Getty Images/Al Bello
Jonathon Niese made nice improvements in 2012.
Jonathon Niese completed his finest major-league season by allowing one run in seven innings in Friday’s win.
Niese closed with a 2.57 ERA over 66 2/3 innings in his last 10 starts, with his biggest improvement being his drop in home runs allowed.
Niese allowed only five home runs in those 66 2/3 innings after allowing 17 in his first 123 2/3 innings.
Niese finished the season with a dozen starts in which he allowed one run or fewer in six innings or more. Entering Sunday, that rated tied for fifth-best in the NL, and was two more than the pitcher he beat on Friday, Tim Hudson.
Niese struck out and walked hitters at roughly the same rate that he did last season and actually allowed more home runs than he did in 2011.
The big improvement was that his opponents’ batting average on balls in play dropped from .333 to .272.
Opponents vs Jonathon Niese
“Soft/Medium” Fly Balls/Popups
You may remember that we wrote about how Niese fared poorly last season on fly balls and popups that our hit-classification system categorized as “soft or medium hit.”
The chart on the right shows the difference for Niese from last season to this season. Though the Mets defense left a lot to be desired this season, it aided Niese significantly better in this area than it did in 2011.,
One last note on Niese: He finished with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 3-to-1 for the second time in his career. He’s the ninth pitcher in Mets history with multiple seasons of at least 100 innings and a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Another mark for Wright
Wright recorded his 175th hit of the season on Saturday, the fifth time in his career that he’s reached that total. He’s tied for the most such seasons in Mets history with Jose Reyes, who had five from 2005 to 2011.
40 for Murphy
Daniel Murphy hit his 40th double of the season. He’s the third Met whose primary position was second base to hit 40 doubles in a season, joining Gregg Jefferies (1990) and Edgardo Alfonzo (1999 and 2000).
The final tally on Chipper
Jones went 0-for-4 in consecutive games to start the series.
Career vs Mets
It marked the second time in Jones’ career that he had back to back 0-for-4 or worse games in the same regular-season series against the Mets. The other instance was in 2005.
Jones went 1-for-10 in the series. He went homerless in the series and finished without a home run in his final 10 games against the Mets, leaving him with 49. That's tied with Mike Schmidt for second-most. Willie Stargell is the all-time leader with 60.
It marked the first time since the end of 2004/start of 2005 that the Mets held Jones homerless for a stretch of at least 10 games.