New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates
RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.39) vs RHP Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.38)
- Eric Young, Jr. – LF
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- David Wright – 3B
- Ike Davis – 1B
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
- Anthony Recker – C
- Omar Quintanilla – SS
- Jeremy Hefner – RHP
Terry Collins decided to bench John Buck in tonight’s series opener and instead have Anthony Recker catching Jeremy Hefner against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The manager made the switch based on pitching coach Dan Warthen’s recommendation. Recker has caught Hefner’s past four starts, and Hefner is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA during that span.
NL manager Bruce Bochy officially will announce the NL starting pitcher and batting order at a press conference in the Caesars Club at Citi Field on Monday at 1:30 p.m., although it would be startling at this point for Matt Harvey not to be named the starter in his home ballpark.
The Mets are starting Carlos Torres in place of Harvey on Saturday for three reasons: to limit Harvey’s season innings count, to allow the blister to fully heal and (although downplayed) to put him in the perfect position to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.
Frank Francisco tossed an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Francisco allowed an unearned run and one hit while striking out one. He last had appeared in an official minor league game on May 8, after which he complained of continued discomfort in his right elbow. Mets doctors have been unable to identify a structural problem causing Francisco’s continued troubles. Francisco is earning $6.5 million this season, in the second year of a two-year deal.
Mets right-hander Estarlin Morel has been suspended 25 games for a violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program, MLB announced. Morel, 23, had a combined 4-3 record and 3.76 ERA in 24 relief appearances between Savannah and St. Lucie.
After a very successful trip to San Francisco (boasting a three game sweep) the Mets travel to Pittsburgh for their last series before a much needed All-Star break. The Mets have done well as of late but they are going to meet a Pittsburgh squad that has been doing well all season. One controversy between these two clubs became a mute point yesterday as Wright selected Alvarez to take over Carlos Gonzalez’s spot in the Home Run Derby. Tonight, Hefner gets the nod for the Mets as he squares up against Charlie Morton.
Hefner is 4-6 over 101.0 innings this season with a 3.39 ERA. He has pitched 44.0 innings in his last 7 starts while posting an amazing 1.64 ERA with 37 strikeouts while only walking 8. Last year he made a very good start against Pittsburgh shutting the Pirates out over 7.0 innings, striking out 7 batters while picking up the win. The Pirates have the following numbers against Hefner:
The Mets bats will deal with Charlie Morton tonight who is 1-2 over 5 starts this season while pitching 24.0 innings with a 3.38 ERA. Last season he picked up the L against the Mets as he allowed 3 ER over 7 innings and 8 hits. The Mets have the following numbers against Morton:
Wright 1-7, 2B
Lets Go Mets!