By: Stache Staff

Jon Niese: The Neglected Lefty

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It must be rough being the neglected man in a starting rotation, especially when you’re literally the unluckiest pitcher in the MLB right now.

Being the neglected lefty in the rotation means you have to step up your game a little an pitch at a higher level then expected. Niese has received a lot of criticism from some fans and I felt like I needed to come to his defense, because the defense behind him hasn’t provided any support for him.

John Niese has gone through eight consecutive starts without a win. He pitched great in his last start against the Brew Crew. He went 6 IP, 8H, 2ER, 3BB, 3 SO. It’s a shame he got the no-decision, but that’s Baseball. Even though his defense gave up no errors behind him, the Mets lack of scoring did him in. If it’s not the errors thats plaguing the Mets and Niese — it’s the lack of hitting. However, his performance was promising.

In his first 14 starts, Niese was 3-7 with a 4.12 ERA. I don’t have a problem with his record at all. I have a problem with the lack of run support the Mets put out. I never took win/loss records seriously for pitchers anyway. It really doesn’t say much about a pitcher. Think about it. Would you rather have a pitcher who’s 15-1 with a 4.30 ERA or a pitcher who’s 3-12 with a 2.80 ERA? Run support and defense rules the day for pitchers. And, Niese, for the most part, gets neither. And for those who are going to point out his high ERA, don’t worry…I didn’t forget about that. Yes, its high, but put him in Toronto or on the LA Angels and he’d be 7-2 despite his 4.12 ERA. I haven’t even got to the unearned runs and errors yet. That’s what grinds my gears the most.

In games Niese starts, the Mets defense collected 14 errors, all the while Niese gave up 11 unearned runs. This is the second most in the League going back to his last start and is not surprising with the broken infield the Mets have. They’ve turned an average pitcher into one of the most unluckiest pitcher to date. By comparison, the A’s have committed 18 errors for pitcher Jesse Hahn in games that he starts. That may still be the most errors a team has surrendered for a pitcher. If I’m wrong about my last statement, I’d like the Daily Stache community to let me know in the comment section below. Then again, the A’s lead the league in errors with 71.

For some reason or another, people want to see the veteran left hander gone or just trash him flat out. Niese does throw a lot of pitches over the plate and he does get burned as a result. In 83 IP hes given up 99 hits. That’s what happens when you throw over the plate as much as he does. However, he also generates a lot of ground balls that the Mets infield turns into errors, which in turn creates unearned runs.

No one can can really blame him or even be frustrated with Niese for his team not defending him. The only person who should be frustrated is Niese himself. Could it be any more obvious that the Mets need upgrades in their infield or in their lineup?

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1 Comment

  1. James

    July 1, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I’m a huge niese supporter and rather keep him and trade a Thor or matz for a big bat. Year after year he provides 20+ quality starts (6 IP 3 ER) or better. That’s more then 2/3 of his starts he’s giving the team a chance to win.
    And I’m surprised you fail to mention what hurts him the most. The plays that don’t get made that because they aren’t quick enough to get to the ball or couldn’t turn the routine double play and only getting one out. Those don’t show up as errors and unearned runs in the box score. I don’t blame him from unraveling after these miscues because being he knows he isn’t striking out the next guy like the rest of the staff can.

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