By Mike Steffanos
Marlins 5 - Mets 2
Mets 6 - Marlins 3
I was listening to last night's loss while working at the new house. I had the feeling all night -- at least until Heilman gave up that home run -- that the game was out there to be won. Once again, the Mets couldn't seem to get that big hit to break it open. It was frustrating, particularly since it ensured a series loss to a division foe, but there was a silver lining hiding out under the dark cloud that brought thunder and rain during the ninth inning.
After starting the first inning as if he was determined to pitch himself to New Orleans, Mike Pelfrey finally took a breath and became a pitcher again. Pelfrey loaded the bases in the first by hitting Uggla and walking Cabrera and Jacobs, and then gave up a bases clearing triple to Josh Willingham. Even with El Duque's shoulder problems, another terrible outing from Pelfrey might have earned him a ticket on the New Orleans shuttle. Instead of allowing the bad start to bury him, Pelfrey bounced back to dominate the Fish into the seventh inning. It wasn't a perfect outing, and in the end earned Pelfrey another "L", but it was something to build on.
The same could be said about David Wright. He garnered three hits, including his first homer. He doesn't look totally locked in at the plate, but he no longer looks totally lost. David's 3-hit game would have looked a lot better if the Mets had pulled the game out, but the Mets are better served over the long term with a productive David Wright.
Even Aaron Heilman, who has looked tentative this year in getting off to a bad start, looked like the good Aaron Heilman in the ninth after getting tattooed in the eighth. After the game, Heilman admitted that he got mad after giving up another back-breaking homer and "just threw" in the ninth.
I know some Mets fans are pretty down on Heilman, but there aren't that many options for them now. Pedro Feliciano can't seem to find the plate with regularity. Joe Smith is already pitching too much. Ambiorix Burgos is a work in progress. Scott Schoeneweis has allowed 15 baserunners in 10 innings of work so far, and has benefited from a couple of hard-hit balls being snagged by the defense. Guillermo Mota is still at least a month away, and we don't know what he will be yet. Like him or not, Heilman needs to find his game for this team to win.
|Mike Pelfrey (0-3)|
|TOTAL (4 Games)||20.0||15||15||25||9||10||2||6.75||1.75||1-3|
I was able to watch some of today's game, and had a feeling Oliver Perez would have a strong start in a game the Mets really needed. Poor Ollie failed to get the memo at the beginning of the year that he was just supposed to be a punch line. He thinks he is a pitcher, and damned if he doesn't look like one over his first five starts.
Everyone jumped on Perez after he melted down on that cold night against the Phillies. In the three games since, all he's done is pitch 19.1 innings and allowed 20 baserunners and 7 earned runs.
Perez looks great mechanically right now, though he has a tendency to lose it a little when he gets deep into the game. As he maintains the smooth delivery over time I think we'll see less of that. He might pitch a stinker now and then, but I think there are a lot of folks who will be eating some serious crow as the season goes on.
Wright went 2-5 today. Again, he doesn't look completely locked in at the plate, but he's starting to look more relaxed.
Joe Smith gave the Mets a nice inning-and-two-thirds today. 26 games into the season he has 15 appearances and 13 innings pitched. That would translate to 93 appearances over a full season. He's been great, but as already stated, someone like Feliciano needs to step up or Smith may need a recommendation on a good arthritis physician from El Duque. Seriously, I worry about him wearing down if used at this rate.
|Oliver Perez (3-2)|
|TOTAL (5 Games)||29.0||13||11||26||36||10||2||3.41||1.24||3-2|