For Mike Pelfrey, The Hits Just Keep On Comin’

An article by posted on April 7, 2011

Mike Pelfrey is entering his sixth season with the Mets, compiling a 43-41 record over his first five seasons in New York (43-42 after his Opening Day loss to the Florida Marlins). Although Pelfrey is just 27 years old, there have been only 17 pitchers in franchise history who have won more games than Big Pelf.

More than likely, Pelfrey will continue to move up the all-time wins leaderboard as his career progresses, but how much longer will he pitch for the Mets, especially if he continues to give up base hits at an alarming rate?

Consider the facts. In his first two starts of the 2011 season, Pelfrey has given up 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings, a rate of nearly two hits per inning. Let’s compare that to the 17 pitchers who rank ahead of Pelfrey on the all-time club leaderboard for wins.

 

  • Tom Seaver (12 years, 198 wins): no seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Dwight Gooden (11 years, 157 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Jerry Koosman (12 years, 140 wins): no seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Ron Darling (9 years, 99 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Sid Fernandez (10 years, 98 wins): no seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Al Leiter (7 years, 95 wins): no seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Jon Matlack (7 years, 82 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.
  • David Cone (7 years, 81 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Bobby Jones (8 years, 74 wins): five seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Steve Trachsel (6 years, 66 wins): two seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Tom Glavine (5 years, 61 wins): four seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Rick Reed (5 years, 59 wins): two seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Craig Swan (12 years, 59 wins): four seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Bob Ojeda (5 years, 51 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.
  • John Franco (14 years, 48 wins): five seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Tug McGraw (9 years, 47 wins): two seasons with more hits than innings pitched.
  • Jesse Orosco (8 years, 47 wins): one season with more hits than innings pitched.

 

Dwight Gooden’s sole season allowing more hits than innings pitched was 1994. That was his final season in a Mets uniform. Ron Darling also had one such season in his career, which came in his final full season as a Met (1990). In 1977, Jon Matlack suffered his first season with more hits than innings pitched. He never did it again as a Met because that was his final year in New York. The only year in which David Cone gave up better than a hit per inning was (you guessed it) his final season (2003), when he allowed 20 hits in 18 innings.

Bob Ojeda and Jesse Orosco also finished their Mets careers with only one season giving up more hits than innings pitched. In both cases, that season came in their final year with the Mets.

Of the seven pitchers who allowed more hits than innings pitched in multiple seasons (Jones, Trachsel, Glavine, Reed, Swan, Franco, McGraw), all but one of them accomplished the feat in his final full season in New York. The lone exception was John Franco, who barely missed, allowing exactly one hit per inning in 2004 (46 hits in 46 innings pitched).

So that brings us back to Mike Pelfrey. How many times do you think he’s allowed more hits than innings pitched over a full season? Once? Twice? Take a look at his career numbers below:

 

  • 2006: 21.1 innings pitched, 25 hits allowed.
  • 2007: 72.2 innings pitched, 85 hits allowed.
  • 2008: 200.2 innings pitched, 209 hits allowed.
  • 2009: 184.1 innings pitched, 213 hits allowed.
  • 2010: 204.0 innings pitched, 213 hits allowed.
  • 2011: 6.1 innings pitched, 12 hits allowed.

 

Mike Pelfrey has allowed more hits than innings pitched in EVERY SEASON that he’s pitched in the major leagues! Judging by his start this season, he might be on his way to his sixth consecutive season allowing more hits than innings pitched. Of the 17 pitchers who rank ahead of Pelfrey in career victories as a Met, none accomplished the feat more than five times.

Because of Johan Santana’s injury, Pelfrey is now the de facto No. 1 pitcher in the rotation. But looking over his career numbers, the only thing Pelfrey is No. 1 in is allowing base hits. Considering the fates of other Mets pitchers who gave up more hits than innings pitched, especially late in their careers, Mike Pelfrey should be careful when he turns around. Another team’s uniform might be gaining on him.

About the Author ()

Ed Leyro was hatched in the Bronx, but spent most of his youth in Queens at Shea Stadium. Apparently, all that time spent at Mets games paid off as Ed met his wife (The Coop) for the first time at Citi Field during its inaugural season. Guess the 2009 season was good for something after all. In addition to his work at Mets Merized Online, Ed also owns, operates and is head janitor at Studious Metsimus, where he shares blogging duties with Joey Beartran. For those not in the know, Joey is a teddy bear dressed in a Mets hoodie. Clearly, Studious Metsimus is not your typical Mets blog.

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