He has just one more major league win than he's had major elbow surgeries, but Jenrry Mejia 's pitching is starting to turn some heads in New York.
His new batterymate might do the same.
Mejia looks to deliver another impressive outing Saturday night at Petco Park, when top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud could make his major league debut for the Mets against the struggling San Diego Padres .
Once a promising prospect who made his major league debut at age 20 in 2010, Mejia (1-2, 2.22 ERA) had his career derailed by Tommy John surgery and had a 7.03 ERA in six career starts coming into 2013.
That included 14 walks in 24 1-3 innings, but since returning to the majors on July 26, the right-hander has allowed just six earned runs through four starts, including three walks in 24 1-3 innings.
"I know that they worked very hard with him before he got here on smoothing out his mechanics and trying to get him into a consistent release point, and I think they've done that," manager Terry Collins said. "He's worked hard at it and it's paying off."
Mejia held the red-hot Dodgers scoreless for five frames Monday before being charged with three runs - two earned - in the sixth inning of an eventual 4-2 loss.
"He had everything going," catcher John Buck said. "He was electric with his fastball and he really made good pitches when he had guys in situations where he needed to put them away, especially in the heart of the lineup."
While Mejia has been sharp, Edinson Volquez has been anything but.
Volquez (8-10, 5.80) has walked 4.28 batters per nine innings, the highest clip in the NL and one that's largely contributed to his league-worst ERA.
The right-hander failed to get out of the fifth inning Monday, allowing eight runs, nine hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 14-2 loss at Colorado.
He might not fare much better Saturday. Volquez is 0-5 with a 7.76 ERA in six career starts against New York and was lifted two batters into the fourth inning on Opening Day in Queens, getting charged with six runs in an 11-2 loss.
The Mets (56-64) will look to add to their recent power surge. After hitting just three home runs over their first eight games in August, they have nine in their last seven - including three in Friday's 5-2 victory.
They have homered in all five games they have played against the Padres, with nine overall.
Travis d'Arnaud certainly has the potential to add to that total. The Mets' prized prospect and perhaps the best catcher in the minor leagues is set to make his major league debut on Saturday while John Buck is on the paternity list.
D'Arnaud fractured a bone in his left foot in April, missing three months, but he hasn't looked rusty in Triple-A Las Vegas. The 24-year-old had a .487 on-base percentage and 1.041 OPS in 19 games with the 51s, drawing 21 walks in 78 plate appearances.
"He's done very well there," general manager Sandy Alderson told the team's official website. "His approach offensively has been terrific. He's throwing the ball well. So we'll see what he offers."
The Padres (54-68) could definitely use an injection of life offensively. They've scored 25 runs while losing eight of 10.
Will Venable , who has fanned five times in the first two games of this series, has struck out nine times in 17 at-bats against the Mets.
|New York Mets|
|August 10, 2013||Jeremy Hefner||15-Day DL||Partially torn ligament, right elbow|
|August 03, 2013||David Wright||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|August 02, 2013||David Wright||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|July 31, 2013||Bobby Parnell||15-Day DL||Neck stiffness|
|July 30, 2013||Josh Edgin||15-Day DL||Ribcage stress fracture|
|July 26, 2013||Justin Turner||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 31, 2013||Carlos Quentin||15-Day DL||Right knee strain|
|July 23, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 20, 2013||Jason Marquis||60-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|July 12, 2013||Kyle Blanks||15-Day DL||Left Achilles tendinitis|
|July 07, 2013||Yasmani Grandal||60-Day DL||Right knee sprain|
|June 22, 2013||Clayton Richard||60-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Padres manager Bud Black had been waiting for his hitters to come around. With an early crack at the New York bullpen, that's exactly what they did.
Will Venable had four hits and San Diego got home runs from Nick Hundley and Jedd Gyorko in an 8-2 victory over the Mets on Saturday night.
Mets starter Jenrry Mejia left early with discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow, and the Padres took advantage when New York's relief corps was pressed into service. San Diego finished with 15 hits in snapping a three-game losing streak.
"The bats woke up a little bit," Black said.
Edinson Volquez (9-10) worked five innings for the win and Venable extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active run in the National League.
"I'm just trying to keep my rhythm and swing at strikes," he said.
Volquez earned his first career victory against the Mets despite reaching 100 pitches in five innings.
"I had a couple of long innings and my pitch count got high," he said. "But the best part was the win after losing three. Everyone can go home happy."
Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, a highly touted prospect acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade last offseason, went 0 for 2 with two walks in his major league debut. The Padres stole three bases against d'Arnaud and he allowed a passed ball.
Mejia exited in the fourth after throwing two balls to Logan Forsythe . The right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery in 2011, walked off the mound and was met by manager Terry Collins.
Mejia has been pitching with a bone spur, and it had been determined that he would undergo offseason surgery.
"We knew that there was a time when it might come back," Collins said.
Mejia was replaced by David Aardsma , and moments later the Padres broke a 1-all tie.
Forsythe singled off Aardsma (2-2) and scored on Hundley's two-run homer to left field. It was Hundley's second hit in his first game back after spending two days on the paternity list.
"That's the best moment of my career by far," Hundley said of his career-high 10th homer. "I couldn't stop smiling. I thought about my daughter and got a little emotional on the bench."
The Padres stretched their lead to 4-1 when Alexi Amarista 's sharp single scored Venable after he doubled down the right-field line.
The Mets cut it to 4-2 on Wilmer Flores ' RBI double in the fifth. The Padres pushed it back to 5-2 on Jesus Guzman 's RBI single in the bottom half.
Gyorko added a three-run homer in the eighth.
Venable singled in his first at-bat and stole second. Amarista moved Venable to third with a groundout and, when Yonder Alonso walked, the Padres had runners on the corners.
Mejia retired Gyorko, but Chris Denorfia followed with a run-scoring single.
San Diego's 1-0 lead was in jeopardy in the second, when the Mets loaded the bases with two outs on walks to d'Arnaud and Omar Quintanilla and a single by Juan Lagares .
Mejia hit a chopper near the plate, with Volquez and Hundley converging on it. Volquez fielded the ball near the first base line and threw across his body to nip Mejia at first.
But the Mets tied the game in the third on Daniel Murphy 's RBI single, which scored Eric Young Jr. after he reached on a bunt and stole second.
Now, the Mets will see how Mejia's rebuilt elbow responds after he was forced from the game.
"It was a matter of pain threshold and it was exceeded apparently (Saturday night), and he had to come out," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "The doctor here took a look at him but at this point it's about his symptoms. Obviously severe and we will see where this takes us."
NOTES: New York called up d'Arnaud from Triple-A Las Vegas after starting catcher John Buck went on the paternity list Friday. Both were obtained in the December deal that sent Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays. ... D'Arnaud will catch All-Star RHP Matt Harvey on Sunday, a tandem the Mets hope is a foundation for the future. "That certainly will be a challenge for him because Matt is a different animal than those other guys," Collins said. "But as I talked to Travis this morning, I said, `Listen, we've got a game plan. Stay with it. Trust it, and obviously have some input if something isn't working."' ... Padres C Chris Robinson was optioned to Triple-A Tucson when Hundley was activated. ... Struggling 3B Chase Headley sat out. Headley was 2 for 8 in the series after hitting .160 (4 for 25) on the last road trip. "He hasn't had many days off, so physically it's good, and mentally as well," Black said. "The last five, six games he has been going at it pretty hard both ways." ... Padres LHP Eric Stults (8-10, 3.68 ERA) faces Harvey (9-4, 2.23) in Sunday's series finale.