Disregard the post title; I kinda want to see how much fun I can have with SEO.
Mike Pelfrey had another nice start tonight against the Phillies, getting twelve groundball outs -- fourteen if you could the two double-plays -- plus one popup, finishing seven innings and allowing just one walk. He threw 105 pitches, 92 of which were fastballs. According to PITCHf/x, Pelfrey mixed in just eight changeups, three sliders and two curveballs; everything else was heat: 87.6% of his pitches overall, a bit higher than the 83.7% fastball rate he had prior to this start.
One thing that seems to have arrived as a residue of all of these fastballs -- at least if you believe Jerry Manuel's post-game comments -- is the paucity of strikeouts for Pelfrey this season. He hasn't exactly been a strikeout pitcher as a big leaguer, but after posting nary a whiff against the Phillies Pelfrey now has just six strikeouts in 28 innings this season, a K/9 of just 1.93. Manual says that Pelfrey's off-speed pitches aren't where they need to be, which would certainly explain his early season aversion to changeups and breaking balls. It's tough to fool hitters when it's almost a certainty that you'll be throwing a fastball, but it's still a credit to Pelfrey's hard sinker that he has managed to be reasonably successful over his last three starts while only really throwing one pitch with any regularity. If he could cobble together a decent changeup and a passable slider, well, then we might have something.
In other news, did Brian Stokes rape Jerry Manuel's dog when I wasn't looking? Stokes appeared in ten of the Mets' first twenty games this season, allowing just one unearned run and two walks in 11.0 innings of work. Since then -- seven team games and nine calendar days -- Stokes hasn't made a single appearance and I can't even recall seeing him warm up in the bullpen. I'm not suggesting that Stokes is the second coming of Pat Mahomes or anything, but he has clearly pitched well when asked and the big question is, Why hasn't anyone asked recently?
Big winners: David Wright, +15.5% WPA, Carlos Beltran, +14.7% WPA
Big losers: Pedro Feliciano, -2.5% WPA, Gary Sheffield, -1.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Beltran two-run homerun in first, +15.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ryan Howard RBI double in first, -9.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +13.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: +36.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Ramon Castro
Nice job by DevonEdwards; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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