Sunday, August 26, 2012
Notebook: Duda, Hefner and Murphy
By Matt Ehalt
Lucas Duda didn't let his chance for redemption go to waste.
After failing to snag a hard-hit ball that bounced off his glove and resulted in the game-tying hit in the ninth inning on Sunday, Duda rebounded to throw out the would-be go-ahead runner at the plate in the ninth in the Mets' eventual 2-1 win. He was playing in his first MLB game since his demotion to the minors on July 24.
"It's just one of those plays that you just try and preserve the game," Duda said.
With the Mets up 1-0 with a runner on second and no outs in the ninth, Marwin Gonzalez hit a ball toward the foul line in left. Duda raced over and did a semi-slide to try and grab it, but it careened off his glove for the game-tying RBI double.
Two batters later, Ben Francisco singled to left but Duda was able to throw out Gonzalez at the plate, with the help of a great block by catcher Kelly Shoppach, and keep the game tied at 1-1. Duda went 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate. He will be playing left field primarily now after being the team's right fielder before being sent down to Triple-A Buffalo.
"I'm not going to be a Gold Glover in left just because I switched positions," Duda said. "It's going to take some work and I'm willing to work and do whatever it takes to play every day and help the team."
HEFNER'S STRONG OUTING: Four days ago, Mets starter Jeremy Hefner's wife gave birth to their second child. After pitching great Sunday, the right-hander noted the connection.
"Maybe I should have more kids If I keep pitching that way," Hefner said. "It's good. I was excited for what happened on Wednesday and glad I could contribute today."
Hefner came within three outs of a complete-game shutout but had to settle for a no-decision after allowing a run in the ninth. He tossed a season-high eight innings and tied his career-best with seven strikeouts. He limited Houston to five hits.
"This was the best results I've had obviously," Hefner said. "I felt good. Pretty much everything was working. I don't really know what to say. I battled and made some pitches when I had to and they were really aggressive. I just tried to use that to my advantage."
MURPHY UPBEAT: Daniel Murphy suffered a posterior strain in his right shoulder and will be going for an MRI on Monday, but the second baseman doesn't expect any problems.
Manager Terry Collins originally said the second baseman said he had heard his shoulder pop, but Murphy said that was not the case.
Murphy was on the bench waiting to bat in the eighth when he felt what he described like a spasm. The trainer worked on it a little before he batted and felt it grab on him during the at-bat. He said he felt better at the end of the at-bat.
He was pulled after his at-bat and expects to be available Tuesday.
"Just kind of cramped up on me a little bit. Took some swings and it grabbed a little bit," Murphy said. "I'm going to check it out tomorrow but I fully anticipate I'm going to be fine."