From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Jon Niese is on His Own on This One.
After getting swept by the Braves, and in seeming free-fall after four consecutive losses, the Mets could really use a win in Game One against Washington tonight. More importantly, the Mets need a stopper; someone to break this funk; before they spiral out of control, and fall from contention.
Once again, it is incumbent upon Jon Niese to be that pitcher. I also believe there is no contention without consistently strong efforts by the lefty down the stretch. There is no R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana for this series. So, Jon Niese needs to start rising up on these occasions. Our pitching prospects for the rest of the series against the Nationals are sketchy, and iffy at best. That's why he has to give the Mets something to move forward with in tonight's start.
The Mets are 3-7 in their last ten games. That covers the month of July. Not only is this by far their worst month of the season, but they just got swept, and they are win-less in the second half. So it is clear, the Mets need a change of fortune. They are also trying to fight off the stigma of a recent history of mid-summer tailspins. The Mets have been this good, this late before, only to stumble miserably for a myriad of reasons down the stretch. Tonight might be a lot to put on Jon Niese's left arm. But the good pitchers win these games.
If not, and the team continues to falter, Met fans may not get what they want at the trade deadline. Then again, they may not get what they want even if Niese does win this game. Jon Niese and the Mets can only do one thing to affect that, and influence the General Manager - Win.