Lost in the offensive onslaught Wednesday afternoon that saw the Mets score a stunning 17 runs was that Jonathon Niese threw a really good game, continuing a stretch of fine pitching.
Niese allowed just one run in seven innings, striking out six Cubs. He is now 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA.
Niese has straightened things out since a horrid start on May 18 in Toronto in which he gave up eight runs in three innings. He has been solid in five of his seven starts since then. In June, he’s 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA.
“In May, I wasn’t able to execute my fastball a lot,” Niese said. “My last few starts, I have been able to. That helps the secondary pitches.”
Niese is beginning to justify the faith the Mets showed in him when they gave him a five-year, $25 million contract before the season.
The starting pitching, which was perceived as the team’s biggest weakness before the season began, has become its biggest strength. Of course R.A. Dickey’s performance and Johan Santana’s comeback have garnered most of the headlines, but Niese has played a major, albeit lower profile role as well.