Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? The curious case of Mike Pelfrey continues to puzzle Metropolitan fans who are getting all too used to trying to guess which version of their pitchers will show up. Just when you think that Mike Pelfrey is going to go the way of John Maine and Oliver Perez, “the good Pelfrey” shows up again.
Friday in Pittsburgh, Pelfrey worked into the eighth inning allowing just one earned run. This is Pelfrey’s third straight good start, and after a month of July that saw him sport an ERA of 10.02 and a WHIP of 2.66 he has turned it around again and has a 2.36 ERA with a WHIP of 1.13 in August.
While 2010 is sure to be Pelfery’s best overall season statistically, it isn’t the first time he has shown flashes like this. In 2008, Mike had 17 quality starts in his final 23 winning 11 of those games. After that great second half, Pelfrey followed it up with an abysmal 2009 that saw his ERA balloon over 5 so predicting what Pelfrey will do next year is anyone’s guess.
But the fact that he was teetering on the edge in the month of July, and has seemingly turned the corner and re-found his stuff again bodes well for the 6’5” right-hander former first round pick, who has always been blessed with the physical gifts needed to be successful at the major league level. It’s the mental part of the game that Pelfrey must conquer in order to avoid going the way of his teammates Maine and Perez.
Nevertheless, the way Mike Pelfrey finishes his campaign will be a key point to monitor as we watch the team struggle toward the finish line in 2010. The players haven’t given up as Jerry Manuel continues to mix and match his lineup in an attempt to find a hot group that can save his job. Unfortunately, it seems no amount of mixing and matching can save the man that seems to be the fall guy for the bunch of underachievers that are the 2010 Mets. And Mike Pelfrey will become the Mets’ next manager’s headache to endure.
Hawk Drobnis is a co-host of Gotham Baseball LIVE, and a contributor to gothambaseball.com
You can reach him at TheHawkisWatching@yahoo.com