Matt Harvey isn’t the only New York Mets pitcher not receiving any support from his hitters. The true measure of how well Jeremy Hefner has pitched this year isn’t found in his 2-6 record, but 3.72 ERA. Hefner has arguably been the Mets’ second most effective starter behind Harvey, which should mute any trade discussions.
Hefner, tonight’s starter against Arizona, was 1-1 in June with three no-decisions despite a 1.80 ERA. The Mets gave him all of nine runs for the month, including just one in his previous start, last Thursday in Denver.
Conversely, Hefner has given up 14 runs in his last four starts, with nine of them unearned, so he’s getting it on both ends. Hefner took a no-decision in the Colorado start, but didn’t go away discouraged.
“I knew that I could pitch this way,’’ Hefner said that day in Denver. “My performance is finally matching up to the expectation. This doesn’t surprise me. I know I’m capable of doing this. So it’s not a shock to me.’’
Hefner is one of the most quietly, unassuming players on the Mets, if not in all of baseball. He’s quick to assume responsibility and point the finger at himself rather than rip his teammates.
It was thought Hefner would be bounced from the rotation in the wake of Zack Wheeler’s promotion, but the Mets would be thrilled if the rookie matched Hefner’s performance.
It has also been speculated the Mets might attempt to deal Hefner at the trade deadline, but with Jon Niese injured, and he pitching better than Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee having some health issues, the Mets could regret losing him.
Here’s tonight’s lineup behind Hefner:
Juan Lagares, CF: Glad to see his speed was moved to the top of the order.
Marlon Byrd, RF: Nobody could have guessed 12 homers and 40 at the end of the season, let alone in the first week of July.
Andrew Brown, LF: Drove in tying and winning runs last night in the 13th inning.
Jeremy Hefner, RHP: Has ten quality starts, second behind Matt Harvey’s 14.
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