The Makings of a Mets Madman

June 18, 2009

Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey was unable to complete the sixth inning on Tuesday night. Nonetheless, he pitched enough to warrant himself a victory, his fifth of the season. Wins have been tough to come by lately for the Mets right-hander. Prior to Tuesday night’s start, Pelfrey’s last favorable decision was on May 7th at Citi Field against the Philadelphia Phillies. Not only did Pelfrey struggle in the win department throughout that stretch but also revealed himself as a bit of a hothead. In his last two starts, he has been involved in a couple of public spectacles that have caused Mets fans to question his focus when he is out their on the mound.

The first of these two confrontations came against the Phillies at home last Wednesday. After calling for time, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley was hollered at by the Mets starter to get back in the batter’s box. Utley then proceeded to ready himself for Pelfrey’s pitch only to get reprimanded again for taking his sweet time as he was getting set. The Phillies second baseman then calmly responded back suggesting that the tall right-hander relax. In Pelfrey’s defense, he may have still been seething from a prior at-bat against Utley in which he smacked a home run over the left-field wall.

“I was ready to make a pitch and he called timeout,” Pelfrey said. “I got upset and told him to get in the box. I don’t even know the guy. I was just trying to compete and execute a pitch. I got caught up in the moment. And he had a good swing against me. I probably shouldn’t have said anything.”

Regarding that incident, I guess you could give Pelfrey a pass because of the fact that the Mets were playing their divisional rival at Citi Field. However, the second confrontation wasn’t so acceptable because it involved one of his teammates. At the completion of the sixth inning on Tuesday night, Mets third baseman David Wright approached Pelfrey in the Mets dugout. Pelfrey had already been taken out of the game at that point but Wright felt that the right-hander needed a talking-to. The third baseman began to scold his starter along with a dose of finger pointing and chest-pounding. “He said, ‘Let’s go. You were getting ahead of the hitters all night,’” Pelfrey said of Wright’s words. “He said that now I’m falling behind the hitters. Let’s go. I kinda liked it,” Pelfrey added.

So far, it looks as if Pelfrey’s next scheduled start is on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store for Big Pelf. As for all those who choose to confront him in the future, use good judgment or stay out of the big guy’s way.

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