So for those who saw the final game of the series against the Giants, you clearly saw Mike Pelfrey looking uncomfortable on the mound. And I literately mean on the mound.
The current record for most balks in the game is 5, set by Bobby Shaw in 1963. Mike Pelfrey gave up 3 in his start. This not only ties a Mets record for most balks in a game, but also is tied for the second most balks in a game in the NL, and third in all of baseball.
He became the first Major League pitcher to balk three times in a game since Al Leiter did it in 1994. And he found himself unable to provide a complete explanation.
“It was weird,” Pelfrey said. “I knew I wanted to make the pitch home and I was fighting myself. The way I look at it, I shot myself in the foot twice and cost me a couple runs.”
Pelfrey actually performed 4 balks in the game, but the umpire only called him out on three of them.
The first balk, in the first inning, was of the most ordinary variety. Catching his cleat on the pitching rubber, Pelfrey had a choice: either hang onto the ball or send a batting-practice pitch flying toward the plate, possibly down the middle. Pelfrey chose the former and balked Pablo Sandoval to second base.
The next batter, Bengie Molina, hit a run-scoring single
His next balk was when Aaron Rowand had a lead off single, and Pelfrey balked him to second.
The third balk occurred in the sixth inning, after Pelfrey again allowed a single to the lead off hitter. In the same fashion as he did in the fifth, Pelfrey this time balked Molina over to second base.
“It’s a weird, weird experience,” Pelfrey said, “because not only am I out there fighting myself, but I’m fighting the Giants at the same time.”
“I was surprised, too,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “I had not witnessed that before, and it really caught me off-guard. You could see him fighting and battling and trying to get comfortable. It just wasn’t happening for him today.”
Of course Mike Pelfrey had no intent or designs of achieving this.