By Mike Steffanos
Game 95: Mets 7 - Rockies 0
I posted a piece from Barry Duchan earlier today where Barry writes about how surprised he was by the emergence of Mike Pelfrey. Unlike Barry, I've always thought Pelfrey had the stuff to be a pretty good pitcher if he would just throw strikes. However, to pretend that I foresaw Mike coming this far this fast would be a complete fabrication. And again, I think I liked his chances as much or more than anyone.
One of the things that makes baseball great, though, is that always manages to surprise us, no matter how long we've been watching. Something clicks for a young player and they take a giant step forward. Guys like David Wright who excel from day one are the exception rather than the rule.
Even the folks at Baseball America who deal with prospects all of the time were quite down on Pelfrey. In an ESPN SportsNation Chat last January, Jim Callis cited Pelfrey when asked which prospect from 2007's Top 100 dropped the most in his eyes. As you know, Callis was hardly alone in that view. I wonder how many of those guys have been doing as well as Pelfrey has in the past two months, though, especially pitchers.
Of course, Mike still has a long way to go. At some point he will hit some struggles, as every major leaguer does, and it will be interesting to see how he responds to them. One thing for sure, struggling is something Pelfrey has experience with.
I've been showing the contrast between Pelfrey's first 9 starts of this season and those that came after his breakthrough game against the Dodgers in late May. It bears another look, including the startling numbers of his last 3 starts:
Last 3 Starts
He's come a long way from the scared kid who was nibbling at corners and pitching behind all of the hitters in the first two months.
Bob Klapisch Update
I posted something on the blog last Friday when I read about the terrible eye injury Bergen Record columnist Bob Klapisch suffered when he was struck by a batted ball while pitching in a semi-pro baseball game Thursday night. There is an article about it here.
A couple of readers asked if there was an address they could send cards to. I emailed the Record's Steve Popper, and he was kind enough to respond with an address and an update:
The best thing would be to send cards if fans want to to the office:
North Jersey Media Group
150 River Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
I spoke to Bob last night again on my way home from the stadium and he was feeling a little better and a little more optimistic, seeing some light through the eye.
That's good news that he is seeing some light through his eye. He is still going to require multiple surgeries, and I'm sure the rehab process will be long and tedious.
I've been through more injury rehabs than I care to remember and know how tough it can be. I've forwarded the info to the people who had emailed me, and I hope some others will also follow suit. Although I'm sure the well-liked Bob Klapisch has the support of friends, family and colleagues, I know from experience it always helps to hear from people who wish you well. The more the merrier. I'll be sending something, too.
If you are a fellow blogger reading this, please pass along the address above to your readers. Thanks.