Well, the Mets may not have to worry about a six-man rotation for the time being. Tonight, for the second time this season, Jon Niese was pulled from a start due to injury. Last time, it wasn't that serious, but this time around it looks like a shoulder issue. Shoulder issues tend to be pretty serious for pitchers.
In his 3.1 innings tonight, Niese had a pretty good curveball going, and that helped him strike out five Braves hitters while walking none. However, everything Atlanta put into play seemed to land for a base hit, and Niese ended up surrendering three runs despite the nice strikeout rate.
In the fourth inning, Niese had just struck out Mike Minor and was working on Tyler Pastornicky when he appeared to tweak something in his shoulder while throwing a pitch. He called for the trainer and was pulled from the game.
Overall, Niese has been disappointing this season. His strikeout rate is way down and his walk rate is way up compared to last season, but he's helped make up for it by getting a lot more ground balls and giving up fewer home runs. Lately, Niese has been on a mild roll, with three or fewer runs allowed in each of his last five starts. He's still not the pitcher that many Mets fans imagined him being this season, though.
Hopefully this injury is not too serious and Niese gets back to turning his season around as soon as possible.