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?