The good Mike Pelfrey made an appearance at Citi Field Tuesday night, throwing seven shutout innings as the Mets beat the Rockies 1-0. That terrible Pelfrey who was 0-4 with like a 9.00 ERA over his past seven starts nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he really was John Maine wearing a Mike Pelfrey mask, and Pelfrey was tied up in some basement somewhere before managing to escape Tuesday morning to make his start. When was the last time we saw the two of them in the same room?
In any case, it was good to see Pelfrey throwing like he did early in the season. He was aggressive with hitters, just rearing back and letting the ball fly instead of aiming it, as Ron Darling said. Hopefully he can pitch this way the rest of the season.
And it shows just how important good pitching is — a lesson Omar Minaya apparently never learned as he neglected the starting staff and concentrated on, well, whatever he was concentrating on.
The old adage is “good pitching beats good hitting,” and it is proven correct time and time again. Of course, a team needs hitting, but weak hitting teams with strong pitching and strong defense seem to beat power lineups with no pitching all the time. Minaya claimed he was building a pitching and defense team, but his words never matched his actions.
Carlos Beltran was given the night off, making a pinch hitting appearance in which he was intentionally walked. He’s been looking absolutely horrible since he came back, topping it off with that “when did they put a wall there?” move Sunday in Philly. I’ve never been a Beltran fan, and I advocated trading him last off-season (before he needed knee surgery) when they actually could have gotten some value for him.
Unless he shows over the remainder of the season that he is fully recuperated, he will be virtually untradeable this off-season — that is, if Minaya has any intention of moving Beltran at all. He has only one year and $20 million left on his deal, so if he shows he’s healthy, a contender which thinks it is one player away might take him on.
If the Mets can get some pitching for him, they can slide Angel Pagan over to center and get a big-time power hitter for right. A 2011 outfield of Jason Bay, Beltran and Pagan does not thrill me. Bay, Pagan and a power hitter is good. Bay, a healthy Beltran and a power hitter would be good as well, with Pagan traded for pitching. I would trade whichever one brings back the best pitching. But my guess is that if the unimaginative Minaya is still the GM, we’ll see an outfield of Bay, Beltran and Pagan next season.