Jon Niese (right) was the man tonight, no doubt about it. The rookie shook off a terrible debut in Milwaukee 10 days ago to toss eight shutout innings in a must-win situation. Check out this line: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
After the game, Jerry Manuel said Niese would pitch next nine days from now. In case you’re wondering, that is the next time the pitcher who starts on Wednesday would take the mound. Basically, whether it is Nelson Figueroa or Brandon Knight, that guy will pitch Wednesday and then be replaced the following Monday at Shea against the Cubs. Manuel said he pushed Niese so hard tonight (116 pitches) because he knew the lefty would have nine days to rest.
The Mets hit three homers, but the two by David Wright and Jose Reyes were great signs for the club going forward. Wright proved today his slump is history and Reyes showed his may be coming to an end. When you consider their contributions, the Mets may just have their top four cooking heading into late September.
Thanks to Alex. I will be back bright and shiny tomorrow.