Jeremy Hefner, Mets roll along as perfect storm continues

Finally Jeremy Hefner can exhale.

After countless good starts, Hefner finally broke into the win column on Wednesday night as the Mets assured themselves of winning the Subway Series against the Yankees (first time since 2008) after winning 9-4. For the first time this year, the Mets have pieced together a four-game winning streak. Fancy that!

The Mets are rolling! But, should we, as fans, slow our roll?

Well, you can’t help but be a little excited at the prospects of winning four games in a row—especially when you beat the Braves, and then the Yankees three times, all the while getting fantastic performances from the staff.

Between the magnificent effort from the staff and timely hitting from David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda—heck, even Ike Davis has come up with some big at-bats in this streak—the Mets have had the perfect confluence of events to lift their fanbase this past week.

Will it last? Maybe not, but for the time being it is encouraging that the Mets are playing with an edge and some passion. You have to ride this momentum for as long as it lasts. Just imagine the high the Mets would be riding if they sweep the Yankees and then head to Miami for a three-game series against the worst team in the majors—a team that can legitimately challenge the 1962 Mets for all-time ineptitude.

Back to Hefner. It was good to see this guy get in the win column. After tossing five quality starts this year while also seeing his home state ravaged by tornadoes, you can’t but feel happy for a guy who has experienced such a string of bad luck. When Zack Wheeler eventually gets called up, it should be Dillon Gee who should fear for his job, not Hefner.

After Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey were spectacular in their starts vs. the Yankees at Citi Field, Hefner had the unenviable task of facing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and he more than did an admirable job, pitching six innings while allowing three runs on nine hits and no walks. Nothing great about that line, but all Hefner needed to do was pitch okay and on this occasion he did just that.

When you go over the Mets’ last four starts, Met’s starters (Niese, Harvey, Hefner and Shaun Marcum) have combined to pitch 28 innings while allowing just seven earned runs. Amazingly, only Hefner—who had the worst start of the four—came away with a win.

That brings me to my next point: the bullpen.

In the last four games, the Mets bullpen—between Scott Rice, Brandon Lyon, LaTroy Hawkins and Bobby Parnell—have pitched eight innings while allowing one run on six hits and one walk while racking up three wins and Parnell nailing down two saves.

Obviously, in a perfect world, you’d like to get more offense out of this bunch but between Duda, Davis and even Marlon Byrd chipping in of late, the Mets slowly but surely seem to be getting out of their funk.

Again, this little run the Mets are on might not last and the Mets are—to quote Dennis Green—most likely who we thought they are. But for the time being, this nice little run to end May could get the team on the right track and then you add Wheeler, who knows where it goes from there?

14 comments for “Jeremy Hefner, Mets roll along as perfect storm continues

  1. Big Dog
    May 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

    While this little spurt has been nice to watch, though our cardio systems could use less stress, we still need to go 10-1 over the next 11 games just to get to .500 on the season. That’s putting it in perspective. The good news is that 6 of those games are against the Marlins (though being the Mets that means we’ll most likely go 2-4 or worse….). If they can buck the fact that they’re the Mets, and finish off the Yankees, actually sweep the Marlins in those 6 games, and beat up on a struggling Nats team in their home park, we’ll reach mediocrity. I can see the next SI cover now…..Holy “We’re the Mets and we’re average” Batman!!!

    • Big Dog
      May 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

      I meant 9-1 over the next 10 games…..

      • Name
        May 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Don’t know if this is a good thing for the sport or not, but last year the Brewers/Phillies were a few games under 500 mid-September and were still revelent.
        Sweep the Yankees. Sweep the marlins in 1 series and take 2/3 in the other and win 2/3 from the Nats. That will bring them 2 games under and back to being relevant.

  2. Jerry Grote
    May 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    You can’t win 9 games tonight.

    Win one game at a time. That’s how you get to .500. It’s a simple series of steps …
    * solidify the defense at SS
    * replace the empty bat at 1B one way or the other
    * add one more bat

    Not as hard as it seems. Duda-to-first; get a 750 OPS out of your new, better defending LFer; Q increases production at SS by 150 OPS points and solidifies the defense.

    Wheeler replaces Gee in the rotation, and now you’ve got 5 guys going into the 7th inning. The bullpen continues its current pace.

    When the batting order is announced for the Marlin series, you’ll know if Terry Collins has the chops to make the necessary moves. It’s up to him.

    • Jerry Grote
      May 30, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Just by the way, under that scenario … granted, its stretched but …

      The 5th best OPS by position in the NL (Mets player):
      RF: 760 (720 Byrd)
      CF: 813 (759 Ankiel)
      LF: 820 (660 Baxter? Rookie name here)
      3B: 700 (888 Wright)
      SS: 744 (721 Q from last year)
      1B: 811 (820 Duda)
      C: 732 (734 Buck)

      My bet is that you get Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Quinto for something like Hefner and Flores. Move up Wheeler and Montero and now you have a ball club.

      • Joe Vasile
        May 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

        I was on board with this until you advocated getting Soriano or Quinto for Flores. I’d much rather keep Flores for 10 years than have 3 months of Alfonso Soriano or Quentin.

        • Jerry Grote
          May 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

          You are mistaken Joe … both of the players mentioned are not free agents after 2013. In fact, Quentin is signed through 2016 (Soriano through 2014).

          But I would take Quentin’s 2.5-3 WAR that seems pretty likely over the next several years over a maybe on Flores and that’s where we (as usual) differ. I’m closer to Brian Joura on that than I’d like to admit.

          • Metsense
            May 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm

            JG I like the way you look at things. If you want a .500 team get players that “produce” at least average at their position. If you want a playoff team then go for a top 5 player. Don’t settle for subaverage players. Let the players with “potential” play at AAA until they force their way onto the roster. As you can see, we got a ways to go but some moves need to be made.
            Last night the Yankee announcers were naively discussing the 2 pending demotions and couldn’t see what there was to think about when the AAa 1B is leading in HR’s and batting over .300 and the AAA SS is batting .321. Naive but with a lot of truth.

    • Name
      May 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Now that i think about it, i’m not sure Wheeler would repesent an upgrade over Gee because i question his ability to go more than 5 innings due to a strict pitch count limit and his lack of stellar control.
      If i were Terry Collins i would start watching him the same way he was watching Chris Young last year. In the 5/6th innings, if he gets him trouble, get him out.

      • Jerry Grote
        May 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

        Possibly true and the thought did go through my mind before I posted this. I very much question whether or not Wheeler can consistently get into the 6th inning as a rookie.

        I don’t recall Harvey consistently getting to the 7th, and he was dominant.

      • Chris F
        May 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        However, unless Gee turns the ship around, we are sunk. Gee is averaging a little under 5 IP/game. Gee still remain a huge drag on the pen. Wheeler is unknown and will have a cap. Using Harvey as a guide from last year. Right now he has about 50 IP, leaving him about another 130 distributed over another 20 starts or so, which figures to > 6 IP per start, which will depend on number of pitches per inning (a stat Im having a hard time finding).

        Gee should be getting the same lecture Tejada and Davis are getting.

  3. May 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Thank god Hefner got that win. I thought he may go the entire first half without picking one up. Good on him!

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