METS AT DIAMONDBACKS • 9:40 PM
Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.23) vs Patrick Corbin (12-3, 2.33)
RHP Dillon Gee produced another impressive effort Thursday afternoon, when he earned the win by allowing one run on eight hits and no walks while striking out three over 7 2/3 innings as the Mets edged the Rockies, 2-1. Gee allowed singles to the first two batters he faced but escaped the jam thanks in large part to Marlon Byrd, who threw out DJ LeMahieu trying to advance on Michael Cuddyer‘s fly out to right. Gee allowed just three more runners to get as far as second base and threw 87 pitches, including 65 strikes. He improved to 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 13 starts since May 30, a stretch in which he’s lowered his overall ERA from 6.34 to 3.82.
RHP Jeremy Hefner will look to win for the first time in the second half when he takes the mound for the Mets on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Hefner has struggled badly in four post-All-Star Break starts, a stretch in which he’s gone 0-2 with a 9.68 ERA as his overall ERA has soared from 3.33 to 4.23. Hefner was a bit better in his most recent start last Saturday, when he didn’t factor into the decision after allowing three runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out six over six innings in the Mets’ 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Royals.
RHP Matt Harvey, who took a line drive off his right kneecap in the ninth inning of his first career shutout on Wednesday night, said he was fine Thursday morning. The Mets plan to go back to a six-man rotation once Jonathon Niese comes off the disabled list this weekend in Arizona, so Harvey get an extra day of rest before his next start regardless. Harvey allowed just four hits and walked none while striking out six Wednesday in the 5-0 win over the Rockies. It was also the first complete game of his career.
Left-hander Jonathon Niese (partial rotator cuff tear) made a rehab start with Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday and will start for the Mets on Sunday. Collins knows he will have to be cautious with Niese early in his return. He threw 80 pitches in his final rehab start, but Collins would like him to feel comfortable throwing 100.
RHP LaTroy Hawkins earned his second save of the week and of the season Thursday afternoon by throwing a perfect ninth inning in the Mets’ 2-1 win over the Rockies. Mets manager Terry Collins said Monday he would employ a closer-by-committee with Bobby Parnell on the disabled list, but Hawkins has been his choice the two times the Mets have generated a save opportunity in the ninth inning. Hawkins has been outstanding in 11 second-half appearances, a stretch in which he’s given up just one run on seven hits and no walks while striking out three over 10 innings to lower his overall ERA from 3.35 to 2.86—the lowest it has been since May 8.
Go West Boys From Queens!
But actually yes, head west. The Mets start an 11 game road trip tonight with the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres and Twins on the heels of a 3 game sweep of the Rockies. Yesterday, the Mets got another great start from a starter, this time Gee as he was able to hold the Rockies to one run and the offense scored the minimum to win with 2. Tonight Hefner gets the mound as he squares up against Corbin:
Hefner is 4-8 on the season with a 4.23 ERA over 125.2 innings of work. His last tart, 3 ER over 6 innings, was the best since the All-Star break so hopefully he can continue to put it back together tonight. The last time he faced the Diamondbacks he allowed only one run over 7 innings. The Diamondbacks have the following numbers against him:
Prado 2-5, 2B, HR
The Mets get to look at Corbin again (and I guess Corbin gets another look at Hefner specifically). Corbin is 12-3, the best winning percentage in the league, with a 2.33 ERA over 150.1 innings of work. After four straight starts of allowing only 1 ER, he allowed 3 ER over 6 in his last outing. His last terrible outing was against the Mets as he allowed 5 ER over 6 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against him:
Young 3-9, 3 2B
Brown 3-7, HR
Byrd 1-3, 2B
Lagares 1-3, 2B
Satin 1-3, 2B
Lets Go Mets!