Mets 6 Nationals 0
Maybe he’s the stopper after all.
Mike Pelfrey was absolutely outstanding, throwing seven shutout innings. He positively dominated the Nationals hitters, pounding his 94+ MPH fastball inside incessantly, moving batters off the plate and breaking about a half-dozen bats. His heavy sinker stayed low in the zone and induced a plethora of ground ball outs. Big Pelf used his slider sparingly, just enough to keep the Nats from sitting on the fastball.
Meantime, it was the Late Night with David Wright show — all the scoring came courtesy of David “MVP” Wright, who hit a two-run homer and two RBI doubles. At the end of the night, Wright drove in five and scored twice.
Aaron Heilman threw a shaky but scoreless eighth, and Duaner Sanchez — who came off the DL prior to the game — pitched a nearly-perfect ninth.
The weekend’s rest seemed to have rejuvenated Jose Reyes, who nearly hit for the cycle, and showed no signs of the hamstring scare that sidelined him. Reyes “settled” for a four-hit game, smacking two singles, a double, and a triple.
Of particular note was Pelfrey’s ability to work out of jams early on. He got himself into a few tough situations that could have gotten ugly quickly, but he kept his cool and his confidence and went right after hitters with his fastball. In the past his body language would change and he’d start nibbling around the corners with his slider — pitching defensively. In this game he remained the aggressor, challenging batters to hit his fastball.
Duaner Sanchez looked OK, not great, with his velocity similar to what we saw in Port St. Lucie — in the high 80s, topping out at 91 MPH. Most importantly at this juncture, he looked healthy and comfortable and was throwing strikes. Whether he ever gets back into the 94-96 MPH range remains to be seen, but with his nasty assortment of sinkers and changeups, he may not need the velocity to once again be an effective setup man.