By: Michael Ganci

Can Tonight be Sweet Redemption for Jon Niese?


Jon Niese seems to be the forgotten man of this pitching staff, and rightfully so. As of late, he’s been beyond terrible.

Tonight, with the Mets looking to get back on the right track, Niese can make a major statement. With the Braves looking like a minor league team, Niese needs to step up. The offense could do him a favor and provide him some run support as well. Here’s a look at how Niese has faired lately.
LAST START: Received the no-decision in the Mets’ 10-7, extra-inning victory over the Braves on Sept. 13 at Turner Field. He tossed 6.0 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He struck out three and walked one.

REBOUND: Prior to his last outing, Niese had allowed at least five runs in each of his previous four starts. He was the seventh starter in franchise history to allow at least five earned runs in four consecutive starts and the first since Johan Santana in 2012. He also snapped a streak of four straight outings without a quality start. Prior to that stretch Niese had tossed 12 quality starts in 13 outings from June 5 to Aug. 15. Niese also ended his career-high stretch of six straight starts in which he allowed a home run.

RECENT RESULTS: Over his last five starts, he is 1-1 with an 8.77 ERA (25 earned runs/25.2 innings). Opponents are hitting .362 (38-105) against Niese in those games, the fourth-highest mark in the majors during that span among qualified starting pitchers. The Mets are 4-1 in those games. New York is 6-2 in the last eight games started by Niese dating to Aug. 4. Niese has allowed 28 earned runs allowed over his last six starts, the most of any six-start stretch in his career.

VS. BRAVES: He is 1-0 with a 2.04 ERA (four earned runs/17.2 innings) in three starts vs. the Braves this season. In his last seven starts against Atlanta, Niese is 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA (11 earned runs/45.1 innings). Has allowed three runs or fewer in all of those starts, including just one earned run in four of the seven outings. Since 2012, all seven of Niese’s outings against the Braves at Citi Field have been quality starts. He allowed only one run in five of the seven games and five or fewer hits in five of the seven games as well. Niese is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA (11 earned runs/47.0 innings) and a .206 opponent batting average in his home starts against Atlanta over that stretch. Niese has made 21 career starts vs. the Braves, the second-most in the majors since 2008. Cole Hamels has 29 starts vs. Atlanta in that time. Niese has not allowed multiple home runs in any of his 21 career starts against the Braves, the second-longest such streak vs. Atlanta since 1986. Al Leiter allowed no more than one home run in 30 straight starts against Atlanta from June 28, 1996 to May 3, 2005.

AT HOME`: Niese is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA (18 earned runs/27.0 innings) in his five home starts since the All-Star Break. He has allowed six home runs and not thrown more than 95 pitches in those outings. The Mets are 1-4 in those games…Niese has delievered a quality start in six of his eight home outings since the start of June. Overall, he is 4-5 with a 4.58 ERA (39 earned runs/76.2 innings) in his 13 home games this season. Over his last seven road starts, Niese is 3-0 with a 4.15 ERA (20 earned runs/43.1 innings). The Mets are 7-0 in those games.

BIG INNINGS: Niese allowed a five-run inning in three straight starts from Aug. 27 tp Sept. 7. That was tied for the most of its kind for any major league pitcher since Niese himself had a three-game streak from Sept. 17-29, 2010. Niese has been charged with five or more runs in an inning 15 times during his major-league career. The only pitchers who have allowed more innings of five or more runs since 2008 (Niese’s first year in the majors) are A.J. Burnett (17) and Rick Porcello (16). Research courtesy of Elias.

HIGH QUALITY: Tossed 12 quality starts in 13 games from June 5 to Aug. 15, going 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA (27 earned runs/84.1 innings) over his run. Prior to this stretch, Niese went 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA (20 earned runs/20.0 innings) in his final four starts of May after he went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA (eight earned runs/37.0 innings) in his first six starts of the year. Niese has tossed 75 quality starts since 2012 (112 total starts), tied for the seventh- most in the National League.

VS. LEFTIES: This season, lefties are batting .285 (39-137) off Niese. Lefties have never hit better off Niese than they did in 2010 when they batted .266 (33-124) against him (100 AB minimum).

GROUND BALL/FLY BALL: Opponents have a flyball percentage of 25.4% against Niese, the eighth-lowest mark in the majors. Lefthanded batters have a flyball percentage of 17.5% against him this season, the fourth-lowest mark among qualified major league starters, and a groundball percentage of 60.5% against him this season, the eighth-highest mark in the majors. Niese has a groundball percentage of 53.6%, which is good for the 10th-highest mark in the majors.

UNEARNED RUNS: Had gone a career-high 14 straight starts without allowing an unearned run prior to his last start. Niese has allowed 12 total unearned runs this season. Has surrendered multiple unearned runs in nine outings since the start of the 2014 season, tied for the most in the majors with Andrew Cashner.

STARTS & INNINGS: Niese has made 176 starts with the Mets, the 10th-most in franchise history. Craig Swan ranks ninth in franchise history with 184 starts. Is currently ranked 11th in innings pitched in franchise history (1058.2). David Cone is 10th in club history with 1209.1 innings. His 1058.2 innings are the fifth-most by a lefthanded pitcher in Mets history. Al Leiter, Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez and Jerry Koosman have tossed more innings. Has made at least 24 starts each season since joining the Mets rotation in 2010. He has made 168 starts since 2010. No other Met has made more than 110 starts in that time.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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