Nice month for Niese

June, 27, 2012
CHICAGO -- Before things got out of hand on Wednesday, Jon Niese ensured the Cubs did not get on track. Niese allowed six batters to reach over the first three innings, but nonetheless limited Chicago to one run.

He ultimately logged seven innings in the Mets’ 17-1 rout.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Jon Niese capped a solid month by limiting the Cubs to one run in seven innings.

Facing runners on the corners with none out in the first, Niese coaxed a flyout from Anthony Rizzo. Niese’s pickoff throw to first then nabbed Starlin Castro in a rundown for a caught stealing for the second out. Niese escaped without a run scoring in the frame by then retiring Alfonso Soriano.

“In that situation I really wanted to just keep him close. That way, he didn’t get a good jump for a double-play ball,” Niese said about the throw to first base. “I was fortunate that I picked him off.”

The Cubs’ lone run came in the second inning, on No. 8 hitter Luis Valbuena’s two-out RBI double.

“You could tell before the game he really had that edge to him,” Terry Collins said. “I was very happy. I knew that he was going to go out and pitch well. In the second inning he was furious that he gave up a run. I thought the way he approached the game today was great.”

After posting a 6.07 ERA in May, Niese finished June with three wins and a 1.89 ERA.

“In May, I wasn’t able to execute my fastball a lot,” Niese said. “I wasn’t able to command it.”

Adam Rubin

ESPN Staff Writer
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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