niese and Gee might be able to shake the trade-talks from their minds and concentrate on contributing on the mound. It’s definitely something to think about.

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MMO Game Recap: Cardinals 10, Mets 2 Wed, 20 May 2015 02:29:46 +0000 jon niese

The Mets (23-17) were defeated by the Cardinals (26-13) by a score of 10-2 Tuesday evening at Citi Field.


Jon Niese started for the Mets, going 5 innings while allowing 8 earned runs on 11 hits, walking one and striking out one. All season he has been allowing a lot of base runners (1.49 WHIP after this game), and it finally caught up to him. The Cardinals took advantage of every opportunity they were given.

Erik Goeddel pitched two innings and allowed his first earned runs of the season, giving up two runs on 3 hits while striking out 2. His ERA increased to 1.29 on the season. Sean Gilmartin and Jack Leathersich each recorded scoreless innings.


While the Cardinals had 15 hits, the Mets could only muster 5. Michael Cuddyer, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares each recorded base hits. Newly called-up Darrell Ceciliani recorded an infield single, the first of his career. Congratulations to him!

Daniel Murphy provided all the runs this evening, spanking a 2-run home run over the right field wall in the 4th inning scoring Cuddyer. He continues to hit the ball well while nobody else does.


Not much happened for the Mets at the plate… Again. After they scored so many runs in the last few games including that 14-run outburst, I thought they would get off the schnide, however it seems I may be mistaken. I would knock on wood, but the Mets wouldn’t recognize the sound.

Juan Lagares… Missed a ball?? In the top of the 3rd inning, Randal Grichuk hit a long line drive to the center field wall and, as per usual, Lagares was there to greet it. However, as he jumped towards the wall and snared the ball, bracing for impact against the wall, the ball slipped out of his glove. This would have been another unbelievable yet routine catch for our Gold Glover out there, but I guess he’s allowed to miss one every once in a while, as long as Yadier Molina wasn’t the one to hit it.

Juan Lagares batted 9th for the third straight game while the pitcher batted 8th and Eric Campbell batted 2nd. That should really help his confidence level.

Sorry for that knock on wood joke, that was harsh.

Congratulations again to Darrell Ceciliani for recording his first major league hit!

On Deck:

Bartolo Colon (6-2, 3.86 ERA) will start for the Mets while the Cardinals will counter with Carlos Martinez (3-2, 4.73 ERA) tomorrow evening at 7:10 pm at Citi Field. LET’S GO METS!

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Cubs 2 Sat, 16 Aug 2014 03:23:13 +0000 eric campbell

The Mets snapped their three game losing streak and defeated the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-2 tonight at Citi Field.  All of the Mets offense came from a three run blast by outfielder Eric Campbell, his second home run of the season.

Zack Wheeler started and tossed 6.2 innings, allowing just two runs while striking out 10 ti improve to 8-8 on the season. He scattered four walks and four hits. Wheeler continues to deliver some strong outings and now sports a 3.49 ERA.

Jenrry Mejia was able to shut down the Cubs with a perfect ninth to record his 18th save of the season, as he continues to fight through his sports hernia.

Campbell’s home run was the only bright spot offensively for the Mets who continue to struggle at the plate, collecting only four hits on the night. Only one of the Mets four hits came from the top four spots of their lineup who went 1-for-13.

The Mets continue their series with the Cubs on Saturday with a 7:10 PM matchup pitting Jon Niese (6-8, 3.46) against spot starter Dan Straily (0-0, 0.00) for Chicago.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: A Soundtrack For Last Night’s Mets Loss Edition Sun, 08 Sep 2013 13:56:51 +0000 jon niese

Last nights game between the Mets and the Cleveland  Indians was stomach churning bad. That first inning pitched by Jon Niese made me wish that Shaun Marcum was still with the team (well not really). All I know is that after viewing last night’s game, I have finally come to terms with the fact that this Mets team, the way it is currently structured, has pretty much no shot to finish the season remotely close to a respectable .500 record. In order for them to finish .500 they would have to go 19-3 the rest of the way which we all know would need a miracle to happen.

So hear area few songs that I think pretty much fittingly describes last night’s game.

1. “Welcome to My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper

2. “Indians” by Anthrax

3. “Run to The Hills” by Iron Maiden

4. “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” by George Thorogood (because I sure needed it !)

5. “ No More Mr. Niese Guy” also by Alice Cooper

6. “Sleepwalk” by Santo and Johnny (because essentially that’s what this team did last night).

7. “Shot Down In Flames” by AC/DC

8. “Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

9. “If” by ’70′s Top 40 friendly band, Bread (I have dubbed this the official post game song for Terry Collins)

And lastly at number 10:

“Cleveland Rocks!” by Ian Hunter – well because last night they did !

So do you agree/disagree ? Any songs that you think that I am wrong about or that you think describe last night’s lesson in futility any better ? If so please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Mets coach from ’64-’67 and briefly in  ’74, Sheriff Robinson would have been 82 (1921). Robinson also managed the Mets minor league teams, The Quincy Jets in 1963 and the Buffalo Bisons in ’65.

Middle reliever from the ’89 season, Don Aase is 59 (1954). Aase didn’t fare well in his lone season as a Met. He went 1-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 49 appearances that season – But he had one of the best last  names in baseball history.

Current Mets closer, Bobby Parnell  turns 29 (1984). Hopefully he will be back in prime health next season so that he can anchor a hopefully revamped bullpen.

Mo Vaughn‘s favorite Rap group is The Fat Boys !!!

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Separated At Birth Edition Sun, 18 Aug 2013 14:17:17 +0000 It is funny how sometimes we look like famous people. I for example have been told that I look like a bloated Danny Partridge or a late in his career Rusty Staub (hence my nickname Rustyjr). But it is amazing when some of our favorite current Mets players and coaches look like other famous people.

So here I am happy to revive an old feature I used to do at another blog called …….


First off is current Mets outfielder, Marlon Byrd


And R & B legend, Jermaine Jackson


Up next is Met manager, Terry Collins


And actor turned accused murderer Robert Blake (Uncanny !)


Next up is Ace Pitcher, Matt Harvey

matt harvey kisses

And “Everyone Loves Raymond” co-star, Brad Garrett.


Then there is the case of  utility infielder, Justin Turner



And a Leprechaun


There is also the curious case of Josh Satin


And Bert from “Sesame Street


And lastly I present to you Mets pitching coach, Dan Warthern


And Hank Hill.


So what do you think ? Do you agree/disagree ? Is there any other Mets player that bears a striking resemblance to a celebrity that is currently living or dead ?

Please feel free to post in the comments section below.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Mets third base coach from ’97-’99, Bruce Benedict is 58. Benedict also piloted for the Norfolk Tides in 1996.

Reserve outfielder from the ’85 season, Terry Blocker is 54. Blocker was the Mets first round pick from the ’81 amateur draft. His career never did pan out, and he was out of the majors by 1990 after a short stint with the Atlanta Braves.

Spot starter/middle reliever from ’09-’11, Pat Misch  is 32. He is currently pitching for the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens.

The New York Mets purchased the contract of middle reliever, Dave Eilers from the Milwaukee Braves on August 18, 1965. Eilers would spend two seasons with the Mets, compiling a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 4.44 in 34 appearances.

The New York Mets traded centerfielder Brett Butler  to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league outfield prospects, Scott Hunter and Dwight Maness on August 18, 1995. Butler was one of the very few reasons to watch the Mets in ’95. He would later manager the Gulf Coast Mets during their ’04 season

Mo Vaughn bears a striking resemblance to the Wrestler Mo from Men On A Mission !!!!



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According To Collins, Niese Will Not Require Surgery Wed, 26 Jun 2013 23:40:28 +0000 NIESE: Sound move by Mets

In his weekly interview with WFAN Terry Collins relayed the information that Jonathon Niese is unlikely to require surgery on his partially torn rotator cuff.

Collins, claiming to have spoken to Niese on the phone, said that the pitcher was feeling “tremendous.”

“He is not going to need any surgery” Collins said.

“Next week he is going to get another MRI to reassess how its doing and how he’s feeling, and hopefully after the other MRI he can start throwing.”

Niese was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list after an initial MRI determined that his rotator cuff had a partial tear.

Lets not forget that Collins originally came out and said the damage was “nothing severe,” only to be contradicted when assistant GM John Ricco revealed the true extent of the injury.

While this news allegedly came from Niese himself, we’ll have to take Collins word for it.

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In His Final Tuneup Before Debut, Wheeler Will Be On 85 Pitch Limit Tonight Thu, 13 Jun 2013 17:53:04 +0000 zach wheeler

Looks like Harvey-Wheeler Day is still on… Thanks Mother Nature…

Matt Musico from just posted the following:

Zack Wheeler will be making his final minor league start tonight before getting promoted to the major leagues. He’s set to debut on Tuesday at Turner Field against the Atlanta Braves, about 45 minutes away from his childhood home.

He takes the mound tonight against the Tacoma Rainiers at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, and Adam Rubin reported that he’ll be on an 85-pitch limit. Terry Collins doesn’t want his top pitching prospect to be overworked for his next turn in the rotation during his big league debut. He wants Wheeler to get just enough work to feel sharp.

Wheeler is throwing on an extra day of rest tonight, which is what the coaching staff preferred to him having an extra day before next week’s start. Collins wants to ensure he can make as many things normal as he possibly can, especially since Wheeler’s debut will be anything but ordinary.

Original Post 6/12

Terry Collins just spoke to reporters and said when Zack Wheeler is promoted for his first start on Tuesday in Atlanta, the Mets will go with a six-man rotation for at least one turn.

Here is what it looks like:

Considering where this season is heading, I wouldn’t mind going with a six-man rotation for the rest of the entire season. Why not?

It would put less wear and tear on Wheeler, Jon Niese and Matt Harvey. Plus once we move Shaun Marcum at the deadline (at least I hope they do), we can make room for possibly Rafael Montero to join the rotation. On Monday, Sandy Alderson said he’d have no reservations promoting Montero from Double-A to the majors later this season when they feel he’s ready.

Hey, you know it was Gil Hodges who ushered in the five-man rotation…


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Bullpen Falters, Bats Silenced, Mets Dealt 6-3 Loss By Cards Tue, 14 May 2013 11:30:06 +0000 daniel - murphy 2

The newest Met, Rick Ankiel, couldn’t hold onto Ty Wigginton’s sinking line drive for a double. Wigginton then scored from second on an infield hit off pitcher Scott Rice. Matt Holliday followed with a two-run homer, and just like that it was over and the Mets had their fourth straight loss, 6-3, at St. Louis to fall seven games below .500.

ON THE MOUND: Jeremy Hefner had his third straight quality start, giving up three runs in six innings. Hefner retired the last ten hitters he faced. Even so, the Mets are now 0-7 when he starts. … Rice and Scott Atchison combined to give up three runs on five hits.

AT THE PLATE: The Mets had four hits, three from Daniel Murphy. … Ten more strikeouts by Mets hitters, surprisingly, none by Ike Davis or Lucas Duda.

METS MATTERS: Reliever Frank Francisco has a mild strain of the flexor pronator in his right elbow. He will be shut down for 72 hours before he resumes throwing. … Outfielder Andrew Brown was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Ankiel.

THEY SAID IT:  “We aren’t scoring. I told him he got us to where we needed to be.’’ – Manager Terry Collins on Hefner’s performance.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12: Number of times in their last 16 games the Mets scored three runs or less.

ON DECK: Dillon Gee (2-4), Shaun Marcum (0-3) and Jonathan Niese (2-4) will be the Mets’ next three starters in this series against John Gast (0-0), Shelby Miller (5-2) and Adam Wainwright (5-2) for the Cardinals.

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Mets vs Twins: Photos From Pressbox At Target Field Sat, 13 Apr 2013 02:25:10 +0000 Updated by Joe D.

Here’s a couple of shots Matt sent in from the press box at Target Field. Looks like he has a great view…


Bases Loaded For John Buck…

from press box

Is that Kevin Burkhardt roaming around in the upper deck?

Matt tells me he’ll bring a regular digital camera for the Saturday and Sunday games…

Starting Lineup

  1. Jordany Valdespin CF
  2. Daniel Murphy 2B
  3. David Wright 3B
  4. Ike Davis 1B
  5. John Buck C
  6. Lucas Duda DH
  7. Marlon Byrd RF
  8. Mike Baxter LF
  9. Ruben Tejada SS

Jon Niese LHP

Game Notes

The Mets went 8-7 in Interleague play in 2012. The Mets are .500 or better in 11 of their 16 seasons of Interleague play, and are 135-127 all-time in Interleague play. The 135 wins are the fourth-most among National League teams.

The Mets have signed LHP Sean Henn to a minor league contract. Henn has not appeared in a Major League game since 2009 when he went a combined 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA in 20 relief appearances with the Twins and Orioles.

David Wright has 89 career RBI vs. the American League, tied with Mike Piazza for the most in team history. The 89 Interleague RBI are the ninth-most among any major leaguer since 2005, the first season Wright played an Interleague game. He has 19 career Interleague home runs, nine behind Piazza (28) for the most in club history.

Jonathon Niese has thrown 6.0 or more innings in his last 22 consecutive starts, the longest current streak in the major leagues. The streak is also the longest by a Mets pitcher since Tom Glavine went 27 starts from July 15, 2005-June 3, 2006 lasting 6.0 or more innings.

Has hit a home run in three straight games (April 8- present) for the first time in his career. Buck has five home runs through the team’s first nine games, tied for the second-most in franchise history with Darryl Strawberry (5 home runs in nine games in 1987) and Jeff Kent (5 home runs in nine games in 1994). Dave Kingman holds the team mark with seven home runs in New York’s first nine games in 1976.

In New York’s five wins, Mets starting pitchers have posted a 2.03 ERA (seven earned runs/31.0 innings). In the club’s four losses, the starters have combined for a 6.87 ERA (14
earned runs/18.1 innings).

The Mets bullpen has hurled 16.2 innings in their last four games. During that span, the pen has allowed four earned runs (2.16 ERA). Overall, the Mets pen is 2-0 with a 3.34 ERA (11 earned runs/29.2 innings). The ERA is 7th in the National League.

Overall, the Mets have recorded a 3.53 ERA (31 earned runs/79.0 innings), ranking third in the NL and seventh in the majors.

Game Preview

The Mets travel to Minnesota tonight to start their first interleague game of the season. Some of you may be asking yourself, “Hey, why are we playing an interleague game so early”. To those of you, “HAVEN’T YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION! GEEZ..”

The Astros joined the American League this year making each league have 15 teams thus making the wild card system for fair in terms of chance of getting one. Having 15 in each league forces two teams to always be locked in an interleague series. Anyway, the Mets might be playing in the American League tonight but will see an old foe as they take on Vance Worley behind Jonathan Niese.

Niese is off to a good start this year going 1-0 in his first two games pitching a total of 12.2 innings allowing 3 earned runs, 4 total. In that stretch he has 12 hits and 4 walks while striking out 9 batters. He has faced the Twins once where he picked up the win throwing 6 shutout innings of baseball allowing 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. The Twins have the following numbers against Niese:

Carroll 3-5
Willingham 2-5, HR
Worley 1-6
Mauer 0-2

The Mets batters going from facing the Phillies to an ex-Philly in Vance Worley who is 0-1 this season over two starts. During that time has pitched 11.0 innings allowing a league leading 18 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), and 2 walks with 5 strikeouts. Last season he was 6-9 over 23 starts and 133.0 innings with a 4.20 ERA. He was 0-2 against the Mets last season over 3 games where he allowed 14 ER over 14.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Vance:

Murphy 10-15, 2B, 3B (Seriously, that’s 2 hits per 3 AB’s)
Tejada 7-17, 2B
Wright 4-15, HR
Duda 5-10, 2B, HR
Davis 1-9
Turner 4-10, 2 2B
Baxter 1-3, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

Check 213 Miles From Shea!

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Locking Up Ike Davis To An Extension Won’t Come Easy Fri, 15 Mar 2013 17:53:02 +0000 ike-davisMets GM Sandy Alderson was a guest of Mark Hale and Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post on their podcast today, and he had some interesting things to say about a variety of Mets topics.

At one point, Hale brought up the possibility of signing Ike Davis to an extension and buying out his arbitration years, similar to the extension the Mets completed last spring with left-hander Jonathon Niese.

“We’re always looking at our young players to see if it makes sense, both from their standpoint and ours, to do complete something on a longterm basis,” Alderson said.

Ike Davis is coming off a big second half last year, showed up to camp in great shape and in great spirits, and we see him taking on a bigger leadership role in the clubhouse right behind Captain America – David Wright.”

“Any kind of an extension has to fit for us and it has to fit for the player. So it’s something we’ll keep an eye on. Sometimes the player is not interested, and sometimes the agent is not interested. It’s one of those things that has to work for both sides.”

We’ve discussed this topic a few times already this offseason, and back on January 22, I wrote the following regarding Ike Davis and the possibility of extending him:

Now that the Mets have avoided arbitration with Davis and both sides have agreed on a one-year deal worth $3.2 million dollars, the plot thickens somewhat.

Davis gets a hefty raise from the $500K he earned last season. It’s the first step to a four year process that will take his salary to the $15 million dollar a year range by 2016.

Even the $7-8 million dollars he most likely will earn in 2014 sounds like a tough nut to crack for a team who hasn’t doled out that much cash annually in a new contract to a player in many years, not counting their franchise player David Wright who just cashed in for $142 million through 2020. In fact, Jason Bay was the last of the Mohicans.

So will the Mets open their wallets and pay Ike Davis at a level commensurate with what other first basemen of his caliber get paid?

That’s tough to say and I remain skeptical. I don’t think it will happen. Niese signed a deal that averaged about $5 million a season for the next five years. It will take a lot more than that to get Davis to sign any extension.

As I’ve said before, I have yet to see any evidence that this front office will ever pay any player not named Wright at current market value levels. It’s simply not in their DNA.

I could be off base here, but I challenge the front office to go ahead and prove me wrong. In fact, I’d welcome it in Ike’s case.

I like ike button

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Niese Couldn’t Get His Curve Over, Still Working On Some Things Wed, 06 Mar 2013 19:45:17 +0000 jon niese

It’s not the pitching line, but the feel of his pitches this time of year.

“I felt good. My stuff was very good,” Jonathan Niese said after this afternoon’s 62-pitch outing against the Venezuelan WBC team.

“I am not used to that kind of workload (this early in spring training). But, that’s a good thing.”

Niese said getting his curveball over and mastering his change-up is what concerns him most. Both are feel pitches requiring time to master.“I have to get my curveball over,” Niese said. “I couldn’t get my curve-ball over for strikes. My change-up is getting a lot better, but it’s not where I want. I need to build off this. Usually my change-up is always the last pitch. … I like where my arm strength is and I like how the ball is coming out of my hand.”

Niese called pitching to the Venezuelan team, which includes Miguel CabreraPablo Sandoval and Carlos Gonzalez as “humbling.”

“They have a good lineup,” Niese said. “They made me work. I made a couple of mistakes and they made me pay for them.”

Another thing Niese is getting acclimated to is pitching to veteran catcher John Buck. The first impression has been a good one.

“We have to work a lot more together,” Niese said. “He calls a great game.”

Manager Terry Collins said Niese will be the Opening Day starter if Johan Santana can’t go, which appears the likely scenario now.

“We all want it,”Niese said when asked if he coveted the assignment. “Who wouldn’t?”

Niese went 2.1 innings this afternoon and allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one. Still some tweaking to do, but he’ll be fine.

I’ll be back with a wrap-up from St. Lucie later on. Hope you MMO readers are enjoying the additional coverage…

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Terry Collins: If Santana Isn’t Ready, Niese Will Get Opening Day Nod Sat, 02 Mar 2013 15:20:02 +0000 2012 Niese

During an interview on WFAN with Mike Francesa, Terry Collins said that Jon Niese would get the Opening Day start if Johan Santana is not ready.

The manager still believes Santana has a chance to make the start, “It’s not doubtful,” Collins said. “If he’s not ready for Game 1, I think he’ll be ready for Game 4.”

Niese, 26, took a big step forward. He became reliable, proved to be durable, and most of all, he improved his performance significantly.

Hopefully Santana will be able to make that start, as we could use his veteran leadership. If not, we are in capable hands with Jonathan Niese.

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Mets Locker Room Real Estate Values: Past and Present Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:38:14 +0000 MetsYou can learn a lot about a baseball team from its locker room. The clubhouse is where relationships form, character is revealed and leaders speak out (or not). For the major league rookie, clubhouse real estate is valuable — sometimes priceless. Imagine being the rookie who spent eight months out of the year next to Sandy Koufax? Roberto Clemente? Lou Gehrig? Tom Seaver? These were model athletes, wise and humble men, who used their talent to teach.

Danny Frisella and Tug McGraw were in heated competition for fame and fortune from the outset of the 1972 season. The late Gil Hodges remembers both pitchers begging for their manager to pick them when he signaled to the bullpen. If Frisella was selected, and won the game, McGraw would give Frisella the “cold shoulder.” If McGraw got the nod (and won) Frisella would mimic the gesture.

There is no evidence whether or not the Mets clubhouse manager made an intentional effort to put Frisella and McGraw side-by-side in the locker room, but their adjoining lockers created more fun and competition. The two Mets pitchers would sometimes switch the locker nameplates to appear that the other won the game.

While Frisella and McGraw jockeyed for their manager’s affection, that same season a rookie named Jon Matlack was granted locker space between Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Matlack was named 1972 Rookie of the Year, winning 15 of his 32 starts. He compiled 244 innings pitched, eight complete games and a skinny 2.32 ERA. Coincidence? Possibly. Seaver will tell you, for certain, it meant nothing then and means nothing now.

“Where you lockered really wasn’t that important,” Seaver told the New York Times in 2008. “It didn’t make any difference. Just your own little space; it could have been anywhere.”

For Seaver, locker space was irrelevant. It was a place – and space – where he took out his frustrations after a poor start. “When I make a mistake and beat myself with a bad pitch, then I get kicking mad and go after stools and water buckets,” Seaver told People Magazine.

Other times, Seaver used his locker as a prop. After getting off to a slow start in 1974, a Mets beat writer asked him if he had lost his fastball. Seaver paused, then started rummaging in his locker muttering, “Where are you, fastball? Are you in there somewhere?”

Seaver didn’t need sabermetrics to figure out the 1975 New York Mets were in for a long year. The Mets, a team renowned for their pitching stock, found themselves lacking. That spring, Seaver sat on a stool in front of his locker and looked up at the adjoining lockers. SEAVER. KOOSMAN, MATLACK.

Who are the rest of these guys? Seaver thought. “That’s Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Where are 4 and 5?” He rolled his eyes in frustration.

He knew, if something doesn’t change (and it didn’t), the Mets would not compete. The Mets were within four games of the lead in the National League East on September 1, 1975; then the bottom fell out on the season. They finished in third place 10 ½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Seaver’s real estate at Shea Stadium was the site where many of the organizations proudest moments were celebrated. He sprayed champagne over the heads of his teammates in 1969 from that “little space.” Seaver helped the Mets win another National League title from that hole in the wall. He encouraged and mentored Matlack, Jackson Todd, Bob Myrick, George Stone and many others within earshot.

In one respect Seaver is right; a locker isn’t important. There’s nothing glamorous about an athlete’s locker. It’s literally a hole in the wall. For the common man, a locker is a lot like an office cubicle, a place to store your personal effects while you go take care of business. But, location is valuable, sometimes educational.

“I learned an awful lot from having my locker room stuck between Koosman and Seaver,” said Matlack. “”It was a very, very good location to be in.”

Seaver’s locker was physically unique, well, maybe for its modesty. Former Mets beat writer Marty Noble described the space this way: “there was no locker to the immediate left, just a three-foot-wide panel. A trash can was placed there.” Seaver’s “little space” was nondescript. Seaver, himself, was so Seaver was so impervious to his surroundings that, to this day, he is unsure whether he had the now famous locker space his rookie year of 1967.

Over time, Seaver’s locker took on a life of its own. After he we traded in June 1977, Bud Harrelson asked if he could move in. Not happening, said Mets equipment manager Herb Norman. The locker would be assigned to Seaver’s successor, Pat Zachry.

Seaver returned home, and to his “little space” in 1983, then, Ron Darling assumed the space from 1984-1991, followed by David Cone (July 1991-August 1992), John Franco (1992-2003), Steve Trachsel (2004-2006) and Aaron Heilman (2007).

“That locker did have history; more than any other in that place,” said Franco. “Nobody made the kind of history here that Tom Seaver made. It doesn’t matter how long anyone had it, it was always Seaver’s.”

“It doesn’t matter [who preceded Seaver],” added Darling. “It’s his.”

In some ballparks, because of some professional athletes, lockers can become hallowed ground. When Lou Gehrig died, his locker was sealed and sent to Cooperstown. Before Shea Stadium was demolished after the 2008 season, Seaver’s locker was preserved and put on the block for a cool $41,000.

That’s some valuable real estate.

In 1984, the New York Mets were on the rise. Jesse Orosco and Doug Sisk anchored the Mets bullpen on the field, roommates off the field and lived out of adjoining lockers during the team’s championship run in the 80s.

“We’re just a couple of ordinary guys who get along, and have no professional jealousy,” said Sisk. “We’re both fairly serious, but we have different personalities. But we’re not rivals. You can’t be rivals. It won’t work.”

When it does work, the team benefits – at least that’s what Mets manager Terry Collins hopes will happen by placing Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey side-by-side in Port St. Lucie. Collins told the media he intentionally put Harvey, 23, and Wheeler, 22, at adjoining lockers to give Wheeler the opportunity to ask questions and “soak up” the experience like Harvey did last season.

“Having lockers next to each other, we’re both baseball players who have the same mindset,” said Harvey. “Getting along, I don’t think, is going to be very tough.”

Wheeler has prime real estate in Port St. Lucie. Like Harvey in 2012, he will receive a valuable education a lot by watching and listening. Harvey described the experience as “eye-opening.” Last spring he watched Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee prepare for a major league baseball season.

“That’s something that I’ve never seen,” Harvey told “Watching the preparation that those guys had in order to throw 200 innings … Sometimes it’s stepping back and realizing, ‘Hey, this is a long process. Throwing until the end of September is a long time from now.’”

Let’s be honest here, Harvey is still learning too. Collins hopes the location will be the seed to a long-term successful relationship between his two future stars.

Spring Training, which officially starts today, is always an intriguing place for reporters to take stock in how and where players are positioned. The nameplates begin to disappear as February turns to March and the minor league players are dispatched for reassignment. The last days of March mark the time for final cuts. The veteran invited to spring training is playing his heart out and biting their nails in one corner of the clubhouse while the fresh-faced 20-something is bouncing off the walls hoping this will be his year.

As Opening Day creeps closer, locker room real estate values will increase.

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2012 Mets Player Review: Jonathan Niese, LHP Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:00:56 +0000


PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: Jonathan Niese was another Mets pitcher who went into spring training coming off an injury. He pulled a right rib cage muscle in Sept. 2011, while pitching against the Phillies and was shut down. Two years earlier, Niese’s season ended with a severely pulled hamstring. While the Mets weren’t worried about his arm, two muscle pulls had them wonder if he was susceptible to such injuries. Foolishly, Niese felt discomfort in his previous start, but continued to pitch against the Phillies. In 2010 and 2011, Niese won nine and 11 games, respectively, and displayed composure and an ability to work out of trouble. Niese doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but throws a plus cutter and fall-off-the-table curveball. When he’s able to command those pitches, it increases the effectiveness of his fastball. Assuming his health, the Mets expected him to continue to develop and hopefully win as many as 15 games as a No. 3 starter.

2012 SEASON REVIEW: Although Niese fell short of 15 victories, he continued to make strides to become one of the Mets’ most reliable pitchers. Satisfied he was healthy, the Mets signed Niese to a $25.5 million contract extension with team options for 2017 and 2018. Largely unproven, the Mets were banking on Niese’s potential and at the time GM Sandy Alderson said he was the type of player the club could build around. The contract enables the Mets to avoid arbitration and Niese’s first shot at free agency, which is paramount in cost control. Niese tied his career high of 30 starts and logged 190.1 innings. Niese, like most Mets’ starters save R.A. Dickey, suffered from a lack of run support and bullpen collapses. Niese responded from a combined 4-5 in July and August to win this final three starts to finish at 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Niese had an impressive 155-49 strikeouts-to-walks ratio and worked into the seventh inning or longer in 17 appearances. He only had two starts in which he did not work at least five innings. Niese did miss a start after he was pulled for a June 3 game with a rapid heartbeat.

LOOKING AT 2013: Although Niese did not have a reoccurrence of the rapid heartbeat in the second half, he will undergo surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to alleviate the problem. It is considered minor surgery, but anything involving the heart can’t be thought of as minor. Figuring he will make a full recovery, the Mets expect him to build on 2013. Considering his age and salary, he would be in high demand on the trade market, but a pitcher of Niese’s potential is exactly what the franchise needs. Niese’s overall numbers were good and assuming he receives run support – the Mets failed to score more than three runs in 17 starts – 15 victories and 200-plus innings should be reachable. Niese would enter next year as the No. 3 starter assuming everything works in the positive with Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey.


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The Kids Are Growing Up Tue, 20 Apr 2010 11:00:40 +0000 Last night Ike Davis made his major league debut, going 2-4 with an RBI.  Jonathan Niese pitched a good game and Jenrry Mejia closed the game out for the win.  It was a good night for the franchise prospects.

I remember not too long ago there were reports that the farm system was dead.  Some blamed it on the Johan Santana trade, but go ahead and look at what the prospects we traded away did since being traded to the Twins. 

Others blamed it on bad decisions from Omar Minaya up to the Wilpons who don’t like to spend money on draft picks.  However, this season is showing that the farm system was not dead; it was a live and well.  I don’t have a crystal ball and cannot tell you what is in store for Niese, Davis and Mejia but the future does look bright.  Niese has had 2 good outings, Mejia has looked good and Davis continued his Spring success in Triple A before being called up yesterday afternoon.

I like the fact that last night those 3 prospects played in the game and helped the Mets get a win.  I like the energy that these 3 guys are brining.  Last night felt a little different than other days have this season.  The Mets still had their problems but instead of the constant barrage of negativity there were some positive feelings about this team even if the fans did boo Garry Matthews Jr.

These kids are going to have hard times, that’s a given in any major league career.  They’re going to have games to forget about but I really feel that there will be more memorable games.  The talent is there and these guys are hungry. 

Davis might be a rookie, he’s only played in one game but he didn’t look nervous and when talking to the media he had a very easy going demeanor, something that he’s going to need while playing in New York.  Niese before that ugly looking injury last season showed signs of being the pitcher the Mets thought he was capable of and while he had a bad start in Colorado he’s had 2 good starts that show his potential.  Mejia has bounced back nicely from giving up the game winner and while he needs to develop his secondary pitches he has impressed so far as a member of the bullpen.

Everyone loves signing big name free agents in the off season but there’s a different feeling when a young kid who has started at the bottom of the organization makes it to the big leagues.  For someone who really follows their team its rewarding seeing the progress a prospect makes throughout his career.  I look forward to seeing Davis, Mejia and Niese at Citi Field for years to come.

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Fernando Martinez Heads Mets Top 10 Prospects Thu, 31 Dec 2009 20:55:49 +0000

Check out the Mets Top 10 Prospects as compiled by Marc Hulet of FanGraphs, who did an excellent job of providing a detailed analysis on each player complete with statistical data as well.

Fernando Martinez tops his list and he writes the following about him,

Although some have already, it is far too early to give up on Martinez. Just 21 years old, the Dominican outfielder just needs to have a healthy season. When he did get on the field in ‘09, he hit .290/.337/.540 with an ISO of .250 as a 20 year old in triple-A. That is pretty darn impressive. He reached his ‘08 total in home runs in about half the at-bats. Martinez actually had a career-high OPS of .877 in ‘09. He also kept his strikeout rate below 20% at 18.8%, but it would be nice to see more patience at the plate (5.9% walk rate). At the MLB level, he was over-matched and hit just .176/.242/.275 in 95 at-bats. With a career line against southpaws of .237/.308/.392, he has some work to do against lefties. Despite that, he still has a chance to be a very good player.

I’ve soured on F-Mart a little this past season, but mostly because of my frustration with his constant trips to the disabled list. Hulet is right of course, and we should all be more patient with someone so young and so gifted. Maybe everything will break right for Martinez in 2010, and we can finally see his tremendous talent applied over a full season.

Check out FanGraphs for more analysis on the rest of the top ten that includes 1B Ike Davis, RHP Jenrry Mejia, SS Wilmer Flores, LHP Jonathan Niese, RHP Brad Holt, IF Ruben Tejada, C Josh Thole, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis and RHP Jeurys Familia in that order.

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Is Jon Niese Ready For Prime Time? Tue, 02 Dec 2008 15:35:40 +0000 Last week, Joel Sherman of the NY Post spoke to Omar Minaya about his plan for the Mets 2009 rotation. Here is what he wrote on his blog.

I have spoken to many Met officials, including GM Omar Minaya, and each has told me essentially the same strategy: That they would like to add a quality starter to place behind Johan Santana in the rotation and go to camp giving Jonathan Niese a chance to be the No. 5 starter. Minaya likens the plan to what happened with Mike Pelfrey last year, when Pelfrey assumed the No. 5 starter role, largely because Orlando Hernandez was hurt.

I really like what I saw of Niese in the little sampling we had to go on last season. That said, I’m not so sure he is ready to be a part of a Major League rotation just yet. I don’t understand what the big rush is all about.

I would prefer to see Jon Niese spend at least a half season at AAA Buffalo before we even consider handing him a rotation spot. I think the Mets are making a huge mistake by force feeding him to the majors so soon.

He only made three starts in the Major Leagues.

MIL 0 0 0 3 7 5 4 2
ATL 1 0 0 8 6 0 2 7
CHC 0 1 0 3 7 6 2 2


In 14 innings pitched, Niese allowed 11 earned runs on 20 hits and 8 walks. His ERA was 7.07. Niese became the first pitcher in Mets history to give up a homerun to the first batter he ever faced.

Niese was selected by the New York Mets in the seventh round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. Ever since joining the organization, he has been rushed through each level until finally skipping through AA, AAA, and the Mets in 2008.

At no time, was Niese pitching at a level that warranted such a swift advancement.

He has started a total of 88 games in the minors, and in 457 innings pitched he has allowed 455 hits and 166 walks for a WHIP of 1.37 and a 3.74 ERA.

When we decided to give Mike Pelfrey his shot, he had compiled a 1.26 WHIP and a a 3.12 ERA in the minors; numbers that were certainly worthy of a promotion. Even so, Pelfrey struggled before finally being able to pitch effectively and consistently over a year later.

Also, who would be our fall-back option if one of our starters went down with an injury?

With Niese being nurtured in AAA and learning how to pitch at a higher level after spending most of last season in AA, he serves as a viable insurance policy for the other five starters in the Major League rotation.

I hope the Mets will reconsider handing Niese a rotation spot, and instead decide to sign a capable and proven number five starter for the rotation. There are quite a few low cost options out there ranging from Jon Garland to Randy Wolf.

Lets spend some of that $400 million dollar tax payer funded naming rights money for Citi Field and bolster the bullpen and rotation the right way, and stop using a small market strategy to manage a big market team.

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