“This is a game we needed to have and Jon gave it to us,” manager Terry Collins said. “I told him, ‘I need right now two of the best starts you’ve ever made,’ and he gave us one tonight."
Niese got out of a bases loaded jam, following an error by Wilmer Flores. He also pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam in the fourth inning by inducing a double play and getting Cameron Maybin to ground out to shortstop.
“When he’s on, they hit the ball on the ground, which they did tonight,” Collins said.
Though the Mets' relievers allowed 11 runs on Sunday, Collins pulled Niese after he threw just 88 pitches, putting his faith in his bullpen.
“I wanted to [stay in the game], but obviously Terry has got to do what he’s got to do making decisions," Niese said, about being taken out of the game." It’s an important time of the year.”
In his last two starts, both against the Braves, Niese has a 2.25 ERA and has induced 26 groundball outs. He had a 10.53 ERA during his four previous starts.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
Niese pitched 'his game.' He used his curve ball well in any count, he expanded the strike zone, which set up bad swings, and resulted in ground out after ground out. He was in command the entire time he was on the mound, even when guys were on base. He was calm and cool, he never reared back to over throw. This is when Niese is at his best, which would be a hue asset pitching from the bullpen in the playoffs. I still think Niese could end up getting a start in the postseason, since he matches up well against the Dodgers. But, Terry will only need three starting pitchers, and opportunities will be limited.