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Mets expected to place Jon Niese and Scott Hairston on DL with rib cage injuries

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 23: Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets walks from the mound after being pulled from the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 23, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-4. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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The Mets have dropped five in a row and 11 out of 13 to fall eight games under the .500 mark. And there’s a chance things could get even uglier in the days ahead.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets manager Terry Collins said following tonight’s loss that left-hander Jon Niese and Scott Hairston are both headed to the disabled list with rib cage injuries.

Niese was smoked for a season-high eight runs on 10 hits over four innings in a loss to the Phillies tonight. He had his start pushed back a day after tweaking his right side on a swing last week and apparently isn’t feeling any better. The 24-year-old left-hander has a 4.40 ERA this season, including a 5.67 ERA since the All-Star break. If we’re talking about an oblique injury, it’s possible he could be done for the year.

Not only will the Mets need to replace Niese in the starting rotation next week, but they’ll need a second starter to pitch in Monday’s doubleheader against the Marlins. According to Rubin, they’ll likely pick two from a group that includes Miguel Batista, Pat Misch and Chris Schwinden. Yeesh.