Saturday, July 2, 2011
Niese stumbles early in Subway debut
By Ian Begley
Terry Collins went out to the mound to deliver a blunt message to Jon Niese three hitters into Friday night's game. Essentially: Stop throwing so many stinkin' fastballs.
"I basically said, 'Pitch. Use your stuff,' " Collins recalled after the Mets lost to the Yankees, 5-1, on Friday.
Niese listened, but it was too late.
Mark Teixeira had already doubled home two runs. A third would score on a double by Robinson Cano. At the end of the first, it was Yankees 3, Mets 0.
"I thought I made good pitches, they just put some good swings on it," Niese said. "I just threw too many fastballs right away. And before I could change it up, the damage was done. But all in all, I felt good."
Niese, whose big-breaking curveball was sharp, allowed a season-high nine hits but no additional runs in six innings in his Subway Series debut. Five of those nine were spread out between the second and sixth innings.
"I felt like I had good stuff despite the three runs," he said.
Niese has one of the best curveballs in the NL, but he decided to pump fastball after fastball at the Yanks in the first inning on Friday. The Bombers weren't fooled.
Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson opened the game with back-to-back singles. Teixeira drove both in with a double to right. That’s when Collins came out for a visit.
The manager wouldn't elaborate on what the specifics of his conversation with Niese beyond imploring him to deviate from the fastballs.
"You can't print half of it anyway," Collins said with a chuckle.
Niese bounced back to retire 11 of the next 15 hitters he faced before giving up three hits in the sixth.
After the game, Niese said he didn't experience any symptoms associated with the rapid heartbeat condition that arose in his last start.
"No, I felt fine," Niese said.
The left-hander was pulled in the sixth inning Saturday at Texas as a precaution when the recurring issue surfaced. He underwent a battery of heart-related tests Tuesday at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours that detected nothing alarming, according to Niese.
Doctors haven't found a cause for the condition. But Niese doesn't seem worried by it.
"That was nothing," he said.