Pelfrey, Wright lead Mets to a 9-1 victory over Astros

The New York Mets scored nine runs on ten hits to defeat the Houston Astros, 9-1 at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie on Thursday evening:

To say Mike Pelfrey has been putrid this spring may be a bit of an understatement.  Well tonight, he was anything but.  Pelfrey put forth his best outing of the spring, holding the Astros to one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings. Pelf added three strikeouts and did not issue a walk in the contest. He closed out the game by retiring the last ten batters he faced, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to a 8.59 in the process:

Following the game, Pelf spoke with reporters and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, said the following:

After I threw the last start, I thought it was getting there. … I don’t worry. For me, if the ball is coming out good, and I feel good, I think I’m going to be OK. I know last start I pounded it and threw a lot of strikes and the ball was coming out good. And today I thought I did a good job of locating even better. I was pretty pleased.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Like I told you the other day, I would always love to go out there and not give up a hit. At the end of the day, in spring training, that’s not what it’s all about. You want to get your work in. You want to build it up. I feel like I’m making progress. And I’ve been saying ever since two weeks ago when I faced these guys that the ball is starting to come out [well] and we’re getting there.”

What was the difference tonight? According to his catcher Josh Thole it was right handers aggressiveness that stood out:

This is the most aggressive I’ve seen him in a while as far as the ball sinking and just everything — the mix of his pitches. He was just aggressive. Right out of the gate, he just came out on fire.”

Mets manager Terry Collins added:

He’s a pro and he’s been here a long time and he might downplay it, but I’ll tell you, I was real happy with what I saw. I saw all the things today that I’ve heard about. I saw a power sinker that had great movement — beating it into the dirt. He threw his curveball for strikes. Josh said his split was outstanding tonight. They didn’t swing at many of them, but the point is I thought it was really a step forward for him. I think his new delivery [with hands above his head rather than at his belt] has helped. I thought it was a positive.

I felt bad for Mike because he came in with we had to see something. Here’s a guy who has never had very good spring trainings, always went out and gave you quality innings. But he had to show us he was OK, that there was still something there. And he did tonight. For sure.”

If anyone in that locker room needed a performance like this, it was Pelf.  While it was only one meaningless spring start, it was a huge step in the right direction for the 28-year-old starter.  All we can hope is that he carries this momentum into the regular season, which starts one week from today.

“And it’s outta here. David Wright with a grand slam.” ~ Gary Cohen, SNY

With the Mets clinging to a three run lead, David Wright — making just his third Grapefruit League start — deposited a 3-2 hanging curve into the left field seats, giving NY a 8-1 lead they would not relinquish. Following the game, Wright told reporters he felt good:

I felt relatively good — each game, I guess, a little better. The important thing is I made it six innings. That’s the longest outing this spring. It’s a nice test for tomorrow, with the quick turnaround. That’s my last chance to get that day game after a night game in. Tomorrow will be a nice day to judge where I’m at physically.”

To hear the Cohen call on SNY, along with watching the ball sail out of the stadium, got me pumped to know that baseball is literally one week away (*Tiger Woods fist pump).

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