Win or lose this afternoon, Mike Pelfrey will have had a good first half. Much better than anybody would have anticipated considering how he was rocked during spring training.
However, today is more about heading into the break on a positive psychological note than it is pumping up his already impressive numbers.
At 10-3, and on pace for a 19-6 season, Pelfrey is having a breakthrough year, but is going through rough patch, almost a flashback to last year in his inability to minimize the damage and finish off innings, something he has done so well throughout the first half.
After a 9-1 start that unearthed his maturity, including a loss to the Yankees in late June, Pelfrey is 1-2 over his last four starts. That, in it is no big deal, but what has raised a red flag was an inability to finish and a lack of composure, which flared in Monday’s loss to Cincinnati.
Pelfrey unraveled after failing to get two calls and the result was seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, his second straight start in which he failed to get out of the fifth.
“I thought for the first time in over a year, I let my emotions get the best of me,’’ Pelfrey said in a candid admission. “That wasn’t very good on my part.’’
Not only did Pelfrey admit to that, but attributed his rough patch to a dead arm period.
“Every year, you just go through a little period where you don’t feel like the ball is coming out of your hand like it has that extra life on it,’’ Pelfrey said. “I feel like I’ve been going through that.’’
Over his last four starts Pelfrey has been tagged for 18 runs on 34 hits and eight walks. Not All-Star like at all, but also not a regression.
Pelfrey will attempt to put the brakes on his personal and the Mets’ team slide this afternoon against the Braves. Beating Atlanta for the third time in the first half would not only pull the Mets within three of the Braves but also give him a positive base from which to approach the second half.