As has been the case all year, Jeremy Hefner seems to improve with each start. After another dominant outing last night against the Diamondbacks, he lowered his earned run average to a second best among Mets starters, 3.54.
Hefner worked well striking out six, allowing four hits and two walks, but worked out of trouble every time including the rain-aided double for Miguel Montero that CF Juan Lagares lost in the driving precipitation.
The only blemish on the night, and the only run acquired by the D’backs in the entire game was a home run in the 7th inning by Martin Prado, however it was quickly answered by an offensive explosion by the Mets who would put up seven runs on the board in the bottom half of the aforementioned inning, following a brief rain delay.
With more than ample run support, and a dominant performance, Hefner continued to impress. It seemed almost as though he sucked all of the potential out of the undefeated Patrick Corbin before the game like how Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and others had happen to them in Space Jam.
Regardless, Corbin can have all of his baseball ability back, Hefner doesn’t need it; he has been getting the job done. Save for a few poor starts, Hefner has turned out quality performance after quality performance. In his 17 game appearances, and 94 innings this year, his 3-6 record is nowhere near indicative of his performance this year – you can see that by looking at how Hefner has a MLB leading 20% unearned run ratio in relation to total runs given up.
While Gee continues to work back into form, Marcum struggles to be the consistent pitcher he has been in the past, and Wheeler works on his control issues, Hefner has served as a formidable 1-2 punch in conjunction with Harvey.
What we have here Mets fans, is the start of a dominant pitching force. And not much else helps win games more often than good pitching.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Baron