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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Mets morning briefing 4.30.11

By Adam Rubin

Despite late homers by Ike Davis and Jason Pridie, the Mets lost to the Phillies, 10-3, Friday as Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee gave up four runs apiece.

Mepham High (Bellmore, Long Island) Class of 1991 20th reunion Saturday. ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo has the day's Mets coverage from Philly.

Saturday's news reports:

Ryan Howard had two homers and six RBIs in Philadelphia's win. And pitching coach Dan Warthen did not second guess the decision to start Pelfrey, as was the case with Terry Collins. “I think the guy wanted to go out there and pitch,” Warthen said. He’s been a big part, he’s a 15-game winner last year. He deserved the opportunity to pitch. That’s wonderful of Terry to say that and take the onus upon himself, but this guy is a good solid pitcher, and for three innings he kept us in the game.” Read games stories in the Record, Star-Ledger, Times, PostDaily News and Newsday.

• Collins tells Record columnist Bob Klapisch that Pelfrey was motivated in wanting the ball Friday by his career struggles at Citizens Bank Park. “I don’t want people to think I’m afraid to pitch here,” Pelfrey told Collins, according to Klapisch. To which the manager replied: “It’s not just about you. If you get your [butt] beat, it affects 24 other guys, too. Think about that.” Collins allowed Pelfrey to start anyway.

Meanwhile, Klapisch wonders about Pelfrey's future with the organization. Writes Klapisch:

[Sandy] Alderson’s peers in the industry say he’s had little patience for chronic underachievers. Pelfrey has fallen into that category; as much as the Mets like him personally, and as much as they realize his burden is greater than the other pitchers’ -- stepping in for the injured Johan Santana -- the idea of dealing Pelfrey may indeed be on the table.

Ronny Paulino's first Mets start should be Sunday, when left-hander Cliff Lee starts for the Phillies. Paulino is a career .338 hitter against southpaws. Read more in Newsday, the Post, Star-Ledger and Record.

Chris Young discusses the two-page, typed reports he prepares before his starts on the opposing hitters in The Wall Street Journal. Writes Brian Costa:

Young, a Mets right-hander and Princeton graduate, keeps a copy of every game plan he has written since 2008 in a black binder in his locker. His latest, written before his start Tuesday in Washington, began with this paragraph for Nationals leadoff hitter Danny Espinosa: "Start with fastball down and away or backdoor slider. Work fastball up middle. Throw off-speed down. Fastball up and in ties him up and is always a good pitch. Will chase fastball up and off-speed in the dirt." Under that was a series of numbers: the percentage of first pitches Espinosa swings at, the percentage of first pitches he swings at with runners in scoring position and his batting average on every pitch type.

BIRTHDAYS: There are no Mets birthdays of significance, but this does mark the 25th anniversary of a notable moment in which the Mets played a part. Former Braves outfielder Dale Murphy hit a pinch-hit home run against Dwight Gooden on this date in 1986. What’s significant about that? That Murphy was playing at all. He’d gashed his hand badly prior to this game and was told by doctors to sit out for a week to 10 days to allow it to heal. Murphy wanted to play, rather than end his streak of consecutive games played at 675. So in the fifth inning, manager Chuck Tanner relented and Murphy homered. The Mets won anyway, their 11th straight victory. -Mark Simon