After reading about how the Mets top prospect, Zack Wheeler, struggled in his last AAA start, my concerns regarding the future and current state of the Mets pitching staff have begun to grow worrisome. With RHP Shaun Marcum's return to the starting rotation in limbo and current fourth and fifth starters, RH Jeremy Hefner and LH Aaron Laffey, respectively, unable to show any signs that they belong at the major-league level, the thought of a strong Mets pitching staff this season is a definite long shot.
Earlier today, Hefner and Laffey's sub-par performances against the Washington Nationals pretty much reinforced that point. Hefner was lifted for a pinch-hitter, Ruben Tejada, in the bottom of the fourth after giving up 3 runs on 4 hits, two of those hits being home runs, raising his earned run average on the young season to 7.07. The decision to pinch-hit for Hefner paid off for manager Terry Collins. Tejada would eventually work out a walk and prolong the inning allowing Tejada to score one of the Mets five runs that inning that gave the Mets a 5-3 lead.
With the Mets now on top, Collins would hand the ball off to Laffey hoping to keep the game in check.That theory would prove to be wishful thinking as the southpaw would go on to surrender a three-run homer to Nats first baseman, Adam LaRoche, in the top of the fifth inning, putting Washington up 6-5. (Laffey's pitching line today, 0.2 IP - 2 hits - 3 runs - 3 ER - BB - HR - 7.20 ERA)
The Mets would go on to tie the score at six in the bottom of the seventh on John Buck's 21st RBI only to see that lead evaporate when reliever Josh Edgin coughed up a solo shot to Bryce Harper in the top of the eighth inning putting the Nats up to stay, 7-6.