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.
That’s the way it’s going to have to be tonight at San Francisco as Niese (6-3, 3.61) tries to pull the Mets out of their July funk.
After a boom in June that saw the Mets go 11 games over .500 and pull within a game of Braves, they are 4-7 for July to find themselves five games behind during a very precarious part of their schedule as this is the second game of a season-high 11-game road trip.
This is what aces do, they lift a struggling team on top of their shoulders and carry them when times are dark and heavy.
The Mets conclude a surprising first half with a disappointing close this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. The weekend began with the Mets three-games out of first. They now stand five games out fighting to keep from falling six back by the break.
After a rough stretch Santana back to pitching the shutdown way aces are supposed to and the way the Mets have always expected, with tenacity, guile and grit. Santana, a victim of poor run support for much of the first half, could have perhaps a dozen wins with any kind of offensive and bullpen help.
With the Mets’ sputtering this week, and scoring only two runs in this series, Santana can pretty much expect to do most of the heavy lifting today – as he usually does.