Friday, April 16, 2010

Mets Get a Big Lift from Big Pelf

Nine games into the season (and with only three wins), the Mets have one of their starting pitchers with a 2-0 record, a 1.38 ERA, 10 K’s and only 4 walks in 13 innings. This pitcher has twice stopped losing streaks.

If that was the only info you had, odds are you would say “That has to be Johan Santana.”

Amazingly though, it’s not. May I introduce one of the few bright spots for the Mets so far in 2010: Mike Pelfrey.

While it’s way too early to start proclaiming Pelfrey to be the #2 starter the Mets have been needing, he’s taken some strides to return to the success he enjoyed in 2008 when he won 13 games with a 3.72 ERA and began to establish himself as a solid starting pitcher.

One of the reason for his early success seems to be the addition of a split-fingered fastball to his repertoire. Mixing up his pitches has served him well, as seen yesterday in seven shutout innings, where he didn’t allow a walk… a big change from his last appearance in Coors Field when he allowed six earned runs and walked five, lasting only four innings in what became a 10 – 9 loss.

As everyone has been saying all through the offseason and into the first nine games… the mets NEED someone to step it up and have a solid 2010 for them to have a prayer to complete. Pelfrey, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, has been a highly touted pitcher for a while and after a great second half in 2008 has been expected to be a front end of the rotation guy.

As I stated before in earlier posts, I think Pelfrey has the ability to be the guy they need at the front end of the rotation. He’s a strong power pitcher with good stuff. Pelfrey’s biggest problem however… is Pelfrey. He has shown on occasion to allow a bad start to get into his head (like when he spent an hour doing running sprints in the Coors Field parking lot after his last disasterous start mentioned above) and has had issues with balks when he gets over excited on the mound.

Despite that, I believe he has it in him to be what the Mets need. Only time will tell, but right now he has given the Mets a huge lift with his great start. if he can keep up this type of performance, coupled with Santana, the season looks less bleak already.

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