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Niese needs to pitch well tonight

New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese looks

New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese looks into his dugout after Philadelphia Phillies' Placido Polanco hit a one run double in the third inning of a baseball game. (April 7, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

If ever a team needed a quality start from its pitcher, it would be the Mets on Tuesday.

With their bullpen already gasping for a breather and the team having lost five of its last six, they’ll hand the ball to Jon Niese for tonight’s game against the Rockies (7:10 p.m. start).

Is there added pressure on Niese to eat up innings, give the bullpen a bit of a rest, and stop the team from skidding?

“I’m not hitting the panic button,” he told Newsday on Monday night after the 7-6 loss to the Rockies. “I’m not going to put that pressure on myself. It’s just going to be a regular start and I want to go as deep as I can.”

In his last outing Niese lasted just four innings, allowing six runs and eight hits in an 11-0 loss to the Phillies.

“I had a rough one last time,” he said, “but that’s in the past now, that’s forgotten about, and I have to worry about getting the Rockies out.”

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