Sep 30

Pelfrey continues to puzzle.

Mike Pelfrey retired the first seven batters he faced last night, five of them on ground balls. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Then it unraveled for him as it usually does and you knew it would be one of those nights when Ian Desmond homered in the fifth.

I really don’t want to hear how Pelfrey has been distracted with by getting married and having a kid. The bottom line is Pelfrey has regressed dramatically this season to the point where you have to wonder if he’ll ever make it.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.


Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s in the 2010 rotation, but it’s by default as the Mets are so pitching depleted that they have to run with Pelfrey’s potential much the same way they do with Oliver Perez.

The fact is, if the Mets had other options, Pelfrey would have been better off in the minor leagues. He’s done for the season with a lackluster 10-12 record, accumulated by the same old mistakes.

Pelfrey loses his concentration when things go wrong and starts to walk hitters. He’s also not been able to develop his secondary pitches and throw them for strikes.

When he’s on, his sinker is a brutal pitch, but when he gets in trouble he tends to overthrow the pitch instead of taking something off it. When a pitcher overthrows in an attempt to throw harder, the pitch flattens out and rises. It becomes a fastball that doesn’t move, and movement is far more important than velocity.

This is what happens to Pelfrey, and consequently, hitters sit on that fastball and he gets crushed.

The physical tools are there, but he’s not thinking like a pitcher. He’s become a thrower, and far too often what he ends up throwing is batting practice.

Sep 30

This Day in Baseball History ….

Looking Back

Looking Back

No player dominated American sport as Babe Ruth. He is, without question, the greatest player and athlete who ever lived. Nobody captured our imagination, and still does, the way Ruth did.

Ruth became the first player to hit 30, 40, 50 and 60 homers in a single season.

RUTH: Nobody was like the Babe.

RUTH: Nobody was like the Babe.


On this day in 1927, in the eighth inning of a game against the Washington Senators, Ruth slugged his 60th homer of the season off Tom Zachary.

Ruth is greeted by fans waving their hankerchiefs as he took his position in the ninth inning. That game featured an interesting footnote in that it marked Walter Johnson’s final appearance as a player. Johnson pinch-hit for Zachary and flied out to Ruth.

Sep 30

About Last Night …. Ugly

Just another microcosm of the season in nine fitful innings. Mike Pelfrey pitched great at the start retiring the first seven hitters, but who didn’t have a nagging feeling he would implode?

Pelfrey blew a 3-0 lead as the Mets lost at Washington, with David Wright being robbed by Elijah Dukes for the final out. It’s way too easy to say that play cost the Mets as the night was another example of creative losing.

The Mets had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first and eighth innings and came away with one run. You should come away with more by accident. I’ve lost track of how many times the Mets have kicked away bases-loaded opportunities.

“We had some opportunities,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “That’s been the story of the season.”

Pelfrey, as usual, unraveled. He again had hitters sitting on his fastball, with this time Ian Desmond unloading for a homer in the fifth.

Defensively, Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo butchered double-play opportunities, which enabled the eventual winning run to score.

Sep 29

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #157; Pelfrey gets the ball.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Mike Pelfrey should get one more start after tonight, and it would be fitting one of the most disappointing Mets would start the final game of this most frustrating and disappointing season.

Pelfrey (10-12, 5.08 ERA) last faced the Nationals, Sept. 18 at Citi Field, and lost, giving up five runs in seven innings. He’s 1-2 in three starts with a 4.12 ERA against Washington this season.

Pelfrey seemed poised for a breakout year after taking a step forward last season, but regressed in so many ways in 2009. He unraveled and was prone to the big inning. He lost focus and concentration numerous times. He was inconsistent with his secondary pitches.

He was anything but a No. 2 starter. Actually, his record indicates he wasn’t even a No. 5 starter. Manager Jerry Manuel said Pelfrey is in next year’s rotation, but that’s because there’s nobody better to replace him with.

Here’s the line-up that will try to give him enough runs to dig Pelfrey out of whatever hole he puts himself into:

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP