Harvey and Hefner and…does anything rhyme with Hefner? Did you ever think we might need something that does?
The Mets have five starters in their rotation, four who are healthy, three who have proven themselves reasonably reliable and two who are extraordinarily effective. One of them is prospective National League All-Star starter Matt Harvey. He’s so hot that his clothes apparently melt right off his anatomy. The other is Jeremy Hefner. He’s the one nobody’s asked to pose nude in a national magazine — as far as we know.
Presumably no relation to the man who made a fortune making those sorts of proposals to buxom young women whose vital measurements aren’t nearly as attractive as Harvey’s have been in the first half of 2013, our Hef has been smoking like Hugh’s jacket since late May. An ERA that weighed in at five runs per nine innings has been reduced by approximately a third over his last nine starts. It’s now 3.39, or utterly presentable in mixed company. Jeremy’s going out there practically every turn, generally lasting six, seven innings and giving up no more than a couple of runs. Those are consistently quality starts, which we may mock as a metric, but when we’re talking about someone whose signature performance in 2012 encompassed seven batters, six hits, one walk and zero outs, consistent quality demands more than perfunctory admiration.
Shaun Marcum is going in for an MRI, so chances are we’ll never see him again. Zack Wheeler dares to be a work in progress. Dillon Gee is pretty close to being in a groove. Harvey and Hefner, however, are absolutely there already. Harvey was born in one. Hefner had to work to find his. As of Sunday in Milwaukee, where he struck out eight Brewers while allowing them merely two hits and one run, it can be confirmed the search is over. We are happy to learn Jeremy is packing talent to go with his heart and we are pleased to be reminded that Dan Warthen occasionally knows what he’s doing.
Which is all great when it adds up to a 2-1 win as it did at Miller Park, but it doesn’t help our Spahn/Sain cause. Harvey and Hefner and…and what? In April, Mets pitching projected as Harvey and Niese and Lord bring us peace. In our long-term dreams, we envision Harvey and Wheeler, each quite the dealer. If Dillon keeps up his end, it could be Harvey, Hefner and Gee, let’s group all three. But right now, it’s Harvey and Hefner and…and I’m still not sure what rhymes with Hefner.
Alternatively, as a Twitter pal suggested, we could just drop the whole Spahn and Sain legerdemain and dub our two top pitchers H&H Bagels in light of all the zeroes Harv & Hef are posting on a scoreboard near us. Think of the local sponsorship opportunities! Think of the Banner Day possibilities! Think of Jeremy Hefner trying to explain to the folks back in Oklahoma what the heck a bagel is! And, no, whatever it is that’s sitting in their grocer’s freezer doesn’t count.
In the meantime, Hef, just continue to schmear the batters like your teammate Harv and you’ll both be lox for the All-Star team next year.