Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hefner Performs Well in Spot Start for Mets

Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 6 San Diego Padres: 2
Hefner Performs Well in Spot Start

The Mets offense was able to wake up some Saturday night, scoring six runs in defeating the Padres 6-2.  The Mets move one game closer to .500 with the win tonight and sit with a record of 53-55 after tonight’s victory.  A strong performance from spot starter Jeremy Hefner not only earned him a spot on the major league roster for the time being but a much needed victory for the Mets.

Hefner threw a strong game for the Mets against his old team in the Padres.  He allowed the first batter to get on, but erased him with a double play on the next at-bat.  Hefner ultimately would allow only one run in six innings, surrendering only five hits and no walks to go along with two strikeouts.  One thing that stood out in Hefner’s start was that it took him only 74 pitches to get through the six innings. 

With Johan Santana expected to return from the DL next weekend, Hefner will be moved back to the bullpen according to manager Terry Collins.  Hefner’s performance tonight saved him from a demotion and showed how valuable he could be for the Mets organization. 

The Mets did a lot of their damage tonight in the 2nd inning, scoring four of their six runs in the inning thanks to an erratic performance from Edinson Volquez.  Volquez managed to get through only 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and four walks, resulting in four earned runs while also striking out three.

Two of Volquez’s four walks on the night forced in runs in the 2nd inning, which was highlighted by a two-RBI double by Jordany Valdespin.  Valdespin had been struggling on the road trip before the at-bat, going only 3 for 23.

Daniel Murphy had another strong performance tonight, going 4 for 4 at the plate for the Mets, also adding a walk.

Mike Baxter had a record tying night at the plate for the Mets as well without recording an at-bat.  Baxter walked five times tonight, which is the first time a player has accomplished that feat since 2006 when Ryan Howard did it for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Josh Edgin, the only lefty currently in the bullpen with Tim Byrdak landing on the DL with an injury to his shoulder, tossed a shutout 7th inning despite an error from Ruben Tejada.  Edgin then tossed a second shutout inning, even after manager Terry Collins said he would be conscious of not over-using Egdin in Brydak’s absence.

Bobby Parnell came into the game in the 9th inning and imploded giving up a leadoff homerun to Chase Headley followed by a double by Yonder Alonso.  He was relieved by Frank Francisco, who was making his first appearance since coming off the DL.  Francisco was able to close out the game without allowing another base runner, stranding Alonso on base.

The Mets will head into the finale in San Diego looking to win their second series in a row.  They have already clinched a winning road trip, which is a positive sign after such an awful start to the second half.  Matt Harvey (1-1, 1.59 ERA) will make his third career start against Jason Marquis (4-6, 4.08 ERA).

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