New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey reviewed the video of Sunday’s outing against the Washington Nationals and counted 26 balls fouled off among his 106 pitches -- with at least 21 coming in his final two innings.
So Terry Collins and Pelfrey agreed that the right-hander must find a way to get more swings and misses as a way to prolong his outings. It’s a problem John Maine experienced during his tenure with the Mets as well.
“(Pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) and I talked about it on the bench,” Collins said. “His stuff today was as good as it’s been in a long time. I mean, he’s 96 (mph), touched 97. … It’s not one pitch that he has that he could put somebody away with. And they just keep fouling balls off.”
The solution? Pelfrey said it’s not developing another pitch. He throws plenty already.
“I don’t know what else you want me to throw. A knuckleball maybe?” Pelfrey quipped.
Pelfrey said the solution may involve getting more velocity separation from his fastball and more of a downward plane on his splitter, which at least would induce groundballs in play.
“When he came and took me out in the fifth inning with two outs, I thought for the first time all year I was exhausted,” Pelfrey said. “Sometimes when you’re pitching and guys have those seven-, eight-, nine-pitch at-bats and they’re fouling pitches off, fouling pitches off, it wears on you. I think there were maybe three or four in a row. And I thought it killed me. Most of the foul balls came in the fourth and fifth. The pitch count definitely got up there in a hurry.”
New York Mets
DEEP THOUGHTS: Lucas Duda misread Danny Espinosa’s fourth-inning liner into an RBI double, but rebounded by belting a game-tying homer in the sixth. It was Duda’s ninth homer this season.
“I’m telling you, offensively this guy is going to be a force,” Collins said. “The one thing he doesn’t do is let one part of his game infect the other. That ball got over his head. It was one of those balls that was tough to read. It was a line drive and he didn’t get back on it like he probably is supposed to. But he just walks up and knows he can do some damage at the plate and does it.”