The Mets lost a second straight game to the Blue Jays on Saturday, as they lost one starter and possibly gained another.
Miguel Batista took to the mound to begin the bottom of the third when suddenly Terry Collins and the team trainer came out and removed Batista with what the Mets described on Twitter as “lower back discomfort.” Jeremy Hefner, just called up from Buffalo, came in. It was the second straight short start for the Mets, putting an even heavier burden on the Mets beleaguered bullpen.
But Hefner literally took the ball and figuratively ran with it. He had trouble in the fifth, though. He allowed a single and then Kelly Johnson hit a ball to center that Andres Torres failed to cut off. The error allowed the run to score and Johnson to get to third. Another single scored Johnson and the Blue Jays had a 2-0 lead.
Hefner went five innings, allowing just the two runs on four hits while striking out five and not issuing any walks. Even though he took the loss Hefner was tremendous. This is usually the type of game in which five or six relievers are forced to pitch, blowing out the bullpen for several games to come. But Hefner came through and saved the pen. He also pitched very well, likely setting himself up for a start the next time around.
Brandon Morrow was just more tremendous. The David Wright-less lineup (he had the day off) managed just three hits off of Morrow. He struck out eight in a complete game shutout. The Mets would have had a chance in the ninth had it not been by a poor call by the umpires. Scott Hairston walked, and with one out Mike Baxter laced a shot to right. He tried for a double and the second baseman attempted a swipe tag and Baxter was called out. The problem was the swipe missed him by a mile. Instead of second and third and one out it was man on third and two outs. Daniel Murphy lined out to end the game.
In any case, the Mets lose 2-0; they will attempt to salvage the final game of the series on Sunday.