Mets Game 5: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 10 Mets 7
For a moment there, it appeared as though the Mets would come back again to take a ballgame. Then it all fizzled out.
Mike Pelfrey was awful, again, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits and a walk in 2 innings pitched. Similarly to Game One, Big Pelf was not getting any sink on his fastball, but this time it wasn’t always because of an inability to stay on top of the ball. In this game, he was doing a better job of staying upright at the balance point and in turn staying on a straight line toward the plate — for the most part. Here’s what happened, though: perhaps because staying upright is “new” to him again, his release point was a few inches too high. When the release point is too high, it’s almost impossible to get any sink, because you can’t get the necessary finger pressure on top of the ball when you release too early. This type of adjustment is incredibly minuscule — we’re talking an inch or two at most; maybe even less than an inch. From what I saw, Pelfrey stayed upright around 40-50% of the time, but because he hasn’t done that in almost a year, it was foreign to him and that’s why we saw the slightly high release. Otherwise, he was still hunching over slightly the majority of the time, and in turn dropping his arm angle slightly, which results in flat pitches (i.e., no sink).
So while Pelfrey confidence may be an issue (as Bobby Ojeda suggests), that is a result or symptom of his actual problem — which still, I maintain, is mechanical in nature.
Believe it or not, I think that Pelfrey took a step forward in this game, despite getting rocked. Though, that’s only if he’s aware of his “hunching over” issue and making steps to fix it. If it is just blind luck that he happened to be staying more upright at times in his brief outing, then I take back that suggestion.
Interestingly, it seems like Mike stays upright at the leg lift when he throws his curveball — and did so on the deuce that Ryan Howard blasted into the centerfield stands. I wonder if the hitters are picking up on that detail, and therefore know the curve is coming when he keeps himself more upright? That would qualify as “tipping” his pitches.
This Pelfrey issue is driving me crazy; when is Dan Warthen — or Scott Boras — going to email or call me for a consult? I can fix Big Pelf in 10 minutes, no jacket required.
On the bright side, Taylor Buchholz threw two scoreless innings, striking out five and allowing three hits. His 12-6 curveball is devastating, but his fastball is pretty flat and high in the zone.
Pedro Beato was also effective, spinning one perfect, 9-pitch (7 strikes) inning.
Offensively, Angel Pagan had two hits including a double, homer, two RBI, and two runs scored. Brad Emaus, Jose Reyes, and Ike Davis all had two hits each as well. Davis drove in two runs, and has driven in a run in every game this year — at this rate he’ll break Hack Wilson’s record for RBI in a season.
Interestingly, although Emaus drew a walk in addition to the two hits, he saw only 9 pitches in his 4 plate appearances. In comparison, Jose Reyes saw 15 pitches in 5 plate appearances. And yes, Jose has yet to draw a walk this season — though he did steal his second base of the season. That extension is looking less and less possible with each passing day.
Josh Thole finally faced a lefthanded pitcher — Antonio Bastardo — and struck out.
Francisco Rodriguez managed to gain his first “game finished” of the year, as he pitched the bottom half of the eighth. What a waste of a “finish”, no? K-Rod now needs to finish 54 games in the final 157 games of the year.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Phillies engage in the rubber match at 3:05 PM on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Roy Halladay. The Mets are undefeated in rubber games this year, so they have that going for them.