Tag Archives: Mike Pelfrey

Wagner with men on base

Not that it matters so much now that Billy Wagner blew his third consecutive save, this one of the starting the ninth inning variety, but I still researched the split I referenced in yesterday’s rant post criticizing Willie Randolph‘s decision to have Mike Pelfrey start the ninth inning.

Wagner with no men on base in 2008: 60 PA, .158 BA, .446 OPS, 9 H, 3BB, 18 SO

Wagner with men on base in 2008: 43 PA, .244 BA, .670 OPS, 10 H, 1 BB, 13 SO

These numbers don’t include the blown save yesterday, by the way. So there you have it, the statistical basis for why Willie almost blew it in Wednesday’s game, only to be saved by Carlos Beltran‘s bat.

-Jonathan Kraft


Phew! Billy and Willie are saved

What a game last night, as Mike Pelfrey (8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO) outdualed Arizona ace Brandon Webb, in a 13-inning thriller that should have ended calmly in the ninth. Instead, due to what I believe was a poor decision by Willie Randolph, Billy Wagner gave up a three-run home run to Mark Reynolds that tied the game. In my view, Pelfrey should have been pinch-hit for in the bottom of the eighth, which would have let Wagner come on in the ninth with the bases clear. I’m not sure what Billy’s percentage of blown saves is with baserunners already aboard when he enters the game, but I’m sure when I look it up later I’ll find that it’s much higher than without baserunners aboard.

Pelfrey was through 110 pitches (a career high) in the 8th. He led off the bottom of that inning. Now, obviously, there are two conflicting schools of thought here. One would let the starter bat so that he could finish off his gem of a game, and go for the complete-game shutout. The other would play it safe for the team, and pinch-hit for the pitcher, trying to stimulate a rally and buy more insurance runs, letting the elite closer finish out the game, giving the starter what should be an automatic win.

It’s incredible how two fans can disagree about such a thing. MetsBlog’s Matt Cerone takes the first approach, even going so far as to say that Willie shouldn’t have pulled Pelfrey after he allowed a baserunner in the top of the ninth with no outs. I completely disagree, and think that it was a terrible idea for Willie to let Pelfrey bat in the eighth. Sure, I understand that it’s great to go for the complete game shutout for Pelfrey, a guy who’s arm is integral to the team’s future success. But Pelfrey is only one of twenty-five, and, in this situation, you have to play it safe. Sure, it’s Wagner who ultimately allowed the home run, but that lead baserunner would never have been aboard if Pelfrey hadn’t started the ninth inning.

The good news is that Carlos Beltran bailed everybody out, walking off with a long ball to end the game in the 13th. The bad news is that the Mets take the field this afternoon, with very little rest for an already banged-up team.

By the way, I now agree that Mike Pelfrey belongs on this team. He’s shown flashes in the past, but this year, despite a few roadblocks, his flashes have been closer and closer together. I think he’s finally turning the corner. Good for you, Big Pelf.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pedro activated, Pelfrey stays

According to MLB.com, Pedro Martinez has been activated, replacing Carlos Muniz on the roster. Muniz will head back to Triple-A New Orleans, demoted for the second time this season. Claudio Vargas will shift to long relief, and Mike Pelfrey will remain the team’s fifth starter.

After watching Oliver Perez‘s performance last night, it’s clear to me that this team’s greatest weakness is the inconsistency of its starting pitching behind Johan Santana and John Maine. A [hopefully] healthy Martinez should help a lot here. Pelfrey has shown flashes, which is why the team kept him in the rotation, but he needs to step it up to keep his rotation spot.

-Jonathan Kraft

So is this Mr. Hyde?

This year’s New York Mets have shown flashes of brilliance, but have quickly slid back into mediocrity. The Mets limped home to Shea Stadium last week having gone 2-5 on the week, including a four-game sweep by the Braves at Turner Field. But they came home and made a statement, winning important series against the Marlins and the Dodgers.

Leading the way for the Mets was good starting pitching, including a great performance by Mike Pelfrey and, of course, an awesome outing by Johan Santana. Backing those efforts on the mound were superb weeks by Mets hitters, led by David Wright. David hit .407, .515, .741 with 2 HR and 6 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.256. Jose Reyes hit .367, .457, .767 with 3 HR and 4 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.224. Luis Castillo emerged from mediocrity, hitting .348, .464, .652 with 2 HR and 4 RBI for an OPS of 1.116. And Carlos Beltran woke up, hitting .320, .438, .600 with 2 HR and 5 RBI for an OPS of 1.038.

Of course, there are still problems. Carlos Delgado is still not hitting. The starting rotation is still sketchy behind Santana and John Maine. Any reliever not named Billy Wagner, Scott Schoeneweiss, or Joe Smith terrifies me. But Ryan Church has returned to the lineup, as has the swagger of 2006. The question is, will this Mets team continue to play to its potential and win these important games, or will it go lose a series to a terrible San Francisco team and continue its slide from grace? Will Willie Randolph be redeemed by his club’s performance, or will he become a scapegoat yet again? It’s time for the Mets to step it up and prove that this last week was not a fluke, and that the 12th inning victory against the Marlins was a true turning point, not a rare glimpse of what could have been.

-Jonathan Kraft

Mike Pelfrey should be demoted

Terrible start for Big Pelf tonight, as he went just 4 innings, giving up 6 earned on 8 hits (including a home run), striking out 2 and walking 3 on 104 pitches (that’s quite a few for just 4 innings of work). It’s clear that Pelfrey just doesn’t have what it takes to start right now in the majors. I personally would be in favor of reinventing him as a reliever (he only has a couple pitches, including a fairly dominant fastball). But obviously that’s not going to happen on a Mets team that desperately needs starting pitching. So in that case, in my opinion, Pelfrey should be demoted to Triple-A.

Here are Pelfrey’s stats on the year: 2-5, 4.93 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 21 BB, 21 SO

I think if Claudio Vargas has another good start, Pelfrey is the one to go when Pedro Martinez returns to the rotation. If not, the Mets could and should be in the market for some additional arms, possibly including Freddie Garcia, who is expected to pitch after the All-Star Break.

-Jonathan Kraft

Mets Beast (and least) of the week

This really pains me because the Mets have played so badly the past week that, to be quite honest, there is no real “Beast.” This past week, the Mets collectively hit .214, 24th in Major League Baseball. The Mets ERA was 5.40, 26th in baseball. But I’m obligated to give the Beast of the Week distinction to someone, so here goes.

The Mets Beast of the Week is OF Nick Evans. After being promoted from Double-A, Evans doubled three times in his debut Sunday and has apparently won the starting position in left field for now. The 22-year-old will surely return to the minors as soon as either Angel Pagan or Moises Alou comes off of the DL. But for now, it’s a good story amidst a whole lot of bad ones.

Runners-Up: Cowbell Man, Mr. Met, SNY’s ratings

I’m tempted to say that the least of the week is the rest of the team, but that’s a bit too dramatic for my taste. So I’ll single out the biggest culprit in the abysmal play that has plagued the Mets of late, and that is pitching coach Rick Peterson. This is a first on NL Beast–giving the least of the week distinction to a coach. I’ve been a Peterson supporter, but the statistics do not lie; the Mets pitching staff is abysmal. For the week, the Mets pitching staff was 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA, walking 32 and striking out 29, allowing opponents to hit .281. The supposedly elite pitching staff has been mediocre to say the least, and was just plain awful last week.

Runners-down: Brian Schneider, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey

-Jonathan Kraft

Anderson to DL, Nick Evans called up

After pulling his hamstring in last night’s extra innings loss to the Rockies, Marlon Anderson will join a host of other Mets on the disabled list, leaving the Mets without yet another outfielder.

Taking Anderson’s roster spot will be 22 year old 1B Nick Evans, who becomes the first player since Mike Pelfrey to join the Mets straight from Double-A Binghamton. Evans has hit well for the B-Mets this year, hitting .292, .356, .538 with 8 HR and 31 RBIs. Evans hits extremely well against lefties–he has an OPS of 1.097 against southpaws.

Interesting move here; I’m not going to judge until I see him play. I would have expected Mike Carp to get the call, but I guess the Mets player development people consider Evans more major league ready.

-Jonathan Kraft