Niese is making his final start of the season tonight - he has put together an outstanding campaign this season and has taken some major steps forward. He has set a career high with 12 wins, and his last start against the Marlins marked the 19th consecutive time he’s pitched six innings or more. Niese is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts against the Braves in 2012.
Tim Hudson (16-6, 3.61 ERA) will start for the Braves tonight.
Hudson is completing yet another stellar season with the Braves. He is seeking to win 17 games for the second time in three years and has won 15 games or more in eight different seasons. In his last start against the Phillies, Hudson allowed just one unearned run and two hits in 7 1/3 innings. Hudson has allowed four earned runs in four innings in one start against the Mets this season - he is 15-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 26 career starts against New York in his career.
I was hoping Niese might be able to get to 200 innings this season, but he is going to fall a little short. No matter, it has been an outstanding season for Niese, a season in which he’s grown as a “pitcher,” and begun to fulfill his potential as a top-of-the-rotation hurler. He has learned how to effectively control innings and not let games slip away from him, but he's also enhanced his ability to command the strike zone with both his cutter and curveball. He has also proven his stamina problems are a thing of the past, evident by his ability to pitch effectively and stay healthy this late into the season.