Mets left-handed pitcher Jonathon Niese has probably had better days pitching on the Mets, but for him, baseball wasn’t the most important aspect of his life Friday.
It was Friday night, where the wife of Niese, Leah, gave birth to Tatum Jeffery in Toledo, Ohio, being the second child of the couple.
You might be thinking of how he was even able to attend this game knowing that his wife was in the hospital on the verge of giving birth. Being aware of the situation, Niese still proceeded in his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday at Citi Field. However, he obviously didn’t play the whole game. After pitching three questionable innings, he made his way to the airport en route to his native Ohio to get to his beloved wife.
Jonathon’s manager Terry Collins had told Niese in the second inning that the baby was coming any minute, and he should get going. Niese decided to pitch one more inning, then being pulled out of the game due to his performance. According to the team spokesman of the Mets, he was watching the birth on FaceTime before he was about to take off from New York to Ohio.
His mind was not on baseball at all that game. It was the first time he had given up six runs in the first three innings of his game. Zach Efron’s hit single “Get your head in the game” would have maybe helped Niese.
“I’m just happy that he’s able to get back there to her now,” Plawecki stated . “He did a great job given the circumstances today.”
Niese’s agent Collins added: “We discussed the whole thing about his options, and he wanted to pitch. So he did.”
After the loss, Mets had officially placed Niese on a paternity leave. His replacement was the right-handed pitcher Logan Verrett, who was supposed to start on Friday, before knowing that Niese actually started. Verrett, who currently has a 0.73 ERA (Earned Run Average) in the major leagues, officially joined the team Saturday.
However, Niese wasn’t the only one in baseball giving birth to a young one. He was supposed to face off with Dodger’s ace Zack Greinke on Friday, but Greinke was also on paternity leave en route to his first child Bode Nicholas. On Sunday, the two will meet again and Greinke attempts to continue his streak of 43 2/3-innings scoreless. Its going to be a game of two rising stars and now fathers.
Niese also was not the first Mets pitches to have family and child conflict while being scheduled to pitch. Mets closer Jeurys Familia also had to escape Citi Field to attend to his wife on June 12 in New Jersey.
Don’t you love technology. As much as people state the negative effects of the source, a father was able to see his wife giving birth through a camera on his way to the hospital. Some may question why he wasn’t already, but I am sure being a professional baseball player doesn’t allow you to make any decision you want.
He handled the situation in the best way possible, and congrats to Mr. Niese. Hope the best for him. Does having a child affect your game on the court? What do you guys think?
Founder of Spark Sports