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Hawkins' contribution appreciated by Mets

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DENVER -- The Mets were reunited with a staple from their 2013 bullpen on Thursday when they opened a four-game set in Colorado, where LaTroy Hawkins is closing games for the Rockies.

Hawkins is in his 20th year in the Major Leagues, and his nine saves in nine opportunities are tied for third in the Majors entering the series, trailing Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez (13) and San Diego's Huston Street (10).

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"He filled so many roles for us last year when he first got here," manager Terry Collins said of the 41-year-old right-hander. "He ended up being the closer at the end of the year. [He's got] all the confidence in the world. When he goes on the mound, he's going to throw strikes. And he's going to make you swing the bat to beat him."

Hawkins pitched in 72 games for the Mets in 2013, posting a 2.93 ERA over 70 2/3 innings, striking out 55 and walking 10.

"What he did in that clubhouse and with some of our young pitchers, you can't replace it," Collins said, crediting Hawkins for the Mets' improved bullpen in 2014. "We were fortunate to find a couple quality veteran guys in [Kyle] Farnsworth and [Jose] Valverde, but we miss LaTroy Hawkins in the clubhouse."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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