Jon Niese Is Key to This Phillies Series

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

A week-and-a-half ago, nobody thought that the Mets would be the team in first place when they went up against the Phillies this weekend, but it’s true. The Mets have been winning at a better pace than the Phillies lately despite the fact that it is the Phils who are generally regarded to have the better lineup and rotation.

So what chance do the Mets have of coming out of this series maintaining possession of first place?

Well that depends on how Jon Niese pitches tonight. I say that because the Mets are going up against Roy Halladay tomorrow for the first time since the ace pitcher has been wearing a red uniform. They’ll have the good fortune of sending Mike Pelfrey , who has been their best pitcher so far this season, up against him; however a win against Halladay can never be assumed.

Likewise, the Phillies are going to have a tough time of it on Sunday thanks to Johan Santana , who has been downright filthy aside from one bad start against Washington. Making things better for the Mets, they will be going against the struggling, 47-year-old Jamie Moyer.

So realistically the Mets might be expected to lose Saturday, but win Sunday. That makes tonight’s game the one that could swing this series.

So it is up to Jon Niese. He has been effectively lately, but has not been able to go deep into games and has, probably more than any other Mets starter, been helped by making three starts at home. His 1.86 WHIP could be a sign of impending doom.

So the Mets can come out of this series still in first place with a big night from Jon Niese tonight. Can he show he can be successful on the road? And in Philadelphia no less? We’ll see tonight.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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