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Sunday, June 27, 2010
Niese is nice, once again

By Kieran Darcy

Jonathon Niese had another strong outing on Sunday, pitching six shutout innings and giving up only four hits in picking up another win. He has now won his last four decisions.

Niese is 5-2 on the season, with a 3.84 ERA.

Niese has generally been very good this season, but his last outing wasn't his best. It was a tough situation. Niese pitched three no-hit innings, but then went 90 minutes without throwing a pitch because of a rain delay. When the rain stopped, Niese came back out to pitch, but struggled. He last only 4 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, but the Mets still won the game.

"I thought last time was kind of an awkward situation," Niese said after Sunday's game. "I just wanted to put that in the past."

"He's been a good pitcher," manager Jerry Manuel said. "At some point he's gonna go through his ups and downs during the course of the early part of his career. You're gonna see some missteps here and there. But for the most part he has pitched very well."

LOVIN' INTERLEAGUE: The Mets finished the interleague portion of their schedule with an impressive 13-5 record against American League clubs, winning five of their six series. That's a franchise-best mark.

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright tied Hanley Ramirez's record for interleague RBIs in a season, with 24 -- Ramirez set that record last season.

Wright's homer in the fifth inning was his 154th as a Met, tying him with Dave Kingman for fourth the Mets' all-time list.

Wright had three hits on the day, and is now hitting .300 on the season for the first time since April 14.

BAY MILESTONE: Jason Bay's triple in the fifth inning was the 1,000th hit of his major-league career. Bay is the 10th Canadian-born player to get 1,000 hits. Others include Larry Walker and Matt Stairs.

The bat Bay used is on its way to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

PUTTING UP ZEROES: Sunday's game was the Mets' 11th shutout of the season. They lead the major leagues in that category.

HAZING RITUAL: The Mets' rookies were required to wear USA soccer jerseys and shorts for their trip to Puerto Rico. This included Niese, Ike Davis, Chris Carter, Jesus Feliciano, Hisanori Takahashi and Ryota Igarashi -- and even Takahashi's and Igarashi's interpreters!

Also, some of the Mets' veterans used scissors to alter the soccer jerseys, cutting holes in strategic places.