“Working with Dan in between starts, we’re working really hard at fine tuning the pitches I have – it’s starting to pay off a bit.”
Hefner took a no-decision, but improved his ERA to 4.54 for the season – his strikeout-to-walk ratio is nearly 4:1 on the season and he has not walked more than three batters in any of his outings this year.
“I feel like I’ve been opportunistic. Just trying to take advantage of the opportunity I’ve been given. In five or six days or whenever I pitch again, I’ll try to do that again.”
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
It’s hard to not like the body of work from Hefner this season. It’s easy to look at his numbers and not be remotely impressed, but Hefner has been up and down, in the rotation and in the bullpen – no matter what the role, he has the same approach and has probably pitched better than his line would suggest. He is a strike thrower, and while he depends on his defense behind him, he doesn’t normally give up anything hard and most of the time, he has quick innings and limits the damage. He has an xFIP of around 4 this season which indicates he has in fact pitched better than his 4.55 ERA would suggest. Now, considering he’s a guy who relies on his defense, that’s not much of a surprise, especially since the Mets don’t exactly have the best defensive unit in the league. But he has shown he belongs in the Major Leagues, and while a spot in the rotation next year is probably not going to belong to him, he has shown he can solidify the long relief role and certainly make spot starts at times going forward./sny-editorial]