LOS ANGELES: Mike Pelfrey has gone through a rough stretch over his last four starts like none other in over 50 years.
Over his last 14.2 innings pitched, Pelfrey has allowed 51 baserunners. That's almost 3.5 baserunners allowed per inning, a rate that hasn't been seen since 1951.
Yes, it's been that bad for the pitcher whom some people considered the staff's ace in April and May.
His last start in Arizona, was the worst of his career, only lasting 1.1 innings. He gave up six runs on seven hits, and threw 51 pitches in the first inning.
It's not as if Pelfrey has been on and off; he's been atrocious lately, which is surprising considering the start he got off to this season.
It really came out of nowhere, and now Pelfrey must regroup immediately without a trade looking imminent, in order for the Mets to stay in the National League race.
A good start by Pelfrey would come at a good time this afternoon, trying to build a winning streak for the Mets.
The best thing that can happen to the Mets right now, is winning the final two games of this road trip, to go back home 4-7.
That may be getting carried away, but if Pelfrey can come through today, R.A. Dickey would be pitching tomorrow, and he has been rock solid.
What the Mets must do as a team is play like they did last night, for the rest of the season. No, it doesn't mean they'll finish the season 65-0, it just means they'll have a chance to win the majority of them.
Last night, the Mets played with grit and passion. Three outstanding defensive plays started with Jason Bay's faceplant into the left-field fence. Great pitching and smart offensive ball.
The lineup put out by Jerry Manuel last night is the one that should be used from here on out. It can produce in many ways, especially with the threesome on top: Reyes, Castillo, and Pagan. They all have speed, can bunt, and can play small ball.
With David Wright and Carlos Beltran hitting in front of Ike Davis, and with Bay protecting Davis, the rookie first baseman should feel very comfortable, as evidenced by his home run last night.
Manuel finally put together a lineup that produced to the tune of six runs on eight hits. There were also many great signs for the Mets in last night's win.
Not only did Jason Bay finally come through with a huge hit in the eighth, his biggest to date, but Carlos Beltran showed some things with his sliding catch in center field.
Beltran, after making a nice catch, got up without a single problem and continued on, showing that his surgically repaired knees may be feeling better.
Trying to put together a run of games with solid run production, the Mets will go up against rookie right-hander Carlos Monasterios.
He has appeared in 20 games with the Dodgers, and has started six of them. The Dodgers are looking for a fifth starter, and have been using a number of pitchers to fill the hole in the rotation.
Monasterios is 2-2 in the six games in which he has started, and this will be his first since June 18 against the Red Sox.
He didn't fare well in that game, allowing six runs on eight hits, and two home runs in four innings of work.
He did face the Mets in relief at Citi Field on April 27 in the nightcap of a doubleheader, allowing a hit and striking out two in two innings.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre should have both his setup man Hong-Chih Kuo and closer Jonathan Broxton available for today's game, giving them a great late-game bullpen advantage if need be.
The Mets, who actually gained a game in the NL East standings last night, will try to begin something positive, as the long West Coast trip is winding to an end.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Los Angeles (career)
0-1, 5.40 ERA, 10 IP, 15 hits, 4 BB, 10 SO
Carlos Monasterios this season (20 games/6 starts)
3-2, 3.61 ERA, 52.1 IP, 50 hits, 18 BB, 24 SO
2010 season series (New York vs. Los Angeles)
April 27 (1): New York 4, Los Angeles 0
April 27 (2): New York 10, Los Angeles 5
April 28: New York 7, Los Angeles 3
July 22: Los Angeles 2, New York 0
July 23: New York 6, Los Angeles 1
Mets lead series 4-1