Why was Niese pitching last night?
It’s no secret that these are crucial games for the New York Mets, despite being only one game above 500, they are only three games out of both the wild card and the division.
Yesterday, it was announced by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that Jon Niese’s wife had gone into labor, it was also announced that Jon will not be pitching, and that Carlos Torres might be called in for the emergency start.
Strangely enough, Niese pitched last night. There was no official announcement why, but my guess is that Niese told the manager that he could pitch, and that Carlos Torres didn’t have time to get prepared. As a lot of fans pointed out during the game, Niese’s mind was in other places (understandably) during the game, and it prevented him from pitching well, he never got above 89 mph on his fastball, and he wasn’t aggressive with batters like he was in previous starts, he drew a lot of full counts and the 3-2 pitch was often a sub-90 mph fastball, or a pitch with little movement. Once Niese was pulled from the start, he went home, and watched the birth of his offspring on “FaceTime”.
So, Niese came out of the game, Carlos Torres came in, and the Mets lost 7-2. A bad game overall, but there is something else: Earlier this week, it was reported that the Mets are looking to trade Jon Niese, and that he was subject to major trade rumors. So, basically, Jon is being told he might be traded within the week, his wife is in labor, and he has to pitch? Can you imagine what was going through his head? My thoughts would be having to move to a new city with a baby that is less than two weeks old, and constantly wondering what is happening at the hospital. Sure, it all ended up OK in the end, but the result of the game, and the pitching of Niese confirms that something wasn’t right. The Mets shouldn’t have let Niese pitch yesterday, it would have been better for the Mets, and most importantly, for Niese.