After an amazing six week run, Jeremy Hefner has struggled in back to back starts against the Phillies and Braves who torched him for 13 earned runs and 16 hits over 6.1 innings.
Before that, Hefner was flying high with a 1.76 ERA over his previous six starts, and the Marlins may be just the right cure to get him back on track. With the worst ranked offense in the league, Marlins hitting coach resigned this weekend and the offense has struggled mightily.
Hefner made his season debut against the Marlins and held them to just one run on five hits and one walk over six innings while striking out three.
Prior to this mini setback, Hefner led the majors in ERA during the span from June 4th to July 19th covering eight starts. He had allowed two earned runs or fewer in those eight starts, the longest such stretch since Johan Santana had 13 straight such starts from 2008-2009. Hefner’s streak of allowing two or fewer earned runs over eight starts is tied for the third-longest by a Mets pitcher since 1990.
The 26-year old righthander is second on the team to Matt Harvey with 13 quality starts this season, and he has hurled a quality start in nine of his last 12 starts.
Terry Collins chose Hefner to open the second half of the season and threw him into the lion’s den against the Philadelphia Phillies who he has struggled mightily against his entire career. Collins also decided to have John Buck catch him after a string of solid starts with Anthony Recker calling his games.
In Hefner’s seven appearances with Recker, he’s posted a 1.88 ERA and opponents were hitting .185 against him.
That’s Terry for you… But Hefner took the blame and pointed to a lack of command over his last two starts, and hurrying his pitches.
“I just didn’t execute,” Hefner said. “That’s all stuff that can be fixed. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”
Also, Hefner said Sunday that he and pitching coach Dan Warthen have identified a mechanical flaw that may have contributed to his recent struggles. The point is, he’s on it and making adjustments.
I’ve been a huge supporter of Jeremy Hefner all season long and I’m eager to see how he responds during tonight’s start against the Fish. My money’s on a nice bounce-back start and a Mets victory.