Who would have thought that the same guy who picked up a 6.15 ERA during spring training has started the season looking like a veteran ace? So far, the Mets have found an unlikely star in the pitching of 26-year-old Mike Pelfrey. The 6'7" 230lb righty has successfully clenched 4 wins in 4 starts, and has also picked up a save. In 26 innings, the last 24 have been scoreless, slicing his ERA to 0.69, and his WHIP to 1.19. If he can maintain this average through April, it will put him in the company of former Mets pitchers like Nolan Ryan (who closed April with a .069 in 1970), and Frank Viola (.086 in 1991). With 4 wins and an ERA below 1.00, he stands among contempraries like Roy Halladay (Phillies: 4-0, 0.82) and Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies: 4-0, 0.95). Pelfrey receives well-earned credit for the Mets three game sweep of the hot mess that used to be the Braves. The series concluded with a torrent truncated 1-0 victory for the Mets.
His last four seasons in the majors Pelfrey has seen his ERA hover around the 5.00 mark (with the exception of 3.72 in 2003), and spring training did not foretell anything different. He struggled yesterday, needing 106 pitches to retire 23 batters in five innings. Hopefully, this was merely a sign of fatigue and not a foreshadowing of business as usual. The Mets seem to have hit their stride, and Pelfrey is proving to be an unforeseen asset to their rotation.
Dispatch - Bats in the Belfry