Jeremy Hefner, the likely replacement for Johan Santana in the rotation, gave up two homers this afternoon but rebounded to strike out the last six hitters he faced in the Mets’ 5-2 victory over Atlanta.
Hefner had a solid line of two runs on five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in five innings.
Even so, Hefner wasn’t pleased, telling reporters he was concerned because he left the ball up in the strike zone. Hefner said he pitched with a chip on his shoulder the last two innings.
“I was less than thrilled about my performance before then,’’ Hefner said. “The ball was up, as evidenced by all the fly balls and hard-hit balls. I’m the guy that has to pound the bottom of the strike zone and get ground balls to be successful.’’
Hefner said earlier this week he will be ready to replace Santana at the start of the season but that’s my focus.