When is Johan Santana getting back anyway?

The maddeningly inconsistent Mike Pelfrey was the perfect buzzkill to the Mets’ recent mini surge, when on Thursday he put up yet another stinker. Sure, Pelfrey was opposed by one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Justin Verlander and the Mets only scored two runs on him. That is not the point, however.

It would have been nice for Pelfrey to go deep in the game and give the team a semblance of a chance. Instead his final line was: 4.2 innings pitched, eight hits and five walks allowed and four earned runs allowed.

In his last two starts, Pelfrey has combined to pitch 10.2 innings while giving up 16 hits and allowing seven walks. The bevy of baserunners of course led to eight earned runs and consequently two losses.

While I am pigeonholing two starts here, the moral of this may be that Pelfrey just might not be a good pitcher. Many of you (spearheaded by our very own Brian Joura) probably realize that by now.

Pelfrey has amassed 47 wins compared to 48 losses in his time with the Mets and has a career 4.39 ERA. That suggests average at best.

Pelfrey is not a spring chicken anymore. He’s been pitching in the league for six years now. You can’t say, ‘well he’s young and going through growing pains, etc.’ anymore. That excuse should be locked away for good.

Pelfrey is simply just too shaky to trust anymore.

Whether you like it or not, in the order of things, Pelfrey is the Mets’ fifth starter. While the other starters are not immune to an occasional clunker, they have at least shown a valued consistency that Pelfrey lacks.

In his latest start, Pelfrey did himself no favors by issuing a career high five walks before the third inning was complete. That’s unacceptable.

In his last two starts, and for most of the season for that matter, it seems Pelfrey’s confidence in throwing strikes is non existent. Pelfrey tries to nibble at batters and is becoming more finesse with each start. Pelfrey just can’t seem to trust his stuff.

This is the sort of thing that will drive managers and fans alike crazy. We have all been witnesses to Pelfrey’s hot streaks and we know how serviceable he can be.

So, if and when Santana does get back, should Pelfrey be designated to the bullpen?

If Pelfrey maintains this type of production, I can’t see why Terry Collins wouldn’t.

Pelfrey’s next two starts may go a long way in determining how his season may play out. The Mets will need him to be the veteran and de-facto #1 ace he was declared prior to the season in two very important starts in the west-coast trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It could just be a harbinger of things to come.

2 comments on “Losing patience with Pelfrey

  • Metsense

    Mike Pelfry is a fifth starter on a staff made up of #3 and #4 starters. The Mets need to upgrade their starting pitching and Pelfry may be the solution. Pelfry because of his age and streaks of brillance is an ideal candidate to be traded with a prospect or bat for a #2 pitcher. If Pelfry doesn’t get traded then you have an inconsistant .5oo pitcher that can give you 200 innings as a fifth starter. That is not bad if you have a #1 and #2 starter but very difficult if your staff is #3 starters in the other four rotation spots. The Mets need to upgrade their pitching in order to compete at the next level.

  • Dan Stack

    Six shutout innings (albeit uneasy) upon release of this article. I’m also here to help!

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