Pelted only by the game’s second and third hitters, Mike Pelfrey threw perhaps his best game of the season. For the second time in a row, our number five man to start the season, looked Seaver-esque, almost always ahead of hitters in the count, he economized on his pitches magnificently and got batters to swing and put the ball in play—almost always as outs—very early in is counts. Pelfrey did not walk a single batter over nine full frames. If you were like me, you seriously considered that he had the tenth inning in him. Basically, he couldn’t be touched.
Remember last year’s Pelf of the yips and deer-in the-headlights looks followed by grimaces, and what almost seemed like an embarrassing oral fixation (mouth to fingers)? Almost all of it is gone. Well, he remains a licker, but now he licks to excellent effect. Big Pelf has become masterful, and he is a real treat to watch. Maybe, just maybe he is in the midst of the beginning stages of a tremendous career with our Mets.
Tonight was just one of those games when we got sufficient hits, but we never got people across the plate. Folks like Bay, Davis, and Barajas looked pathetic in the box. We couldn’t get the occasional Reyes, Pagan, or Wright in from scoring position. Finally, Reyes whacked his short homer, and after the review and positive outcome, you just had to feel that if we were able to tie these Friars, then we could beat them somehow or other.
K-Rod, Feliciano, and Dessens worked the final two innings as well as we could have hoped. And finally in the eleventh “I-Like-Ike” stepped to the plate. You thought about it for a sec: “He’s due,” but then you dissuaded yourselves: “These GD Padres relievers are just so good.” If you are an idiosyncratic kook as I am, you did your 200 push-up, or wore your luck socks, or promised you’d do all the dishes if only… I confess that I also turn down the television volume when I can’t stand the pressure and am ready to crumble into dust at the prospect of losing yet another must-win game. And then there was IKE!
I saw the pitch, the swing. Was it Milner’s ghost, maybe Strawb’s, maybe Olerud’s or Ventura’s? There’s something about it. God! Totally majestic. I fumbled for the remote, for I had to hear Gary call it. Shot out of a cannon, that little ball kerplunked a seat some eight rows deep into the upper deck in right field, and landed far, far back in Citi Field. Happiness! Joy!
How Proud I am to be a Mets Fan Tonight!