By Mike Steffanos
Game 132: Mets 9 - Astros 1
In many different ways we've talked about the strides Mike Pelfrey has made this season. As I began my long trek out to Shea yesterday afternoon I realized that I was excited about the opportunity to see Mike pitch in person. While I've always supported Pelfrey, I couldn't have said the same thing back in April or May.
I found it very interesting that Joel Sherman had the following to say about Pelfrey in his New York Post blog:
It is analogy I have made before and will make here again: Mike Pelfrey as the baseball version of Eli Manning. He is the talented, highly drafted, highly publicized right arm who did not move at quite the quick...
It is a reminder that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy still might turn out to be something specialist even as their plummet this season has devastated the Yankees. There is not a lot of patience in society and sports reflects that. But as Manning and Pelfrey have exhibited this year, it is always worthwhile to wait for talent.
I can't tell you how often I have been frustrated over the past two years or so in reading something by one of Sherman's colleagues in the press about how the Mets overvalued Pelfrey and should have traded him before his stock dropped. He's been labeled a failed prospect and a bust at various times despite being relatively inexperienced as a pro and less than 25 years old.
The Mets, bless their hearts, did the right thing in ignoring the hue and cry of the doubters and understanding that you can't teach talent, potential, and the otherworldly movement this kid gets on his 93 mph sinker. Of course, next time the Mets have a prospect that doesn't pan out, everyone will forget Pelfrey and we'll hear all the usual I told you sos.
In the meantime, I'm just happy to get the chance to watch this young pitcher grow in a Mets uniform rather than somewhere else.
Speaking of kids, as awesome as Delgado was yesterday -- and he was truly awesome -- I thought the at bat of the game came in the sixth inning from Daniel Murphy.
Struck out in his previous 2 at bats, Murphy was left in the game to face the left-hander just brought in from the 'pen. The Mets offense had once again grown eerily silent following a first inning outburst. With runners on first and third and one out, I thought it important that the Mets didn't let the Astros gain a little "mo" from escaping the jam. Plus, with this bullpen, you can't afford not to tack on runs as the game gets later.
Murphy's reputation for looking at a lot of pitches has, of course, gotten around. Wesley Wright threw a first pitch fastball looking to get ahead, and Murphy was sitting on it. A well-struck sacrifice fly to CF was the result, the Mets went up 4-0, and we all breathed a little sigh of relief.
Delgado would put it away next inning, but that was a huge run in this game.
By the way, Luis Castillo had a nice game in the field yesterday but looked rusty at the plate. I just can't understand why a number of fans felt the need to boo him in the eighth when he struck out in a 9-0 game. Are we looking for reasons to boo now?
Our unofficial (but extremely talented) photographer Gary Sparber, who I enjoyed meeting for the first time at this game, has some great game pics posted. Enjoy.
Note to David Newhan: now that you've left New York, it's okay to remember that you suck again.