The New York Mets have lost four straight games with starting pitcher Jonathon Niese on the mound, including Sunday’s 9-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The series finale against the Braves was by far Niese’s worst performance of the season.
The 26-year-old gave up seven earned runs on seven hits in four innings. He managed to strike out three batters, but he also walked six in the dismal effort. Niese has managed to keep it together for the most part this season, but for whatever reason the flood gates opened up on Sunday.
It should not come as a surprise that his worst start of the year occurred against Atlanta. The Braves have hit the most home runs (40) in Major League Baseball so far this season. They have also knocked in 116 RBI and have a .241 team batting average.
Niese has done well against the Braves in the five years he has pitched in the big leagues. He has posted a 6-4 record with a 3.67 earned run average in 13 career starts. However, Atlanta appears to be on their game in 2013 as they could very well take the division at the end of the season.
The left-hander has posted several good outings in 2013. Unfortunately, he has now surrendered 42 hits on the season, and has allowed at least three runs in four of his seven outings. The good news is there does not appear to be anything significantly wrong with him as every starter has at least one bad outing per season.
Niese is 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings this season.