By Mike Steffanos
Marlins 3 - Mets 1
Jon Niese looked pretty good in his first start, but the Mets left their bats at home last night.
I was impressed how much mileage Niese got out of his fastball and cutter last night. If he takes what he did last night and mixes in a few more of those big curves he has a real chance to be a really solid major league starting pitcher.
He looks clearly more poised than he did in his previous major league starts, and I have a feeling he will stick this time.
As for the offense, I guess we can only hope that Jose Reyes' return will spark it up a little. If nothing else, it will rescue Jerry Manuel from himself, batting Cora leadoff.
Just a few more scattered thoughts:
It's not that Gary Matthews Jr. is doing a bad job, but to my mind Angel Pagan needs to get the majority of ABs in center until Beltran returns. He's just a better hitter, and the Mets need offense. Particularly since I see no appreciable gap in defensive skills.
I wonder how much time the Jacobs/Tatis platoon gets at 1B before the team feels the need to bring up Ike Davis or give Chris Carter a shot.
Good performance from the bullpen last night. If they can hold their own this team can contend. I like what I saw from Niese, and think Pelfrey and Perez will be okay. We'll see if Maine recovers his velocity before I have any worthwhile opinion on him.