By Mike Steffanos
Game 127: Mets 7 - Braves 3
For the second time this week a Mets starting pitcher gave the entire bullpen a night off. After managing and surviving his sixth inning hiccup, Pelfrey needed only a combined 25 pitches to navigate the final 3 innings.
The sixth inning was undoubtedly the turning point of the game. A bunt single and two walks loaded the bases with no outs, and a 5-run lead that had seemed secure moments ago looked anything but. This was exactly the sort of situation that would have sunk Pelfrey earlier this year. A double play grounder allowed a run to score but put a big damper on the rally. A wild pitch plated another, but he survived with a 3-run lead that was never really challenged after that.
While there is still worry over all of the innings he is throwing, the 108 pitches was a fairly efficient number for nine innings, particularly in a game where Pelfrey was a little wild. (He threw 62 strikes and 46 balls.) If the Mets had a huge lead or were out of it they would probably limit Pelfrey the rest of the way, skipping starts and taking him out of games earlier. They really can't afford to do that now.
I'll be leaving in a little while to attend tonight's game with fellow blogger Greg Prince as the Mets seek to sweep the Braves out of town. Here's hoping.