New York Mets
Terry Collins previously had been undecided about whether Niese would start on turn, or whether Daisuke Matsuzaka would pitch on short rest and Niese would call it a season.
Collins did not affirm the decision about Niese pregame Thursday, but the southpaw sounded like he already knew he would get the assignment.
"I want him to play catch today, too, because I want to see how he feels," Collins said. "We've got to be smart about this. If he starts that game, I know he wants to win it. But I think we've got to be smart enough to say, 'Listen, there's going to be a limit on what you're going to do.' ...
"Even though he's felt fine and he looks healthy, is it smarter to top it now and say, 'OK, we know we've got our rotation that's healthy? ... Or, with Jon having the injury he had this summer [rotator cuff strain], are we taking any chance at all of perhaps aggravating this thing?'"