“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.
SANTANA: Offers encouragement for strong second half.
In watching Johan Santana toy with Cincinnati it was almost as if he were telling Mike Pelfrey, “Mike, this is how you do it.’’
While Santana isn’t as consistently dominant as he used to be, for one night he was as good as ever, throwing a three-hit shutout of the Reds, 3-0, with the game-winning run coming on his first career home run.
And in the ninth inning, after Jason Bay’s dropped pop-up in left, Santana told Jerry Manuel, “I‘ll finish it.’’
The replays didn’t show whether, or where, Mike Pelfrey’s errant fastball clipped Scott Rolen, but how the Mets’ pitcher responded to not getting that call, and not getting a later call on a strike to Drew Stubbs was the backdrop of Cincinnati’s six-run fifth inning and subsequently last night’s loss to the Reds.
Pelfrey didn’t lose last night because he didn’t get a couple of calls. He lost because of his reaction to not getting those calls.
Whereas Pelfrey had been composed most of this season, he became flustered and unnerved. Whereas he had minimized damage he dug himself into a hole the Mets could not dig out of. His body language spoke of frustration and anger.
Pelfrey couldn’t stop the bleeding. He didn’t do his job, which, is when things go awry to remember he still needs to get outs.
“I thought, for the first time in over a year, I let my emotions get the best of me,’’ Pelfrey said. “And, that wasn’t very good on my part.’’
They couldn’t be any more opposite, RA Dickey and Stephen Strasburg.
One, Dickey, is a 35-year-old knuckleballer hanging on to his career with grit, guile and perseverance. The other, Strasburg, is the rookie phenom, who despite a handful of starts in his young career already has some clamoring for him to be on the National League All-Star team.
Imagine, less than 40 career innings and already they are lobbying for him to be an All-Star. It shouldn’t happen, but you never know.
Both Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee are available on the trade market, but considering all that’s going on around the Mets these days with Johan Santana, Oswalt is the best fit.
With Santana struggling, and reports he’s lost three to four mph. off his fastball and he’s no longer as elite as he used to be, the Mets must be farsighted about whom they bring in, as they are looking to bolster the front end of the rotation.
Given that, unless there was a chance to sign Lee long term, I believe the proper route would be Oswalt as you are addressing your pitching needs over the next three years for the cost of top prospects, presumably guys like Angel Pagan and Jenrry Mejia.
To surrender your blue chips for answers down the road is one thing. To surrender them for a rental is quite another. This thinking might be different if Santana were Santana, but he’s not, and that must be factored into the equation.