Jeremy Hefner: Streak stopper.
Some clairvoyant on television said this morning, “the Mets have lost five straight for the first time this season.’’ He’s probably right, but that’s an awful assumption.
All streaks must end somewhere, and while Matt Harvey didn’t stop the slide last night, the Mets will ask Hefner to do it tonight.
Hefner, who hasn’t been consistently good this season, is coming off a solid start in which he gave up a run in seven innings, April 25, against the Dodgers.
The Mets, losers of five straight and nine of their last 12 games, will need Hefner to contain two horrible statistics: he’s walked at least three in each of his last three starts, and he’s given up seven homers in 21 innings
A big Ouch! on that last number.
“It bugged me a little more than I let on,’’ Hefner said of the homers allowed after the Dodger start. “If I’m successful, I’m getting groundballs. … So that’s something I’ve still got to work on.’’
A case can be made Hefner saved his job last week against the Dodgers, but then again, just whom do the Mets have to replace him? They won’t bring up Zack Wheeler before he’s ready, and he’s not close.
Hefner was thrust into the rotation when Johan Santana went down, but he’s become a mainstay. Hefner matter-of-factly says his objective with each game is to give the Mets a quality start, which is three runs given up in six innings, something he’s done twice in four starts.
The offense has to shoulder some of the blame for the Mets being 0-4 in Hefner’s starts as it has given him eight runs in 20 innings.
Hefner is what he is, and that’s a fifth starter. His outpitched his job description in his last start, but he’s not living up to his stated goal of six innings.
The bullpen worked 9.1 innings last night, and with the short turnaround before Wednesday afternoon’s game, the Mets need six from Hefner tonight. His job would be a little easier if the Mets scored some runs, too.