Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
A month into his first season with the Phillies, Roy Halladay‘s numbers are as good as about anybody’s in the National League, at 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts.
Anybody, that is, not named Mike Pelfrey.
New York’s [young] right-hander has quietly put together one of the best months for a pitcher in team history, leading the Major Leagues in ERA (0.69) with a 4-0 record and a current 24-inning scoreless streak.
And here comes Pelfrey, who is 4-2 with a 4.82 ERA in his career against Philadelphia, but so far this season has looked like a different pitcher.
Though his most notable moment this season came when he earned the save in the 20-inning marathon game on April 17, Pelfrey has anchored the Mets’ rotation, which is fifth in the NL in ERA (3.43). His ERA is the lowest by a Mets pitcher in the month of April since Nolan Ryan in 1970.
And Pelfrey is only one outstanding start away from matching Jerry Koosman for longest consecutive scoreless-innings streak in team history (31 2/3, set in 1973).
“This year, I’m living right,” Pelfrey said after his last start.
If only Rod Barajas could see the Phillies on the schedule every night. The Mets’ catcher blasted two home runs against Philadelphia on Friday, giving him seven in his career against the team. A career .237 hitter, Barajas hits .327 against Philadelphia. Moreover, he now has six home runs and 13 RBIs in his past seven games against the Phillies, dating back to 2008. Barajas’ five home runs on the season tie him with Colorado’s Miguel Olivo for the most by a catcher in the NL. He was 3-for-his-last-21 before Friday’s game. “I don’t really know how he’s doing it, but he’s doing something right that’s for sure,” Phillies closer Brad Lidge said.
Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, 2B
Jose Reyes, SS
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF (via tweet from David Lennon-Manuel told Francoeur his policy of sitting a player after coming out with injury. Frenchy’s response? “Screw the policy,” he said. Also from Lennon, the reason Jeff is pushing it to play today is â€œWeâ€™re playing well and winning and I want to be a part of it.â€)
Henry Blanco, C
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Phillies(courtesy of mlb.com)
The Phillies stumble into the matchup having lost four of their past five, due in part to a woeful offensive slump that has seemed to weigh down the entire club.
“We’re not playing good at all,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I think our hitting right now is not good. And when we hit, I think we play with more energy and we play good.”
Halladay is coming off his first loss with the Phillies, a forgettable outing in which he allowed five runs to San Francisco — the most he’d given up since Aug. 24 of last season.
“You learn from it and move on,” Halladay said after Wednesday’s game. “You take something out of it. You take the positives and try to correct the mistakes and move on.”
The performance, if anything, only proved that Halladay is not unhittable — he had a 0.82 ERA in his first four starts for Philadelphia.
Halladay went 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA in starts following his 10 losses last season with Toronto.
So those disappointed by missing a Halladay-Johan Santana duel may get their money’s worth after all. And with two teams squaring off who’ve had their difficulties putting runs on the board, it could be a long afternoon for those looking to hit.
Amidst Philadelphia’s offensive slide, Jayson Werth has been able to maintain his stroke — though he’s been about the only one. Werth went 2-for-4 on Friday, scoring the Phillies’ lone run, to extend his streak of reaching base safely in all 22 games this season.
His .325 average leads the team, and his 12 doubles lead the NL. But Werth can’t carry Philadelphia’s offense alone, and Manuel is beginning to show some concern about his team’s struggles at the plate.
“With Jimmy [Rollins] out, the balance leaves us,” Manuel said. “We definitely become a weaker offense, I think.”