New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey's ambitions are pretty grand.
After recording an out in the seventh inning for just the second time in his past 16 games, and the first time since July, the Mets starter still said he was "nowhere close" to where he wanted to be Friday night against the Cubs.
"I want to throw 111 like I did tonight and be walking off the mound in the ninth inning, instead of in the seventh with two outs," Pelfrey said.
At least he'll have something to shoot for next time.
For just the ninth time in his 30 starts this season, Pelfrey registered an out in the seventh inning, in the Mets' 5-4 win against the Cubs. Pelfrey left with his team up 4-3, but a blown save robbed him of his eighth win.
A "workhorse" according to Mets manager Terry Collins, Pelfrey has struggled this season to have an efficient pitch count. For example, in his last three starts, he threw more than 100 pitches in each, but did not pitch more than than six innings. Plenty of foul balls contribute to that high pitch count and low innings total.
Friday night seemed like another typical Pelfrey start, as he threw 29 pitches in the first inning. But he rebounded from there to keep his pitch count low and go deep in the game. He gave up his three runs in the third and fourth innings.
A key play for Pelfrey came when Jason Bay threw out a runner at home for the last out in the fourth inning, preventing the Cubs from taking a four-run leads. From there, Pelfrey retired seven straight hitters. He would eventually leave the game with two on and two out in the seventh and the Mets ahead 4-3.
"The thing I saw tonight, when we came back, Jason threw the runner out at the plate, he came to life," Collins said. "I saw better pace, I saw better rhythm, we got some runs to help him and I also saw him liven up."