Niese lifts arm slot, Mets to victory

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
6:04
PM ET
ST. LOUIS -- Jonathon Niese believed he got into bad habits early in the season, with discomfort unconsciously prompting him to lower his arm angle.

He aimed to correct that with 70-plus bullpen session Monday -- about 20 pitches more than normal.

Niese felt he accomplished that mission. After allowing 15 runs in 8 1/3 innings over his previous two starts, Niese limited the St. Louis Cardinals to two runs on six hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings Thursday as the Mets won, 5-2. Niese (3-4) earned his first victory since April 12.

“I tried to keep my arm in that good arm slot and it worked out today,” Niese said about throwing from a higher arm angle. “… I’m just glad [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] and I were able to get that good work in the bullpen and figure out what was going wrong mechanically. Fortunately, I was able to fix it.”

Said Terry Collins: “He threw some 93 mph fastballs today. He hasn’t done that all year. His cutter was very good. That’s why he got the groundballs. His two-seamer was good today. So whatever they did in the bullpen worked.

“I wasn’t worried about Jon,” the manager continued. “I do believe the cold weather took a lot out of him. I really do. It caused some stiffness in him and he didn’t pitch very good. I knew he was going to get it going. If there’s no arm issues, which there wasn’t, he’s going to pitch well. I think right now, as the weather starts to get warm, you’re going to see the Jon Niese we’re all accustomed to seeing.”
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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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.298 9 54 76
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .827
WB. Colon 14
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180