I didn’t have to see Saturday’s game (Fox showed the sort of hometown Angels here in sunny Los Angeles) to know one thing — Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey should not be anywhere near a baseball in Citi Field or any other major league stadium. I guess that’s two things, but whatever.
Hefner had another poor start, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in just four innings. Two of the hits he let up were home runs; somehow Jeremy Hefner has managed to serve up seven home runs in 14 innings pitched this season. That is not a good ratio.
After he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fourth, the Mets bats came alive, scoring five runs to take the lead. But then Terry Collins brought in Aaron Laffey in the top of the fifth, who of course allowed a three run home run as the Nationals regained the lead, 6-5. Laffey was pulled after that.
You really can’t blame Collins for bringing in Laffey. The situation called for someone who could pitch multiple innings, and Laffey was set to start this game when one of the snow days pushed him back. Laffey was ready, just not able. If you want to blame anyone, blame Sandy Alderson (I so enjoy doing that). He’s the one who saddled Collins with Laffey in the first place.
If you want to blame Collins for anything, it would be to allow Josh Edgin to pitch a second inning. Edgin has been struggling all season. He finally had a good outing, throwing a perfect seventh with two strikeouts. Instead of allowing Edgin to rest on those laurels, Collins trotted him out for the eighth, where he allowed the game winning home run to Bryce Harper.
Sometimes you just have to remove a struggling pitcher after they’ve had some success instead of keeping them in the game and giving him an opportunity to fail again. That’s what happened here. Also, relievers these days are not programmed to go more than one inning, especially the young ones. Edgin never should have been put in that situation.
Anyway, back to Hefner and Laffey. This is what has to happen — both of them have to be optioned to the minors or designated for assignment or sent away on an ice floe. Collin McHugh should be brought up. And as long as Shaun Marcum is healthy, he needs to be activated right away. He has already thrown simulated games. Enough of that. No minor league games — let him work it out on in the majors.
I’m not suggesting that McHugh and Marcum are saviors by any means; it’s just that they cannot possibly be any worse than Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey. I mean, they can’t, right?