PITTSBURGH -- After spending the first eight years of his Major League career in New York, the Mets swapped Jonathon Niese for respected then-Pirates second baseman Neil Walker.
On Tuesday, Niese faced his old team for the first time -- a tough enough outing even without the guy he was traded for getting a standing ovation at PNC Park during his first at-bat. Niese made the most of the experience, though, allowing four hits in seven innings on the way to a 3-1 Pirates win.
The win might have meant a "little bit extra" to him, coming against his old teammates. But the transition hasn't been difficult.
"That was the only organization I knew," Niese said. "All those guys are great, I got along with all of them. I definitely miss them, but I'm enjoying my time here. It was a lot of fun."
Pitching against the Mets clearly didn't shake Niese, who walked two batters and recorded 14 ground-ball outs.
"I've seen guys go against their old teams and do really well, I've seen guys over-try," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He obviously didn't over-try, he was in a good place out on the mound today. He competed very well."
Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.