Mike Pelfrey: Bend But Don’t Break Baby

Last night’s one nothing victory over Atlanta cemented a terrific start to the 2010 campaign for Mets hurler, Mike Pelfrey (4-0); possibly of his career with now 24 consecutive scoreless innings. As the great Joe Morgan pointed out himself during the game, Pelfrey showed strong signs of growth, maturity, poise and skill, throwing five shutout innings in the win. What was most impressive was the new bend but don’t break style Pelf showcased facing Jason Heyward and his nubile star power with a bases loaded jam to end the first. Heyward, although a rookie, bat’s with patience and experience beyond his years making him a tough out taking Pelfrey too a full count before popping up.

In fact, the only issue I have with last night’s pitching performance comes from Mets management. Was it just me or did it feel like Pelfrey was pitching around Chipper Jones in the first, then again with Troy Glaus. I realize something about Mike Pelfrey now. He pitches off emotion. He’s not tactical nor precise, but needs to rely on his size, strength and fundamentals to continue his fantastic season thus far. Whether he was trying to get to fancy with the heart of the Braves order or not, via Manuel, I don’t like the move pulling him after the 5th. I know they only played 5 but his
dugout mannerisms and Mets bullpen action assured the fact. Pelf’s pitch count was high, but I think his continued development will rely on him going a strong 6 or 7 innings in a game like last night, especially with questions in the setup role.

Essentially, Mets management was asking the pen to pitch a half game, and hold a one nothing lead? I think Jerry Manuel was about to risk spoiling a terrific pitching performance due to over-management.