Saturday’s pitching preview: Hefner vs. Medlen

Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 4.52 ERA) will start for the Mets today.

Hefner pitched well in a no-decision in his last start against the Marlins when he allowed two runs in six innings last Saturday. Over his last four starts, Hefner has pitched to a 3.24 ERA with an 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hefner has made one relief appearance against the Braves this season – he allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings against the Braves on August 11.

Kris Medlen (7-1, 1.56 ERA) will start for the Braves today.

Medlen has been lights out in the second half this season, going a perfect 6-0 with a 0.59 ERA in 14 games and seven starts. He pitched a complete game in which he allowed five hits and one unearned run against the Rockies last week. Medlen earned his third win of the season against the Mets last month when he allowed a run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings – he is 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA in six appearances and one start against the Mets this season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Hefner’s numbers aren’t very pretty this season, but he’s pitched better than they suggest. He pitches to a lot of contact and must have command of the strike zone with all of his pitches, but he throws strikes, limits walks, has given this team a solid body in whatever role he’s pitched in this season. I don’t know what his role will be on the roster next season, but he is proving to be versatile and can be a quality arm in a long relief role, at a minimum.