Mike Pelfrey Baffles the Cardinals Again, Mets Extend NL East Lead

Patrick MurraySenior Analyst IJuly 25, 2008

Mike Pelfrey seems to have the Cardinals' number. His seven innings of one-run ball tonight improved his record against St. Louis to 2-0 with a 1.28 ERA. Pelfrey's control continues to be spot on; he did not walk anyone tonight, and has issued just one free pass in his last 30 innings pitched.

Pelfrey also has shown a special ability to get out one of the most feared hitters in the majors—Albert Pujols. Pelfrey pounded Pujols down and in with his sinking fastball, and Pujols is now 0-5 with three strikeouts in his career against Pelfrey.

The bullpen gave Big Mike a bit of scare in a ninth inning that looked somewhat similar to the disaster that occured on Tuesday night against the Phillies.

Like Tuesday, setup man Duaner Sanchez entered the game in the ninth, but this time he had a six run lead. Also like Tuesday, Sanchez proceeded to let the first three batters of the inning reach base, and manager Jerry Manuel pulled him out with no outs and the bases loaded.

Pedro Feliciano was able to get a pop out and Aaron Heilman finished off the inning after allowing a sacrifice fly.

David Wright started the scoring with an RBI double in the third.

The biggest hit of the game came in the fourth. With men on first and second and no outs, the Mets caught a break when second baseman Adam Kennedy bobbled a groundball and could only get one out instead of a double play. After Mike Pelfrey lined out, Jose Reyes stepped to the plate with two outs.

Reyes ripped a pitch off the wall in right-center and raced around the bases for a two RBI triple.

The red-hot Carlos Delgado continued the scoring in the fifth when he blasted a two-run homer. Later in the inning, rookie second baseman Argenis Reyes drove in Carlos Beltran with a single.

Pelfrey's only poor inning came in the sixth when he allowed three hits including a Troy Glaus RBI single. Pelfrey recovered and made quick work of the Cards in the seventh.

In the Mets' half of the seventh, Argenis Reyes delivered an insurance run with his first major league home run. Upon arriving back to the dugout, his teammates gave him the silent treatment—they pretended like nothing had happened for a few moments before finally jumping up and showering him with high fives.

The Mets win, coupled with a Phillies loss to the Braves, extended New York's lead in the NL East to two games over both the Phillies and Marlins.

Tomorrow, St. Louis sends Joel Piniero (3-4, 4.52 ERA) to the mound. In a previous outing against the Mets this year Piniero allowed four runs in five innings pitched.

The 32-year-old Brandon Knight will make his first major league start for the Mets. Knight will take Pedro Martinez's start, as Pedro's father passed away earlier this week. Knight is 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA this year for Triple-A New Orleans while splitting time between the bullpen and the rotation. Knight will be part of the United States Olympic Baseball Team later this summer.