After watching teammate Mike Pelfrey rebound with a solid effort against the Phillies yesterday, Jon Niese will try to do the same today.

The rookie left-hander has had three straight bad starts after four straight outstanding ones of allowing one earned run in each.

During his recent slump, the Mets have brought up the subject of limiting his innings, but decided to let him roll. They did push him back a day after his most recent outing, when he allowed five runs in six innings against the Cubs.

He started that game last Sunday, a game the Mets pummeled Chicago, 18-5 at Wrigley Field. His next turn in the rotation would’ve come yesterday, but the Mets pushed him back to today.

Niese got credit for a win in the Mets big win over the Cubs, giving him nine on the season. He’ll attempt at a career-high 10th this afternoon at Citi Field. It won’t be easy for him though, as he’ll be opposed by the Phillies’ Roy Oswalt.

Since being traded from the Astros at the deadline in late July, Oswalt has been great in Philadelphia. In eight starts, he’s gone 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA.

It’s not that he was bad in Houston, he just didn’t get any run support—so much so that he was stunned when he actually got a win in his last start.

On Monday against the Marlins, Oswalt allowed four runs in seven innings, and joked after the game about not being “used to” winning when allowing four runs. It was a shot taken at his former Astros club, but Oswalt is certainly happy to be a member of a team that can hit, and that can win.

If he’s going to succeed today against the Mets, he better take notice of what Ike Davis is doing this month.

The Mets rookie first baseman went cold in the middle of the season, but has been on fire in September. He’s 16-for-34 (.471), with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. He went 4-for-4 with three runs batted in yesterday, helping the Mets beat the Phillies, 4-3.

One guy that is not hot, and may not play is center fielder Carlos Beltran. He missed yesterday’s game with knee tendinitis and has been listed as day-to-day. He apparently hurt his knee while banging it against Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on Friday night, a game in which he also homered.

The Mets, with yesterday’s win, are 70-72 on the season. They need to go 11-9 or better in their final 20 games to at least finish at .500. Jon Niese will try to increase the Mets chances of doing that today, as the NL East rivals meet in the rubber game.

Jon Niese vs. Philadelphia this season (2 starts)

1-1, 1.29 ERA, 14 IP, 8 hits, 6 BB, 14 SO

Roy Oswalt vs. New York (career)
5-5, 3.68 ERA, 85.2 IP, 84 hits, 25 BB, 72 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Philadelphia)
April 30: New York 9, Philadelphia 1
May 1: Philadelphia 10, New York 0
May 2: Philadelphia 11, New York 5

May 25: New York 8, Philadelphia 0
May 26: New York 5, Philadelphia 0
May 27: New York 3, Philadelphia 0

August 6: Philadelphia 7, New York 5
August 7: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 8: Philadelphia 6, New York 5

August 13: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 14: Philadelphia 4, New York 0
August 15: Philadelphia 3, New York 1

Sept, 10: Philadelphia 8, New York 4
Sept. 11: New York 4, Philadelphia 3

Series tied 7-7

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