Paulino Making It Difficult Not To Notice

An article by posted on May 6, 2011

It was good to see Mike Pelfrey go out on that mound yesterday and deliver such a strong performance after a week of whispers that he could be pulled from the rotation and shipped to Buffalo.

In his longest outing of the season, Pelfrey tossed 7 2/3 innings allowing just one earned run on four hits to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.

After the game, Pelfrey had high praise for his catcher Ronny Paulino.

“A catcher is very valuable,” Pelfrey said. “Obviously having that trust and not having to shake off … can be very, very huge. And it also keeps the rhythm of the game. I thought he was very good back there today and obviously he deserves a lot of credit. He called a pretty good game.”

That’s a far cry from what Pelfrey had to say about Josh Thole a couple of starts ago when he questioned and almost blamed his poor start on Thole’s game calling. According to David Waldstein, the Mets have been unhappy at times with some of Thole’s pitch calling and have spoken to him abut it.

Then last Friday against the Phillies, with Ryan Howard at the plate, Thole called for a fastball from Dillon Gee, instead of his best pitch, the changeup. Howard hit the fastball for a home run. Afterward the Mets’ hierarchy was upset with both Gee and Thole for the pitch selection.

There has been a dramatic shift in the performance of Mets starting pitchers when Ronny Paulino is behind the plate. The NY Times points out that in the last three games Paulino has started, Mets starters have allowed just three earned runs in 21 innings for a 1.29 earned run average.

Thole is expected to be back behind the plate tonight after Collins decided to give him a two-day break following a night to forget in his last start catching R.A. Dickey.

Here is another thing to think about, the Mets are 5-15 when Josh Thole starts and 8-2 when someone else catches.

As I mentioned in another post, Thole has been exploited by a staggering amount of stolen bases, 22 already, and his caught stealing rate stands at an abysmal 15%, one of the worst marks in the league. He also leads the majors with seven passed balls and has been on the receiving end of eight wild pitches.

Expect Paulino to get more starts against right handed pitchers.

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