For Niese it will be his first start since rejoining the Mets, having already made three relief appearances in his second go-around with the Amazins.
In his last appearance out of the pen, Niese was roughed up pretty bad by the D’Backs, who tagged him for six runs on three walks and three hits, including a home run in one inning of work.
Niese had a 5.13 ERA in 18 starts this season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and it resulted in a demotion to the bullpen. The Bucs eventually dealt him back to the Mets on Aug. 1 for reliever Antonio Bastardo.
— Joe D.
Original Report – Aug 13
“I know he’s upset about it,” Collins said of Verrett. “But we certainly got to make a change there.” (North Jersey.com)
During last night’s start against San Diego, Verrett surrendered eight earned runs in 2.2 innings while allowing six hits, four homers and three walks.
The Mets tried to rally with six runs of offense and a shutdown effort from the pen, but that wasn’t enough to take Verrett off the hook for his eighth loss of the season.
“I put us in a hole, 5-0, in the first inning, and what’d they do?” Verrett said. “They battled back.” (NY Times)
Yesterday’s outing is a continuation of an extremely rough stretch for Verrett. In his seven starts replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation, Verrett has a 7.18 ERA. For the season, his ERA has soared to 5.36 in 85 innings pitched.
Collins will hope to get better production out of Niese, but the veteran lefty is also going through some struggles of his own right now.
In his latest bullpen outing on Thursday, Niese yielded six runs and three walks in one inning of work against Arizona. There’s also concerns if Niese will be ready to take mound by next week as he’s currently dealing with a knee injury.
In 116 innings pitched this season, Niese has an 8-6 record with a 5.20 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.