A cursory glance at Mike Pelfrey's pitching line from last night reveals a good-but-not-necessarily-great performance.
The three strikeouts to two walks is nothing special, and 100 pitches thrown in five innings isn't the kind of efficiency you'd like to see out of your starting pitcher. Two numbers stand out to me, though, and neither appears in his pitching line:
The first number represents the groundball outs that Pelfrey recorded. The second number represents the flyball outs he recorded. The ratio of the two is what excited me the most about Pelfrey's start, because he is going to be a successful pitching if he can keep the ball on the ground. I wrote at length about Pelfrey back in spring training, and not to get all self-referential on you, but I said this at the time:
Against a crummy St. Louis offense, Pelfrey recorded one out via the whiff, six outs on the ground and seven outs in the air. Quite simply, a groundball ratio like that isn't going to get it done for him. With his slider and changeup as mediocre as they are right now, and his overall control nothing to write home about, Pelfrey is going to get killed if he can't generate a copious supply of groundball outs. If the fastball isn't working, forget about it.
So finally, for the first time in any start I have seen in 2008, spring training included, Pelfrey had his good sinker working for him, and the proof is in his batted ball splits. Even when he allowed base hits to the Phillies the balls were on the ground. All good signs, and extremely encouraging considering that Pelfrey is this team's number four starter now.
Offensively, the Mets racked up eight runs mostly thanks to erratic pitching and defense on the part of the Phillies. Every starting position player for the Mets walked at least once, and they drew (or were issued) nine walks overall. Angel Pagan, batting second in place of the again-injured Luis Castillo, walked twice and knocked in two runs with a double. He may not be an ideal two-hole hitter in the long run, but I don't have a problem with riding him there while he's hot.
Carlos Delgado continues to get on base, reaching twice again last night with a hit and a walk. He's hitting .357/.419/.536 in the early going and, whether or not he keeps it up, it's nice to see the big guy swinging the bat well.
In fact, other than the big three -- David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, who combined to go 0-for-12 with three walks -- everyone contributed last night. Strangely, the Mets only managed five hits overall, but the nine walks and four Philly errors made up the difference.
If you want to pick nits, after nine consecutive losses the Mets didn't really *beat* the Phillies last night as much as the Phillies beat themselves with sloppy play all over the diamond. 1-9 is a lot better than 0-10, but I'd feel a lot better if the Mets go out and win again tonight without any help from the Phillies.