“There was a time when you could say, `Johnson, Jimenez, Pelfrey.’ You can’t say that right now.’’- Jerry Manuel.
PELFREY: He's unraveled.
At one time Mike Pelfrey was making signs and sounds of being an elite pitcher, but he has hit a wall in his development and regressed. Manuel said Pelfrey needs to re-establish his fastball and get back to pounding it low in the zone.
Pelfrey is a hot mess right now. He claims he’s healthy – I guess the dead arm period is over – and maybe so physically, but emotionally and mentally he’s damaged. He’s aiming the ball and going away from his power to finessing his pitches.
It’s now six straight starts in which he’s been off, with the last four being poor. He’s not going to find it overnight. It will be a progression before Pelfrey will be back again.
It is time for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey to stop fooling around.
Game #93 at Diamondbacks
At one time the Mets were 11 games over .500 and a game behind Atlanta. They go into Arizona tonight just six games over and five games behind.
Their slide and coincided with Pelfrey’s five-start skid in which he went 1-3.
Tonight they have the Diamondbacks, one of the worst teams in the sport.
The Diamondbacks could represent an oasis in what is a desert of a schedule for the Mets, who just lost three of four at San Francisco. From Arizona the Mets have four games at Los Angeles, then return home for a brief series against St. Louis before meeting up with Atlanta and Philadelphia.
By the time that stretch is completed we should know just how much of a contender the Mets are really.
* Oliver Perez is en route to Arizona but might not be activated immediately. Jerry Manuel said when Perez returns it would be as a situational lefty with Hisanori Takahashi remaining in the rotation.
The Mets would like to unload Perez’s contract in a trade for a pitcher. With the asking price for Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren too high for GM Omar Minaya’s liking, the Mets are concentrating on a middle-tier arm such as Ted Lilly, Brett Myers, Ben Sheets or Jake Westbrook.
For some reason, they won’t give Pat Misch a chance. Misch pitched well for them last year and represented Triple-A Buffalo in that league’s All-Star game.
* We are expected to see Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes in the lineup tonight at Arizona. It will be the first time in over a year they’ve been on the field together.
* It is anticipated Luis Castillo will be activated for tonight’s game. Ruben Tejada, who played well in the field, but had his problems at the plate, is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Buffalo where he’ll get regular at-bats.
We might know more about one of the Mets’ key second-half questions tonight, which is: Who is the real Mike Pelfrey?
At one time, Pelfrey was 9-1 and cruising toward the All-Star Game. All was right in his world and the Mets were making up ground on Atlanta. However, he has hit a rough five-game stretch since in which he’s gone 1-3 with a 7.52 ERA.
That’s just the beginning of the bad numbers.
In that span Pelfrey (10-4, 3.58 ERA) failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his last three starts, including going four while giving up four runs on 12 hits in his last start against the Braves.
At 61-19, Johan Santana has been money in the bank in his career during the second half. The Mets will need to cash a Santana check today against the Giants to avoid being swept and perhaps falling into a free fall.
Santana gave up five hits in seven innings in beating Atlanta last Sunday to prevent a sweep in that series.
Overall, the Mets have lost six of their last seven and eight of their last ten games.
“I feel much better,’’ Santana said. “Hopefully, this second half will be a strong one.’’