Ok, I have to admit I really was down on this pitching staff early this year. I thought that Jon Niese would never make it as a fifth starter and that we would be going through one retread pitcher after another in our quest to find that decent fifth starter who can also eat innings.
Neise was Nice! This was a solid 5 1/3 innings of 5 hit, 1 run pitching that will lock down the fifth starter position. I will accept a game pitched like this from our #5 starter any day of the week.
The 116 piches and 5 walks allowed prevented him from staying in the game longer and getting the win. If Niese can improve on his “Nice” he could turn in a decent year.
With Johan Santana holding his own, Mike Pelfrey turning into Superman and even Oliver Perez showing signs of life, having four of our five pitchers in good form is a pleasant surprise. Good enough to win the division? No. Good enough to stay in the race until the trading deadline in July? Definitely!
This is how you put together winning streaks. Good pitching. Atlanta is still a team to be reckoned with. They have stumbled recently but that is only because they have come up against good teams. They just played the Philles and now the Mets.
Did you notice I just put the Mets up there with the Phillies?
Next stop for Atlanta is St. Louis. Good luck there guys! Atlanta might be in last for a few more weeks.
As for the Mets, this week they start off with the Dodgers in town for three games and then it’s off to Phillyland next weekend where Niese will have his next opportunity and hopefully brings his “Nice” game to the next level.