When I did my roundup yesterday, I struggled with the "Most Impressive" label over the past two weeks, finally settling on the feat the Mets have pulled off by winning 11 of 13 and putting themselves in first place.
But they couldn't have done a lot of what they've done recently without a tremendous effort from Mike Pelfrey. To me, Pelfrey's 8-6 record overall and 3.81 ERA (6-0, 2.70 in his last ten starts) don't come as a surprise, but he certainly could have qualified as "most impressive" the last month.
Here's Pelfrey's runs allowed in his past ten starts: 2, 1, 1, 6, 0, 4, 1, 0, 0, 5. He's averaged just under seven innings per outing in that stretch, and when he gave up a homer in Cincinnati in the second inning on Sunday (he would give up two more that day), it was the first time in 64 innings that someone had homered off of him.
Pelfrey came into the season a huge question mark - remember, the Mets weren't sure if it they would need to 'settle' on him as an injury replacement for Orlando Hernandez? And he was coming off an off-season where his stock plummeted, as he wasn't even valued by other teams in Mets' trade talks?
Well, that's changed. Pelfrey figures to continue to be one of the most important members of the team through the next month, as he 1) hopefully continues to pitch like he has, and 2) becomes what I'm sure will be the focus of teams looking to trade with the Mets. And if you're the Mets, you have to think long and hard about whether or not to trade Pelfrey - he's what the Mets don't have a lot of right now - a young and healthy pitcher. (I mentioned last week that if the Mets had an opportunity to get Matt Holliday from Colorado for Mike Pelfrey I would do it...but I don't know that there are many other values that are worth trading him for.)
There's one thing that might be a concern when it comes to Pelfrey, although it's too soon to tell if it's a pattern yet. He's been very streaky thus far at the beginning of his career. Remember when he started last year 0-7? Then this year after a 2-0 start, he lost six straight starts, before his current six-game winning streak. Maybe from here on out he's figured something out and he wins way more than he loses, but it's worth pointing out here.
As important as Pelfrey is right now, he won't figure into this big series with Philadelphia - that task falls on Johan Santana (Tuesday), John Maine (Wednesday), and Oliver Perez (Thursday). But neither is that Pelfrey's role...yet. If he continues to pitch like this, the Mets will be re-working that rotation to make sure he is the one pitching when everything is on the line.
IN MEMORIAM: I forgot to mention this last week, and then when I heard about Jerome Holtzman passing away, it reminded me, and I didn't want to let another day go by without saying something. On July 14, Red Foley passed away at the age of 79. Foley was the official scorer for Mets and Yankees games for many years - and it seemed that every game I watched growing up, his name would come up whenever there was a scoring decision. To me, the name Red Foley was synonymous with "official scorer"...and when I hear the term official scorer come up when I'm watching a game today, the first person I think of is Red Foley. I guess I always though that would be a neat job.
I was doing a lot of traveling around the time he died - I just want to make sure he got the recognition he deserved.