NEW YORK—The Mets were let down last night in the series opener against the Phillies by their young starter Jenrry Mejia. He's young in age, not just baseball years.
Today, they'll attempt to even the series by starting another younger pitcher, Mike Pelfrey. Now, Pelfrey has been around since 2006, and is 26 years old. But, he still pitches like someone of Mejia's age.
He's consistently inconsistent, and has still not lived up to his first-round-pick hype. Every time you think he's about to mature and reel off eight straight wins, he regresses and gets beat up.
This season has been the biggest example of that to date. It's been a tale of four seasons for Pelfrey so far in 2010.
He got off to an unbelievable start in April, going 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA and a save. After an average month of May, posting a 3.82 ERA, he entered his second season.
From a period in mid-June through early August, Pelfrey went 2-5 with a 7.35 ERA and gave up baserunners at a historical rate. He then entered his third phase in his final four August starts, going 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA.
Now, he's in the middle of his fourth chapter, having put together two bad starts in September.
In his last start on Monday in D.C., Pelfrey had an early 3-0 lead. He would give it all back and then some. In only 3.2 innings pitched, he allowed six runs on five hits. The Mets would lose the Labor Day affair, 13-3, and Pelfrey suffered his ninth loss of the season.
Where does Pelfrey start 2011 in rotation?
He's still stuck on 13 wins, which is tied for the most in his career. He will get a third attempt at a career-high 14th win today.
The Phillies will counter with Kyle Kendrick. His entire season has been up and down. He's had a rough time of it over his last four starts, pitching to a 7.84 ERA. In each of those starts, he allowed either four or five runs.
His last start came on Sunday against the Brewers and it was bad. In four innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits, in a Phillies 9-8 loss. He did do well though in his last start against the Mets at Citi Field, and that's probably why the Phillies are going with him today.
The Mets last night got some positive news and some horrific news that'll bleed into 2011.
The positive news is that Jose Reyes returned to the lineup and recorded an RBI double. He looked fine, with no problems regarding his frequently injured oblique.
The horrific news is that they've lost their ace for the season, and more importantly, the foreseeable future. Johan Santana was diagnosed yesterday with a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder, and will undergo shoulder surgery.
It was originally classified as a strained pectoral muscle around his left shoulder when he left a game early on September 2 against the Braves. It turned out to be much worse, and Santana himself doesn't have a clue when he'll be back.
"The most important thing is to be ready," he said. "To be 100 percent whether it's April, whether it's May, July, October—who knows? Time will tell how I will recover. I've just got to get back to being healthy."
The statement about perhaps not returning until next October is disturbing. If Santana can't be with the Mets next season, their next meaningful game will be 2012.
So now, the Mets are out of playoff contention, and don't even know where they'll be next season. It's frustrating times for them right now, and they'll try to at least perform well in these final three weeks.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Philadelphia this season (3 starts)
1-2, 4.50 ERA, 18 IP, 18 hits, 6 BB, 8 SO
Kyle Kendrick vs. New York this season (2 starts)
1-1, 3.86 ERA, 11.2 IP, 11 hits, 2 BB, 7 SO
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
August 15: Philadelphia 3, New York 1
Sept. 10: Philadelphia 8, New York 4
Phillies lead series 7-6