It's time to face the facts: Jon Niese is having a really good season.
But for some blips in May and early June, Niese has been outstanding for the most part, pitching to a 3.46 ERA. Like Bartolo Colon, Niese is eating innings for the Mets, an invaluable thing on a team with so many young arms. Unlike Colon, he's been consistently great.
He did it again last night, pitching 7 innings and allowing 2 runs on six hits. He kept the Mets in it long enough; as he came out, the team rallied for a 3-run 7th inning and robbed the Rockies of the series opener.
This time it was Daniel Murphy who came up with the big hit. The team mustered only 4 hits, but one of them was a solo homer by Travis d'Arnaud (his first since June 20), and another was a two-run single by Murphy. The Mets loaded the bases in the 7th, Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch to drive in the first run after a quintessential Grandyman at-bat (taking pitches, fouling some off, patient as ever), and Murph stepped in and dribbled one just under the diving glove of one Jose Reyes.
It was nice to see Reyes back in New York. He's a guy I always liked as a ballplayer and as a personality. He was a great Met and I think most Mets fans were sad to see him go. Granted, as it stands, I hope he goes 0-5 tonight, but, hey... .
Terry Collins said it best - a year ago today, the Mets don't win this game. They don't manage to come from behind and piece it all together. This year, games like this can - and do - work out in the Mets favor.
Happy to see Niese go from a loser (down 2-1 when he was pinch hit for) to a winner in the span of a few minutes. He's had some tough luck this year and I like seeing him rewarded for good pitching.
Tonight we get Harvey who has been on fire recently - hopefully the Mets can get it done again and get this four game series off to a great start.