Mets Game 14: Win Over Cubs

Mets 4 Cubs 0

Things are starting to look up for the Mets.

Mike Pelfrey pitched 7 strong innings, the offense provided four runs, and the bullpen held up their end of the bargain to give the Mets their sixth win of the season.

Game Notes

Big Pelf allowed no runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6 in his 7 innings pitched. Finally, he has an offspeed pitch to compliment the fastball — the forkball. Not to pat myself on the back, but I’ve been clamoring for Pelfrey to develop a change of pace of some sort since 2007. If you follow those links and read those posts, you won’t need to know what I’m thinking — which is, the fact that Pelfrey is changing speeds is THE point of differentiation between him being an enigma and fulfilling his sky-high potential. Great outings like this will also build his confidence, which in turn feeds off itself and will push his performance to another level. It’s early, and I may be prematurely excited, but I’m liking what I’m seeing from Mr. Pelfrey.

Jose Reyes went 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and a triple; I think it’s safe to say he’s on his way back.

Fernando Tatis hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer off LOOGY John Grabow in the bottom of the 8th to give the Mets breathing room. Why anyone would throw a low and inside pitch to Tatis is baffling — it’s pretty much the only pitch he can put over the fence.

Ryota Igarashi left the game with a hamstring strain in the 8th. He will get an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.

In relief of Igarashi, Fernando Nieve came up big with a called strike three against Jeff Baker to end the 8th, stranding Koyie Hill on second base and working out of a mini-jam.

Frankie Rodriguez continues to look shaky; he walked two batters with a four-run lead in a non-save situation, expending 26 pitches in the process.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have a chance to win their first series of the year in the third game of this 4-game sequence with the Cubs. Oliver Perez (or Mr. Hyde) faces Carlos Silva in a matchup of the two worst contracts given to

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude April 21, 2010 at 7:02 am
    Joe – It’s ironic you start to talk about Francisco Rodriguez, and then suddenly you can’t finish what you started. Do we have to pay money to see the hidden parts of your final 2 paragraphs? I’m already reaching for my wallet…

    Pelfrey does look remarkably improved from just last season. Not only has he developed that forkball/splitter, but he’s also throwing more curveballs and 2-seamers – especially to righties. I know I should know better than to get my hopes up with anything involving this team, but what Pelfrey has shown me over his first 3 starts is very encouraging.

  2. CatchDog April 21, 2010 at 7:22 am
    For the last two seasons, Pelf has thrown more fastballs (84%) than any starter. Obviously, there’s adjustments needed to be made by the hitters. Until then, great job by Big Mike.

    Also, Jose Reyes’ 4 for 5 was a welcomed sight. Hopefully, it jump starts our ignitor. As Jose goes, the Mets go too.

    The woeful Cubs couldn’t visit Citi at a better time. For those of us eternal optimists (cue my buddy ‘dude’s rebuttal), the sun’s shining a bit brighter today. Here’s to Ollie keeping the clouds away tonight.

  3. CatchDog April 21, 2010 at 7:24 am
    Ha-ha-ha. The ‘dude got me between cups of coffee.
  4. Walnutz15 April 21, 2010 at 7:58 am
    I’d be curious to know just how much Pelfrey worked with Brent Kemnitz this winter. I know he went back to Wichita State to work-out, but really – I’m not quick to give Dan Warthen any credit for what’s transpiring in the early goings of 2010.

    He’s looked really good so far. I’m still curious to see how he responds to adversity – provided he’s not cruising the way he has…..but we’ll take a look at that when the time comes.

    Great job by Pelfrey last night, and it’s good to know that he feels comfortable with Hank White behind the dish. You could see that battery starting to develop as soon as they reported to camp.

    Jose with a 4-hit night; let’s hope this sets him off in the right direction.

    Nice to see Tatis pick up some big insurance runs by popping that ball out of the yard in the 8th — I would’ve settled for an RBI single, the way things have been going lately.

    Wright, Bay, and Francoeuer all look awkward at the plate……it’s time for them to be a bit more consistent in their AB’s — and that starts with more contact and less whiffs.

  5. Mike April 21, 2010 at 9:45 am
    The at bats being taken by Wright Bay and Francoeur are just terrible. Jeff should be ashamed of falling back into his old ways. He’s 0 for swinging at everything and was about .500 being selective. I’m sorry but it is that simple he needs to get back to being more selective and the hits will come. Wright seems like he has no plan up there and that his batting stance seems to change weekly concerns me. Bay just needs to snap out of this funk.

    Pelf is probably the best thing about the month of April thus far. If he continues even at a slightly lesser pace then the Mets have found a number 2.

  6. Mic April 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    Hi guys: Some quick hits..(emulating Joe)

    1. Dude; I waited and waited and waited..but you did not make this point. Blanco is Pelfrey’s personal catcher…or to this point it seems so.
    Is his new progress catcher related?

    2. The Cubs do not suck. I think the Mets have been on the wrong side of many close games, easily could have been 8-6 not 6-8.

    3. Angel Pagan: In the absences of CB he seems to be maturing. I am not sure that CB is looking at being long as a Met period..if the Mets can ditch 17.5M and put F-Mart AND Pagan in CF. No dude, i do expect CB to play if/when healthy, but maybe not if the Mets can get to prospects for him even if he is undervalued in trade.

    4: also on Pagan: Why not Pagan at #3? and DW clean-up..dropping everyone else down one? That way Reyes is not messed with and Cora/Castillo continue to hit 2nd.

    5. Reyes sat for a day. Hmmm, maybe rest helps.

  7. sincekindergarten April 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm
    Igarashi wound up going on the DL for a hamstring strain, and Manny Acosta has been recalled to take his spot in the pen.
  8. isuzudude April 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    Mic: good stuff. I chuckle to myself when you have your virtual arguments with me – almost as if I’m the voice of reason in your head.

    In reply to your points:
    1. It does seem as though Pelfrey has taken quite a liking to Blanco calling his games; though I can’t say I’m surprised as Blanco has been a favorite backstop of many pitchers throughout his career. That’s pretty much his calling card, along with an above average defensive game. I don’t know if it would behoove Pelf of developing an exclusive affinity with Blanco, since Barajas is the better offensive catcher, and since neither Blanco or Barajas figure to stick with the team beyond 2010. I would hope with Pelf’s 95 MPH heater and his increasingly effective splitter, he will be able to succeed regardless of who is behind the dish when he pitches.

    2. All I can say is that good teams win the majority of their close games, while bad teams lose the majority of their close games. It seems to me like the Mets and Cubs both fall into the latter category.

    3. I wouldn’t be against trading Beltran if FMart and/or Pagan look primed and ready to take over the CF job. I think it’s Omar who will need the convincing.

    4. People have come up with crazier theories than moving Pagan to the 3-hole. Honestly, I can’t say I hate the idea.

    5. Well said. Too bad this revelation wasn’t discovered back in 2007.

  9. mooshinator April 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm
    Beltran is extremely underappreciated, in my opinion, due to his seemingly blase demeanor and low key image, but if you look at his numbers he’s an incredible player when he’s healthy.

    The knock on him the past two years has been his health, of course, but when he’s playing every day he’s probably the Mets’ overall best hitter with Wright being the only competition.

    I’m not saying the Mets absolutely shouldn’t consider trading him, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything less than 1st tier prospects. It’s not worth giving him up to get so-so prospects, in my opinion. Maybe if F-Mart is ready and if they can get several top tier pitching or 2nd base prospects… but anything short of that and I think Beltran is far too valuable to lose.

  10. isuzudude April 22, 2010 at 8:48 am
    mooshin: It’s not as if I underappreciate Beltran. He’s a gold glove outfielder and an all-star performer. The catch is, like you say, he’s an incredible player WHEN HE’S HEALTHY.

    Beltran is arguably trying to return from one of the toughest surgeries to undergo for a speedy outfielder with above average defensive range. Microfracture knee surgery is no joke, and some say those who go through it never return to their pre-injury form. That said, it would probably be impractical for the Mets to expect him to come back and finish out his contract performing at the same level he had been from 2006-2008. The proactive approach to the situation would be planning on Beltran not being the $37-mil player he is signed to be through the 2011 season, and thus preparing to take offers or make proposals to teams to not only avoid his potential drop-off, but also shed his enormous salary – which would, in turn, allow the Mets to pursue a free agent who is more deserving of that type of money in the offseason, like a SP or C. Knowing that he may be damaged goods, and is still coming with a hefty pricetag, other teams are surely going to be shy to give up “1st tier prospects” for Beltran, so the Mets may have to settle for a package of 2nd and 3rd tier prospects (much like Minnesota had to do in their Johan trade). In my eyes, that’s still better than paying Beltran huge money to be a so-so, oft-injured player, and then getting next to nothing for him when he departs via free agency in 2012.

    And what makes moving Beltran a bit less painful is knowing guys like Pagan and FMart and Niewenhuis are not all that far away from stepping into his CF shoes. They won’t perform at his all-star levels (not right away anyway), but you’d be remiss if you didn’t think that Beltran was going to lose some of his durability and productivity coming off such a major surgery as well.