Saturday, August 10, 2013
Notes: Atchison on HR, Hef on struggles
By Adam Rubin
PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt now shares the NL home-run lead with Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez.
No. 27 came at a costly time for the Mets.
Goldschmidt sent a 1-1 cutter from Scott Atchison over the right-field wall with one out in the bottom of the ninth as the Arizona Diamondbacks produced a 5-4, walk-off win against the Mets on Friday night at Chase Field.
“I work him like anybody else -- try to be aggressive, get in there and get ahead,” Atchison said about the dangerous Goldschmidt. “I was able to do that and then just left a cutter up. He’s a good hitter and obviously has good power to all fields, especially there. He made me pay for a bad pitch.”
Oh, Jeremy: Jeremy Hefner is now 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA (23 ER in 22.2 IP) over his past five starts. The four earned runs Hefner allowed in five-plus innings snapped a string of 10 straight outings in which the Mets starter allowed three runs or fewer.
“I wasn’t missing too many bats,” Hefner said. “I had the outfield running all over the place. I just wasn’t very good.”
Said Terry Collins: “Especially in the fifth inning, and even the start of the sixth inning, if you look back, he had two strikes on a lot of the hitters. He couldn’t put anybody away. He’d get two strikes on them and leave something in the middle of the plate and they’d certainly get a good swing at it.”
Opposing pitcher Patrick Corbin got a two-out rally started in the fifth with a double. Adam Eaton and Martin Prado followed with doubles, too, as the D-backs took a 2-1 lead at that point.
In Hefner’s previous outing, against Kansas City, it also was the opposing pitcher who helped start to unravel Hefner’s performance. After two scoreless innings against the Royals, George Kottaras opened the next frame with a solo homer and then pitcher Bruce Chen singled in what became a three-run frame.
“I got two outs, and two outs really quick,” Hefner said about Friday’s fifth at Chase Field. “And I fell behind [Corbin]. I’m not trying to walk the guy. If the guy puts the ball in play and gets a hit, then I’ll tip my cap. I just didn’t execute the pitch and left it down the middle. He put a good swing on it.”
Hefner said his problem is pitches he intends to get inside drifting over the plate.
“It’s an easy fix,” he said. “Instead of missing over the plate, you either hit the corner or you miss at them.”
Collins said he left Hefner in for what became a two-run sixth after the fifth-inning struggles because the starter was only at 80 pitches and the bottom of the order was due up.
Running into trouble: Collins said he spoke with Juan Lagares about making the final out of the seventh trying to stretch an extra-base hit into a triple with the Mets trailing by two runs.
While applauding the hustle, Collins said he told Lagares: “You have to understand the circumstance.”
As for Marlon Byrd getting thrown out at the plate attempting an inside-the-park homer, Collins noted that was Tim Teufel’s call, since Byrd had his back to the play. And Collins was not going to question his third-base coach.
“The one thing we’ve talked about all year long is to try to be more aggressive on the bases, to try to make the opponent make big plays and make throws,” Collins said. "And they did. Tonight in two situations they made good relay throws.”
JT: Justin Turner drove in three runs -- his first multi-RBI game since April 20 against Washington.
“You always feel good when he’s up at the plate because you know you’re going to get a good at-bat,” Collins said. “So I’m not surprised he got some RBIs.”