Jeremy Hefner got off to a disappointing start to the season,
but has since turned things around and proven to be a reliable
option in the New York Mets’ rotation.
New York hopes Hefner’s run of solid starts continues on Sunday
as they visit the Milwaukee Brewers for the finale of their
Hefner (3-6, 3.54 ERA) opened the season 0-5 with a 4.50 ERA,
with the Mets (36-48) losing all nine of his starts. In seven
starts since, he is 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA with a walk rate of 1.47
per nine innings. The right-hander issued 3.60 base on balls per
nine in his first nine starts.
He held Arizona to a run and four hits over seven innings in a
9-1 win on Tuesday – his seventh quality start in eight games.
“If I give a quality outing, go deep into games, I’ve done my
job,” said Hefner, who yielded a solo homer. “If we score runs,
then I’ll get a win. If we don’t, then I might get a no-decision or
whatever. Just as long as the team wins, I’m happy.”
He’ll look to lock down the Brewers (35-51), who have split
their last six games but continued to swing the bats well in a 7-6
victory over the Mets on Saturday. Milwaukee is hitting .294 in its
six July games with 11 doubles and 17 walks.
Leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki was 2 for 4 Saturday to extend his
hitting streak to six games, during which he’s 13 for 29 with four
runs driven in.
Logan Schafer finished with three hits, and is 7 for 21 this
month after going 12 for 67 (.179) in his first 18 games as a
replacement for the injured Ryan Braun.
Milwaukee, which won for the third time in 11 games, will call
upon Tom Gorzelanny (1-1, 2.43) in a spot start. The Brewers were
initially slated to send Wily Peralta to the mound, but he left his
previous outing with a strained left hamstring, and the club opted
for extra rest.
“We just didn’t want him to go back out Sunday, and all of a
sudden in the second or third inning, he feels something again,”
manager Ron Roenicke told the team’s official website.
Gorzelanny didn’t record a decision in his only previous start
this year, allowing a solo homer in addition to four other hits
over four innings in a 4-3 win over Philadelphia on June 8. The
left-hander is 4-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 21 games – eight starts –
versus New York.
David Wright, who was named an All-Star starter for a fifth time
Saturday, is 2 for 12 with five strikeouts versus Gorzelanny since
2008. He is 9 for 29 with a .444 on-base percentage during a
seven-game hitting streak.
Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks, who had two hits Saturday after going
2 for 23 in his previous seven contests, homered in his lone at-bat
against Hefner on Sept. 15. Hefner worked one inning of relief in
his only outing versus the Brewers.