Last night, Jon Niese allowed five first inning runs and suffered his first loss since returning from the disabled list last month.
Niese’s first inning struggles were partly due to a poor call at first base after Jason Kipnis bunted to reach base – Kipnis was ruled safe when first base umpire Paul Emmel believed Lucas Duda’s foot came off the base.
“I thought Duda stayed on the base, but that wasn’t the call,” Niese said of the play. “I’ve just got to figure out the way to get through it after that.”
Niese allowed only one run in the final five innings – a second inning solo home run to Nick Swisher who decided to admire his shot and took his time to round the bases.
“You know Nick Swisher,” Terry Collins said after the loss.
Despite the loss, Niese is pleased with how good his arm feels after suffering a torn rotator cuff earlier this season.
“The shoulder feels great, the body feels great,” Niese said. “It’s just one of those things. I am taking it easy between starts. I’ve shut down my bullpens, just keeping the shoulder fresh.”
Niese is now 6-7 with a 3.86 ERA in 20 starts this season. Since returning from the disabled list on August 11, Niese is 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA in six starts, having pitched into the six inning in each of those starts while walking ten and striking out 37 in 39 2/3 innings.