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Mike Pelfrey Tries To Keep Getting Better In Mets Rubber Match With Phillies

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning at Dodger Stadium on July 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Sammy MakkiAnalyst IAugust 15, 2010

NEW YORK-- After exchanging shutouts with the Phillies over the first two games, the Mets will go for the series win tonight with Mike Pelfrey on the mound.

In his last start, Pelfrey pitched a gem, and earned his first win since June 25. He pitched seven scoreless innings against the Rockies for the second time this season on Tuesday and will try to give the Mets a winning home stand, one they really need.

The problem with Pelfrey had been the lack of bite on his sinker and he was also lacking velocity. On Tuesday, his sinker was sinking consistently, and he was throwing in the low-to-mid 90s. He must continue to pitch that way, which he was in the first half of the season, if he wants continued success.

Earlier in the season, people were saying Pelfrey could win 20 games. Well, with 11 now and nine more starts, he'll have to go 9-0.

Pitching for the Phillies will be Kyle Kendrick. He has had as inconsistent a season as possible to this point. He has allowed five earned runs or more in eight starts, and one earned run or less in 10 starts. That puts his ERA at a below-average 4.60 for the season in 24 games, 22 starts.

He got beat bad in his last start on Tuesday against the Dodgers, a game the Phillies lost, 15-9. In 3.1 innings pitched, he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits.

Of all those runs, he actually didn't allow a home run. That's a rarity, as he's allowed 21 this season in his 22 starts. He faced the Mets back on April 30 and allowed three home runs in that game, one of two games in which he's allowed three home runs.

After last night's game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that he will sit the slumping Ruben Tejada, and start Luis Castillo at second base.

Yesterday, Castillo was quoted telling the New York Post that he will not play for the Mets next season, and that he still wants to be an everyday player. He said he knows the Mets want to play the younger players, and that he understands that.

The way Tejada has been playing lately, Castillo can certainly win his starting job back if he performs.

The Mets will wrap up the home stand tonight, with Pelfrey on the mound, before heading to Houston and Pittsburgh for a week.

Slumping Mets:
Ike Davis last 22 games: .234 avg, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 25 SO
Ruben Tejada last 21 games: .117 avg (7-for-60), 3 RBI
David Wright last 10 games: .098 avg (4-for-41), 0 RBI, 12 SO
Carlos Beltran last 13 games: .200 avg (8-for-40), 5 RBI

Mike Pelfrey vs. Philadelphia this season (2 starts)
1-1, 4.91 ERA, 11 IP, 11 hits, 6 BB, 7 SO

Kyle Kendrick vs. New York (April 30)
Loss, 5 IP, 4 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 3 SO, 3 HR

2010 season series (New York vs. Philadelphia)
April 30: New York 9, Philadelphia 1
May 1: Philadelphia 10, New York 0
May 2: Philadelphia 11, New York 5

May 25: New York 8, Philadelphia 0
May 26: New York 5, Philadelphia 0
May 27: New York 3, Philadelphia 0

August 6: Philadelphia 7, New York 5
August 7: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 8: Philadelphia 6, New York 5

August 13: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 14: Philadelphia 4, New York 0
Mets lead series 6-5

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