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Mets pitcher Jon Niese kick-saved a comebacker directly to David Wright

Pitching is subtle. The most minor change in grip, arm slot, leg kick, or even breathing patterns can turn a lights-out ace into a replacement-level mop-up specialist.

Mets pitcher Jon Niese is unique in that he can combine the inherent subtlety of his profession with the split-second reaction time of a hockey goalie and the deft first touch of an elite soccer player.

Case in point: this comebacker off the bat of Phillies pitcher David Buchanan during Monday's matchup in Queens, in which Niese expertly deflected the ball with his leg toward the sure hands of David Wright:


Wright, of course, made the barehanded play (and a great throw) to record the out, and Niese was promptly offered contracts from both Real Madrid and the New York Islanders.