The New York Mets collected just 3 hits but where able to defeat the Houston Astros 2-1 to take game 1 of the weekend series ending a 2 game losing streak in the process. Mike Pelfrey out-dueled former Met Nelson Figueroa (7 IP, 2R, 1ER) to pick up his 13th win of the season. Pelfrey was spectacular once again, scattering 6 hits, while walking 2 batters, and strucking out 4, over 8 scoreless inning. He has now allowed just 1 ER over his last 16 IP (0.56 ERA) proving that his mid season struggles are a thing of the past. After failing to reach the 5th inning in 7 straight starts, Big Pelf is now 3-1 in his last 4, allowing 4 ER over 30 IP (1.20 ERA). Mike spoke after the game about his return to success:
I’ve really gone back to the 4-seam fastball. It’s something that we did earlier in the year and I’ve kinda gone back to using it again. I think tonight I was fortunate I was pretty erratic to say the least but when it came time I made some pitches.”
Pelfrey worked his way in and out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the first inning, allowing 2 walks around a Hunter Pence single, before striking out Brett Wallace on a 93 MPH fastball to escape the jam and the Houston threat. In the bottom half of the inning, with Luis Castillo on 3rdbase, David Wright hit a flew out to short right field. Houston second baseman, Anderson Hernandez, made an over the shoulder catch allowing Castillo to score from 3rd and give NY a 1-0 lead.
With the Mets still clinging to a 1 run lead, it seemed as if the Mets were ready to break the game open when Jeff Francoeur singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Figueroa than walked Henry Blanco to bring rookie second basesman Ruben Tejada up with the bases loaded. Nelson quickly got ahead of Tejada 1-2, before throwing 3 straight balls to the light hitting second baseman to walk in the games 2nd run.
I believe this tweet from Anthony DiComo of MLB.com says it all:
Figgy followed by inducing Mets starter, Mike Pelfrey, to ground into an inning ending double play to defuse any thoughts of a big inning.
Manager Jerry Manuel called upon Bobby Parnell to relieve Big Pelf in the top of the 9th inning. In his first save opportunity this season, the flame thrower struck out Hunter Pence before allowing back to back hits to Carlos Lee and Chris Johnson, placing runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out. While I would have liked to see Parnell dig deep and work out of the jam, it was understandable that Manuel felt differently. He wasted no time in bringing in Hisanori Takahashi to relieve Bobby. After allowing an RBI single to Jason Michaels, Takahashi retired the next 2 batters to preserve the win for Pelfrey while picking up his 2nd save in the process. Bobby Ojeda of SNY had this to say about Bobby Parnell on the post-game:
In the 9th inning they are very expensive hits. If he is going to be a closer, maybe that is in his future, he’s got to double up on the off-speed or he’s got to stay out of the middle of the plate. Even 98/100 MPH these guys hit. If he’s gonna be that closer, he’s gotta be careful with that, he’s got to lower it down, get out of the middle even with that velocity. When he’s ahead in the count he can let that thing fly let it go high nobody’s going to hit it. But, early in the counts late in the game, they’re looking for that cheese they are gonna get it.”
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