In his last four starts, Mike Pelfrey has allowed a mind boggling 51 baserunners in just 14.2 innings pitched. In that span he has allowed an unsightly 21 earned runs.
In his last six starts, Pelfrey’s ERA has climbed from an NL East leading 2.39 to a season high of 4.01. His start last night in which he lasted just one and a third innings, was the shortest start of his career.
What is going on with this guy? Back in April and May and part of June, some were calling Pelfrey the new ace of the rotation… He was dominating and lethal on the mound… And now he’s just absolutely awful and can’t get anybody out…
After the game last night, a very agitated Jerry Manuel shed some light on the matter and told reporters that basically Pelfrey is trying to be something he’s not. He already spoke to Pelfrey one-on-one and intends to speak to him again. Manuel believes that there is no injury involved and that it boils down to something inside Pelfrey’s head.
He said that Pelfrey is at his best when he is a power sinker pitcher, but now seems to be relying on his new splitter and his slider and has stopped establishing his fastball which is what he was doing during his dominant stretch.
Manuel, of course, is right… But what the hell is taking so long to address and act on it??
He has now made six very poor starts and yet Pelfrey still goes out there start after start trying to paint the corners with his off-speed stuff rather than backing the hitter off the plate inside with some heat and then throwing his sinker and letting his defense do their job.
Pelfrey has got it into his head that he is a strikeout pitcher which he is clearly not… Although if he just allowed himself to pitch to contact like he did in the early part of the year, he’ll find his out pitch missing a lot of bats…
What really worries me most is that I am seeing a pattern in Pelfrey that was always prevalent in Oliver Perez and that is a reluctance to listen to what his pitching coach and manager tell them. They refuse to listen to the advice that is being offered and instead opt to try and fix their problems themselves. Everyone knows what the problem with Pelfrey is, and I’m sure they continually drill it into his head, but Pelfrey still goes out there trying to establish his secondary pitches rather than his primary one.
Until he changes course, Pelfrey is an absolute train wreck right now and the casualty count will be high if he keeps going out there every fifth day and deals the Mets a loss.
Two weeks ago I said that if Pelfrey doesn’t right the ship, than the Mets run for the division ends here and now… I still stand by that. I do hope Pelfrey turns it around because I like him as a player and I also like the fact that he is home-grown. Pelfrey needs to find himself again, and fast.