Mets' Jonathon Niese to pitch Friday

Updated: July 1, 2011, 9:04 AM ET
By Adam Rubin |

DETROIT -- New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese will start Friday's Subway Series opener on schedule, even though doctors haven't found a cause for the rapid heartbeat he has experienced on the mound once or twice a month.

Niese was pulled in the sixth inning Saturday at Texas as a precaution when the recurring issue surfaced. Niese underwent a battery of heart-related tests Tuesday at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours that detected nothing alarming, according to Niese.

"I knew it was all just precautionary," Niese said. "I'm just glad it's over with and I can move forward through the season."

Still, Niese said, no cause has been identified.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "Just a racing heart, I guess. I don't know."

Niese said his heart races on occasion while pitching, and not when he has any other type of physical exertion.

"Ever since I can remember, but it's only when I pitch," Niese said. "It's not like I'm sitting watching TV and all of a sudden the heart races. Solely on pitching. Just after a pitch, if I hold my breath or something, or if I give extra effort, it just starts racing, and then it stops within seconds. ... It's one of those things where it only happens once or twice a month. So they really can't speculate what it is unless they can record something when it happens, which is kind of hard to do."

Niese said he has no plans to wear a monitor while pitching.

As for whether it could happen again Friday in his first career start against the Yankees, Niese added: "It might happen, but I know it won't affect me."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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