Niese continues to shine; Hairston comes through.

The more he pitches, the better he gets. Even if he doesn’t know how to grow a beard, he’s showing he knows how to pitch.

NIESE: Getting better and better.

Without Johan Santana, the Mets don’t have an ace, but the closest they have is Jonathan Niese, who won his ninth game Saturday in an 11-2 rout of the Phillies.

Entering the season, it was thought Mike Pelfrey would continue to develop, but this has been a disappointing season for him. Conversely, Niese is making big strides, and beating the Phillies with seven strong innings was one of them.

Also a storyline was Scott Hairston, who homered and drove in five runs in an audition for the right field job in case the Mets deal Carlos Beltran, as they are likely to do.

Hairston was a late starter after Beltran came down with flu like symptoms. Beltran could sit again Sunday. Manager Terry Collins gave Hairston notice as soon as he got to the park, and unlike Jerry Manuel, didn’t wait until game time to make a decision. Hairston said that’s key for a role player.

“I found out I was in the lineup right away. It gave me a couple of hours to prepare,’’ Hairston said. “I’ve played in this role for the last few years. It’s a very difficult role. I rely on that experience.’’

While Beltran said he wants to play out his career with the Mets, it is expected the team will trade him as this is the final year of his contract, one that doesn’t offer arbitration which would give them compensatory draft picks.

6 thoughts on “Niese continues to shine; Hairston comes through.

  1. Yes. Niese is a nice player. He doesn’t have the raw stuff of Pelf, but seems to know how to work what he has better.

    I don’t want Hairston as the RF. He is a bench player. Better to promote someone. We have a few minor league outfielders of which our former prodigy is one.

  2. I guess you mean fmart. He was all hype anyway to show omar was stocking the system. A lot of talk now about sitting or sending bay down and letting hairston have a chance. I think its good to see them play the hot hand instead of keeping somebody in because of a big contract. Neise looks like a keeper to me.

  3. dave (1/3): Niese is a better “thinker” on the mound. Pelfrey has better stuff but doesn’t always use it. … I don’t want Hairston as RF, either. But, he’s a short term option if Beltran is dealt.-JD

  4. Ray (3): Assuming Martinez can remain upright, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give him a shot for the final two months to see what he has. At least they would learn something. We know RF next year won’t be Hairston, Duda or Evans, so me might as well go with Martinez and learn what we can. It is better to learn something negative than to not know.-JD

  5. 5. JD, I disagree. I am not ready to throw in the towel yet. No harm in waiting a couple more weeks. Fmart doesnt impress me. Duda is slow but he has a nice lefty bat with power potential and no health issues If Beltran is gone I would give him the first shot.