Jonathon Niese’s wretched season takes a hiatus
by Andrew Kulyk (@akulykUSRT) - posted 6:58 pm, June 13, 2009
A win at last. And it only took two months.
On Opening Day this year, Niese was on the mound at Coca Cola Field and wound up taking the loss as the starter.
The losses continued to pile up. Niese was promoted to the Mets, and racked up two more losses in the Bigs. The single lousy inning has become the standard for each of his outings.
So wasn’t it refreshing to see Niese finally, finally, put together a quality outing. Last night at Coca Cola Field, a Fridaynightbash crowd of 12,422 got to see the Buffalo Bisons win 1-0 over the Durham Bulls, the only run coming on back to back doubles by Rene Rivera and Mike Lamb.
But it was Niese who stole the show. Niese was especially scrubbed and fragrant after his long, long hot shower, and just before 11PM made his appearance to speak to the media about his first win. “I stuck to my game plan the whole game and kept hitters off balance. It felt good,” said Niese.
Niese was pitching a no-hitter for the first 5 2/3 innings, aided in part by a spectacular defensive play by Mike Lamb. a clean double in the sixth inning finally broke up the no hit bid.
But Niese’s win was in jeopardy after he was pulled in the 7th. Clinging to just a one run lead, and two runners on base, Willy Mo Pena made a huge leap at first to snare the ball and end the threat. Niese said he never saw the play, having a bad viewing angle from his spot in the dugout. “I just heard everybody cheer so I figured he made a great catch,” said Niese.
In the 9th inning, reliever Elmer Dessens struck out the side, catching two of the Bulls looking, and the Bisons had themselves only their second shutout win of the season.
Manager Ken Oberkfell heaped praise on his beleaguered starting pitcher. “He (Niese) hasn’t pitched that bad this season” said Oberkfell. “This one wasn’t easy.”
The Bisons wrap up their series with the Durham Bulls this Sunday at 1PM at Coca Cola Field.