Mets vs. Astros Preview, Lineups, And Broadcast Info: Game #128 — Jeremy Hefner vs. Lucas Harrell

Hef.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Astros
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012 • 1:10 p.m
Location: Citi Field • Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Lucas Harrell (10-9, 4.04) vs. RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 5.11)
TV/Radio: PIX11 • WFAN • WQBU
Info: Game #128 • Home Game #65

Lineup

Andres Torres - CF
Daniel Murphy - 2B
David Wright - 3B
Ike Davis - 1B
Lucas Duda - LF
Ruben Tejada - SS
Mike Baxter - RF
Kelly Shoppach - C
Jeremy Hefner - RHP

METS AT A GLANCE: New York snapped its six-game losing streak with yesterday’s 3-1 win...The Mets are 6-15 in their last 21 games and 12-29 (3-15 at home) since the All-Star break...New York is 8-15 this month.

ROSTER NOTE: Before today’s game, the Mets will recall outfielder Lucas Duda from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League...Duda, 26, hit .260 (25-96) with 12 runs scored, four doubles, three home runs and eight RBI in 25 games with the Bisons...He owns a .349 on-base percentage over his last 10 games...Duda, who was optioned to Buffalo on July 24, will be available for today’s game...He is hitting .241 (74- 307) in 89 games with New York...Jordany Valdespin will be demoted to Triple-A Buffalo make room.

HOUSTON: Today is the last time the Mets and Astros will meet as National League opponents...Houston entered the NL in 1962 with the Mets as the Colt 45s...Houston is moving to the American League West next season...The Mets are 257-308 all-time vs. Houston, including 149-132 all-time vs. the Astros in New York and 108-176 in Houston ...The two clubs met in an epic National League Championship Series in 1986 when four games were decided by one run.

AT HOME: The Mets are 29-35 at home this year...New York has lost 16 of its last 19 home games and have lost six home series in a row...The Mets last won a series at home on July 3-5, when they took two of three from Philadelphia...Daniel Murphy has the seventh-best home batting average (.332) in the National League.

RUBBER GAMES: The Mets are 4-7 in rubber games this season, including 3-3 at home.

SERIES: The Mets are 1-10-1 in 12 series in the second half...New York’s series win during that span was taking three of four from the Giants at San Francisco (July 30-August 2)...The Mets are 0-5 in home series in the second half.

DAY BASEBALL: Daniel Murphy (.351) and David Wright (.340) own the top two batting averages in the National League during day games ...New York is 26-20 in day games this season, including 13-10 at home...The 26 victories are tied for the fourth-most in the majors. SUNDAY: Ruben Tejada has the fourth-highest batting average (.385, 20-52) on Sundays (min. 50 at-bats).

ONE RUN OR LESS: The Mets have held their opponents to one run or less 30 times this year, the most in the majors...The Dodgers are second with 29 such games.

WRIGHT RANKINGS: David Wright ranks second in the majors with a .411 on-base percentage, tied for fourth with 36 doubles and is ninth with a .317 batting average...Wright is tied for eighth in the National League with 75 runs scored...He is tied for fifth in the NL with 55 extra-base hits.

JUSTIN TURNER: Hit his first home run of the year yesterday...He is hitting .303 (23-76) at Citi Field this year and is batting .409 (18-44) during the day...Turner has hit in three straight games, going (3-7, .429).

FIELDING: The Mets played their 14th error-free game of the season yesterday...New York has made nine errors this month, tied for the third-fewest in the majors...Since July 1, the Mets have the fifth-best fielding percentage in the majors (.987)...Overall, New York ranks 24th in the majors with a .982 fielding percentage.

METS STARTERS: Mets starters rank eighth in the majors with a 3.82 ERA...The starters have posted a 2.19 ERA (13 earned runs/53.1 innings) over their last eight games and over their last 13 contests they have a 2.73 ERA (26 earned runs/85.2 innings).

R.A. DICKEY: Won his 16th game of the season yesterday to tie for the major league lead…Dickey tossed 7.0 innings and allowed one run to lower his ERA to 2.76, which is the fourth-best in the National League …Struck out two and is tied for the most in the NL with 183 strikeouts …The win was Dickey’s 10th day win, one behind the major league lead, held by Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (11-0)…Dickey is 10-1 with a 2.79 ERA (28 earned runs/90.1 innings) during the daytime this season.

SWEET 16: R.A. Dickey is the first Mets pitcher to win 16 games since Johan Santana also won 16 in 2008…The last Mets pitcher to win more than 16 games in a single season was Al Leiter, who had 17 victories in 1998...Dickey joins David Cone in 1988 (17-3), Bob Ojeda in 1986 (16-4) and Dwight Gooden in 1985 (17-3) as the only pitchers in team history to win 16 of their first 20 decisions in a season.

STRONG STARTS: R.A. Dickey went 7.0 innings and allowed one run, the 14th time he has gone at least that deep into a game and allowed one or fewer runs…That total is the most in the National League and one behind Seattle’s Felix Hernandez for the major league lead…Bob Gibson’s 24 such starts in 1968 for St. Louis is the most in major league history since 1918…Dwight Gooden holds the franchise record with 18 such starts in 1985…Dickey’s total is tied for the fifth most in club history and only Gooden and Tom Seaver had higher single-season totals.

RISP: The Mets went 2-9 with runners in scoring position yesterday and are 3-for-their-last-29 (.103) with RISP...The Mets are hitting .169 (27- 160) with runners in scoring position since August 1...The Mets are hitting .252 with RISP on the season, ranking 18th in the majors...The Mets are hitting .272 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the third-highest average in the majors.

TWO-OUTS: The Mets have scored 32 of their last 59 runs with two outs (54 percent)...New York has scored 239 two-out runs, which is tied for third in the majors...New York is hitting .264 with two outs, the third-highest average in the majors...New York’s pitching staff has permitted 220 runs with two outs, tied for the ninth-most in the majors.

FIRST PITCH: The tennis brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, London 2012 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists in Men's Doubles, will throw out the first pitch today...The duo is working with Citi's Every Step of the Way program to support Tennis in the Parks...This initiative provides kid-sized tennis courts and rackets for children to learn to play the game of tennis.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: Before today’s game, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will debut the Department of Homeland Security and Major League Baseball’s new Public Service Announcement for the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign...The PSA is aimed at reaching out to sports audiences to encourage them to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement...To learn more visit: www.dhs.gov/IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething.

LAST START: Lost his fifth game of the season in the Mets’ 5-2 defeat vs. Washington at Nationals Park...Pitched 5.0 innings, allowing five runs, earned, eight hits, two home runs, and no walks...Struck out three in the 78-pitch outing...Did not walk a batter for the second straight start.

LAST RELIEF OUTING: Last pitched on August 15 in relief of R.A. Dickey at Cincinnati...Pitched 2.0 innings, allowing one run, earned, and three hits...Struck out one, while picking up a no-decision.

2012 RELIEF: Hefner has made 12 relief appearances this season, most recently on August 15 at Cincinnati...In those 12 appearances Hefner is 0-1 and has pitched to a 4.24 ERA (11 earned runs/23.1 innings pitched)...Has walked four and struck out nine in those 23.1 innings...His lone loss in relief was in Toronto when he pitched 5.0 innings.

CAREER AS A STARTER: Hefner has made seven career starts...In those seven starts, the 26-year old rookie has posted a 2-4 record with a 5.63 ERA (24 earned runs/38.1 innings pitched)...Hefner has struck out 27 while issuing just six walks.

HITS: The 10 hits that Hefner surrendered in his start at San Francisco on July 30 were a career- high...His previous high mark occurred on May 24 vs. San Diego when he was allowed nine hits in his major league debut at Citi Field.

SINCE ALL-STAR BREAK: Since the All-Star break, Hefner is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA (16 earned runs/31.1 innings pitched) in eight games, four starts...Pitched to a 5.64 ERA (19 earned runs/30.1 innings pitched) in 11 games, three starts before the break...Eight of Hefner’s 10 walks this season have come since the All-star break.

CONTROL: Hefner has walked 10 in 61.2 major league innings this season, including only six walks in six starts...Has a K/BB of 5.30 and a BB/9 of 1.5.

LONGEST RELIEF OUTING: Hefner’s relief appearance on May 19 at Toronto (5.0 innings) was the longest by a Mets pitcher since Raul Valdez went 5.0 innings on May 20, 2010 at Washington.

RUNNERS ON: Opponents are hitting .299 (35-117) when runners are on base...Furthermore, opponents are hitting .295 (18-61) with four doubles, two home runs, and 26 RBI with runners in scoring position, and .258 (8-31) in such situations with two outs...Hitters are batting .297 (41-138) when he pitches with the bases empty.

FIRST HOME RUN AND WIN: According to Stats LLC, Hefner became the first pitcher to hit his first career home run in his first career win since Dennis Tankersley accomplished the feat while with San Diego in 2002.

2012 MINOR LEAGUE STARTS: In nine minor league starts for Buffalo (AAA) of the International League, Hefner was 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA (19 earned runs/61.2 innings pitched)...Pitched at least 7.0 innings in six of those nine starts, and pitched into the eighth in two of them...Had six quality starts while pitching for Buffalo.

MINOR LEAGUE CAREER TOTALS: In 141 career games, 129 starts, Hefner is 51-36 with a 3.75 ERA (313 earned runs/750.1 innings pitched)...Won a career-high 14 games in 2009 while pitching for Lake Elsinore (A+) of the California League and Portland (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

MINOR LEAGUE CAREER: Has pitched in the Mets farm system this season after being claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 18, 2011...Was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft...Originally drafted by the Mets in the 46th round of 2004 First-Year Player Draft and again in the 48th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign either time.

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