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It's More than Astrology for Pelfrey

Mike SteffanosWednesday, July 9, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 90: Mets 7 - Giants 0

When Mike Pelfrey pitched the Mets to a victory in Colorado June 22, I posted some stats that clearly showed that he turned a corner with his terrific late-May start against the Dodgers. The trend continues:

Mike Pelfrey (Last 8 starts)
(Last 8)51.2151548361902.611.307-1

Before 5/319495.411.
After 5/31851.

Sometimes numbers only tell part of the story, but in Pelfrey's case the numbers speak volumes. After averaging more walks than strikeouts per nine in his first 9 outings, Mike has pushed his strikeout to walk ratio up close to 2-1. In his last 8 he's allowing more than 3 fewer hits per nine innings and his ERA is half of what it was. Pelfrey has not been taken deep in his last 10 starts.

It's gotten to the point where I feel like the Mets have a decent chance to win whenever Pelfrey goes out there. As a matter of fact, he's been their best pitcher during this stretch. If you could have gotten Vegas odds on that back when Pelfrey was 2-6 with a 5.33 ERA after losing to the Marlins on May 26, you'd be sitting pretty right now.

Interesting sour grapes from the MLB.com Giants beat writer:

The dominant right-hander on this muggy evening at Shea Stadium was not Lincecum, but New York's Mike Pelfrey, who allowed three hits -- only one of which left the infield -- in seven innings. The Giants had the misfortune of encountering Pelfrey (7-6) when all the stars and planets were aligned in his favor. He has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 starts and four or more in his other seven.

Two runs or fewer in 10 of 17 starts would seem pretty impressive to me, and would be a sign of something more substantial than the stars and planets being aligned. Pretty silly, really -- as if the writer felt Pelfrey was unworthy of beating their golden child. Jerk...

Speaking of jerks, another great call by the umpires in the first when they decided that running on the grass to avoid a tag was not running out of the baseline. Apparently they decided Easley didn't chase him far enough trying to tag him. We used to have plays like that in the sandlot growing up. A player would run about 100 feet out of the baseline to avoid being tagged and then we'd argue about it for the next 20 minutes or so. Obviously having real umpires on hand doesn't guarantee the right call, either.

The Mets were remarkably un-flat coming off that Phillies series. They've been letting down in games like this all year, and it was refreshing and a little surprising that they came out strong. Of course, it's easier when your starting pitcher is practically unhittable. Still, if this keeps up I may be forced to start believing these guys have a chance to be a happy story in the second half. A month ago this team looked totally lost. However it plays out the rest of the way, kudos to Jerry Manuel for getting them to compete again.

View Mike Pelfrey's Full Season Stats

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (4)

Manuel goes about it differently, doesn't he? Two attempted bunts in a row, with your team leading? Endy didn't get his bunt down, but ordinarily I would expect the second bunt to be easier to field, since you were just doing it a moment ago. I don't recall seeing the Mets try that under Randolph.

Oddball strategies are frequently poor, low-percentage strategies, whatever the announcers might have to say about them. But it's worth remembering that the typically HIGH percentage plays are calculated on existing a degree of uncertainty; become too predictable with your offense and the good percentage moves become less so.

There's not one thing wrong with the juducious, occasional use of a little Small Ball, any more than there is the two strike bunt or the timed pickoff play at second. It'll bring the third baseman in, or shorten the baserunner's lead as the case may be; it will sow doubt in your opponent; and it may even work.

Have to give Pelf credit, or like you said, everything is in perfect alignment. Could be because, Willie is gone, "The Jacket" is gone, new pitching coach, or maturity/innings. Whatever it is I'll take it, good win, 4 in a row, 14 hits, and shutout ball. Somehow though.........I still proceed with caution! Lets go Mets!

Good Post Mike! I couldn't believe how well the Mets played and how great Big Pelf looked. I was sure the Mets would get smoked, I couldn't beleive how well that game went.

The Mets are a differant team under Jerry, and for the better I may add.I can watch them again. They still have a long way to go, but it's almost fun again. Lets go Mets.

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