Thursday, June 30, 2011
Updated: July 1, 9:04 AM ET
Mets' Jonathon Niese to pitch Friday
By Adam Rubin
DETROIT -- New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese will start Friday's Subway Series opener on schedule, even though doctors haven't found a cause for the rapid heartbeat he has experienced on the mound once or twice a month.
Niese was pulled in the sixth inning Saturday at Texas as a precaution when the recurring issue surfaced. Niese 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.
"I knew it was all just precautionary," Niese said. "I'm just glad it's over with and I can move forward through the season."
Still, Niese said, no cause has been identified.
"I don't know what it is," he said. "Just a racing heart, I guess. I don't know."
Niese said his heart races on occasion while pitching, and not when he has any other type of physical exertion.
"Ever since I can remember, but it's only when I pitch," Niese said. "It's not like I'm sitting watching TV and all of a sudden the heart races. Solely on pitching. Just after a pitch, if I hold my breath or something, or if I give extra effort, it just starts racing, and then it stops within seconds. ... It's one of those things where it only happens once or twice a month. So they really can't speculate what it is unless they can record something when it happens, which is kind of hard to do."
Niese said he has no plans to wear a monitor while pitching.
As for whether it could happen again Friday in his first career start against the Yankees, Niese added: "It might happen, but I know it won't affect me."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.