"I just tried to do my best again and it worked out," Hefner explained. Tried to pick up the bullpen. They picked me up last time, I picked them up tonight. Wish I could have thrown a complete game, but seven strong is pretty good."
Hefner improved to 3-7 with a 5.32 ERA in 25 games and 12 starts this season. However, he raised his ERA 80 points after allowing seven runs without recording an out in his prior start against the Phillies.
"You could say you try to forget about that, you try to turn the page quickly, but that was tough to swallow," Hefner said about that start against the Phillies.
Hefner is 3-6 with a 5.66 ERA in 62 innings over his 12 starts this season.
Last night was Hefner's best outing of the season. In particular, he had great command and movement of both his change-up and curveball, but he was able to go to those pitches thanks to his ability to establish his fastball for strikes on the corners to get ahead of the Pirates hitters. Recently, Hefner had been centering his fastball and not moving it to both sides of the plate for quality strikes - since his stuff isn't overwhelming, he can't be successful in that location.