It was Niese's final start of the season - he earned his 13th win of the season to go 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts in 2012.
"Obviously I'm never satisfied with the numbers I put up," Niese explained. "Obviously, with what R.A. has been doing this year, having a season like that is something to look forward to. I would have liked to have got to 200 innings, maybe 15 wins, a couple of extra starts. That's just the way it goes. I try to do what I can to help the team out. They thought that was helping the team out."
Last night marked the 20th consecutive start Niese has gone six innings or more in a game - he set a career high with 190 1/3 innings in 2012.
”He’s kind of getting not much recognition, and that’s the thing, because he’s been one of our horses, going out every five days and keeping us in the ballgame,” Josh Thole said after the game. “He’s just really done a great job of giving us quality starts, night in and night out.”
This was unquestionably a breakout season for Niese. His innings and win total was hindered by the six-man rotation Terry employed late in the season, but he has nothing to hang his head about after a fantastic season. I admit I was worried about Niese coming into the season considering he had efficiency and stamina problems in his first few seasons, and was having trouble finishing seasons as a result. But he found himself early this year and, despite a few hiccups - which every pitcher has - he was crisp, efficient, steady, reliable and durable, all while making strides to become a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. In the past when he'd get into trouble with either his cutter or curve, he would table the pitch which wasn't working for him and he'd essentially become a two-pitch pitcher. But that didn't happen this year - he stayed confident in his entire repertoire and didn't waver from game plans, even when he would struggle. He also learned how to be more economical which in turn allowed him to pitch deeper into ballgames consistently.
Niese is no slouch at this point - between (hopefully) Niese, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and (hopefully) R.A. Dickey, the Mets have the starting pitching to be contenders in future seasons. Now, it's time to get better position players to surround the pitching staff with.
According to ESPN New York, Niese will undergo a minor heart procedure at the Cleveland Clinic this winter to help address the rapid heartbeat issue he has had over the last couple of seasons.