Jon Niese wants one more start

Jon Niese road polaroidJon Niese let up just two runs in seven innings against the Reds on Tuesday night. He would like to stay on turn and pitch the team’s final game of the season Sunday at Citi Field.

Terry Collins said that Daisuke Matsuzaka would start on Sunday if Niese doesn’t pitch.

Niese retired the final eight batters he faced Tuesday, getting his eighth win and lowering his ERA to 3.74 in 24 starts this season.

“Ever since he came back, he’s thrown as well as I’ve seen him since I’ve been here,” Terry Collins said. “He’s got a chance to go 9-8. I’ll talk to Jon in a couple of days and see how he feels.”

Niese was diagnosed with a partial tear of his rotator cuff in June. He went on the disabled list, rehabbed the injury, and has a 3.00 ERA in nine starts since returning to the rotation in early August.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Niese got off to a good start this year, but stumbled in cold-weather ballparks and ended up on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He was very emotional on the mound during those struggles, appearing to get mad and sulk on a regular basis. However, since coming back, he has been a different pitcher, reminiscent of his performance in the second half last year when he was going deep into games, limiting walks and effectively mixing his cutter and curveball.

He has returned to being the steady and reliable pitcher the Mets expect him to be. This is exciting for the future of this staff, but also because it’s crucial that he establish himself as an anchor for the middle of this rotation.