In a game where final stats are normally the judging point, sometimes it's helpful to take a step back and look at more than just the end point.For Niese this may be the most appropriate way to judge his current ability and hopefully future success.Since giving up 5 runs on April 13th (back to back terrible outings), Niese has had 8 starts.  In those 8 starts Niese has a 2.96 ERA, 5 quality starts and a 5-3 record.  Over his last 3 starts he has been even better with a 0.98 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings.So is this small sample size?  Yeah, but there is a pattern however.  Take a look at last year.   His 2010 was full of streaks.  Starting small sample we all remember the 4 game stretch of 1 run appearances in August.  Over that span he had a 1.38 ERA.  There were other streaks that also stand out.  Over a 10 game span from June 5-July 27 Niese produced a 2.58 ERA and to expand that to 15 games from that June 5-August 21st Niese produced a half season worth of games at a 2.70 ERA.What many forget is that Niese had an ERA of 3.76 heading into his final two starts and of course finished with 2 of his worst.  Could that be considered normal for a rookie?  This year, what do we have with Niese?  A guy that when he is on can be as good as any pitcher in the "non-ace" category.  Certainly good enough at times to be labeled an upper-rotation pitcher.  Interesting is what happens though to cause those horrible starts mixed in between?  Is it normal progression, good scouting, a flat curve-ball?  This is not a Mike Pelfrey situation, at least not in my mind.  So I do believe there is potential for Niese to figure it out and have a big 2nd half this year.