Monday, April 21, 2014
Mejia improves to 3-0, slices ERA to 1.99
By Adam Rubin
NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia’s blister problem is not fully resolved. Still, when he got on the mound Monday night, he found it easy to tune it out.
The result: Mejia tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, upping his streak to 13 2/3 without a run, and the New York Mets beat the defending NL champion St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 at Citi Field.
“It does bother me a little bit, I feel pain, but the last year I felt pain over there,” Mejia said, motioning toward his elbow, which was cleaned out surgically on Aug. 28. “So I go out there and do the best I can, try to throw everything for strikes.”
Mejia was selected over Daisuke Matsuzaka for the final slot in the rotation out of spring training. Despite some injury drama from a bunion, getting struck with a liner in the arm and the blister on his right middle finger, Mejia is now 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA.
In their past seven games, Mets starters have a 1.84 ERA (9 ER in 44 IP).
Mejia entered the season with two career wins, but devoted his offseason to proving he merited the starting role. Beginning in December, he alternated two-week intervals between Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the Mets’ Boca Chica complex in his native Dominican Republic.
“There was a lot of talk this winter about who it was going to be,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Jenrry put his mind to it. I got a report from the Dominican Republic last winter that he was out throwing every day, running. He got himself in great shape. Coming off that blister he had the other day, and to pitch the way he did tonight, is an outstanding job because we weren’t sure what he was going to give us. He gave us more than we expected, for sure.”
Mejia was quick to credit his infielders. He coaxed a huge double play in the fifth after walking leadoff batter Jhonny Peralta. Jon Jay sent a grounder up the middle. Ruben Tejada made a diving stop, got the ball to Daniel Murphy, who barehanded the grab and threw on to first base.
“That was pretty good,” Mejia said about his outing, “but all of my infielders helped me a lot. Tejada and Murphy, they made a couple of double plays over there. That made me feel pretty good.”