But he’d be forgiven for not having his head entirely in the game.
Niese’s wife, Leah, went in to labor earlier on Friday in Toledo, Ohio. Just an hour before the game started at 7 p.m. ET, the Mets starter told ESPN.com reporter Adam Rubin he was still planning to pitch. “Not baby time,” Niese said.
By 10 p.m. ET, though, Leah had already delivered the baby and Niese was on a plane bound for his wife and newborn son, Tatum Jeffery.
Even though he wasn’t there in person, Niese didn’t entirely miss the moment. He watched Tatum’s birth via FaceTime.
Niese is the second Mets pitcher who has had a child born on a night he was pitching in a game. Reliever Jeurys Familia’s fiancee gave birth to Jeurys Jr., while Familia was closing out a game against Atlanta in April.
Niese will be on paternity leave until Sunday, according to Rubin.