Mets @ Dodgers Aug. 21, 2014: Jon Niese Arrives In Los Angeles

We got an email to the mailbag a few days ago about whether the four of us ever disagree on anything, and Chad’s response was appropriate, saying that on minor stuff, sure, but for the most part we’re aligned on our baseball outlook, because this site would be very odd if we didn’t.

Mets
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
RF
Granderson
2B
Gordon
2B
Murphy
CF
Puig
3B
Wright
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Duda
RF
Kemp
C
d’Arnaud
LF
Van Slyke
LF
den Dekker
3B
Turner
CF
Lagares
C
Ellis
SS
Flores
SS
Arruebarrena
P
Niese (R)
P
Haren (R)

Here’s one, though, and it involves tonight’s starter for the Mets, Jon Niese. Dustin really wants him, reasonably saying that he would be an improvement on what’s here and that his contract isn’t that big a deal. Valid points, but I have to say I’m happy he’s on the other side. While it’s true that Niese made it through waivers, I see that as more of a warning sign than a bonus, because why would every team pass him up?

For my part, it’s because I think his shoulder isn’t healthy. Niese missed two months last year due to a “partial tear” of his rotator cuff, and two weeks last month with inflammation. His velocity has been down considerably this year — after years at 91-92, he’s down to 88-89 this year — and he’s been trying to mix in more pitches to make up for it. Though his ERA is down, so are his strikeouts. Better than Kevin Correia or Roberto Hernandez? Yeah, probably. But for how long? The whole thing just terrifies me.

All of which, of course, means that he’ll throw seven two-hit innings tonight, outpitch Dan Haren badly, and be in Los Angeles next week with Joc Pederson and Scott Schebler in New York. Obviously.

* * *

As for the lineup, nothing all that noteworthy. Scott Van Slyke starts against the lefty — in some corners of the internet, I’ve seen calls for Carl Crawford to play against lefties because he’s been “hot” lately, which is just insane to me, and Erisbel Arruebarrena gets back in at shortstop. A.J. Ellis starts behind the dish; I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to tell people “forget batting average, look at on-base percentage” and “no, he hasn’t been good, but neither are Drew Butera or Tim Federowicz, so what are we expecting the Dodgers to do?” lately.

Not helping: San Francisco is up 6-2 on Washington right now in the eighth. I suppose we had to expect the Nationals’ 10-game winning streak to end at some point. Sigh.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello

Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.