Mets Dream Of Mike Pelfrey 'The Closer', But Sandy Alderson Rejects Proposal

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Mets Dream Of Mike Pelfrey 'The Closer', But Sandy Alderson Rejects Proposal

The New York Mets are in the midst of one of the worst ruts of the season, as they've won just two times in their past 11 games.

It's difficult to peg the struggles on one aspect: without Carlos Beltran, the lineup is pretty weak, and they've struggled to put big run numbers on the board. Yet, when they have scored a considerable amount, it hasn't been enough because the bullpen has struggled mightily lately. See: the 11-9 loss on Saturday, and Sunday's loss, after being stymied by Yovani Gallardo for six innings, Lucas Duda knots the game up at 2 with a two-run home run. But the good feelings of a rally were quickly smothered as the bullpen allowed four runs combined in the eighth and ninth innings.

So maybe that's why team officials and coach Terry Collins asked Mike Pelfrey if he'd be willing to be the closer next year. The New York Daily News' Andy Martino was the first to report the idea.

According to Martino, Pelfrey responded with "absolutely."

But the one person in the front office who has to give the final OK in order for such a roster move to take place, Sandy Alderson, is not a fan of the proposal.

Regardless of whether it takes place or not (and it appears that it will not), the fact this even came up is very telling. Pelfrey has flopped this season as the team's de facto No. 1 starter, with a 4.61 ERA and 1.41 WHIP across 154 1/3 innings. He has 85 strikeouts and a 6-10 record. His 4.56 FIP and 4.45 xFIP aren't too optimistic, either. In fact, his xFIP's over the past four years have been about what his mark is this season.

He has a $6 million team option that will most likely be picked up, and for a 28-year-old to-be, that's not entirely too much. And also, as Martino notes, Pelfrey has been durable, and will have started 30 or more games in four straight seasons. Over those four years, he hasn't pitched less than 184 1/3 innings, though with his struggles this season, it remains to be seen if he'll be able to reach that mark.

The other reason this comes is obviously because of the bullpen's struggles. Martino says that since July 25, a span of 26 games, the bullpen has a 5.95 ERA. And Pelfrey came out of the bullpen Aug. 16 for one batter and was firing mid-90s fastballs, so it was something for the team to dream on.

Add in the fact that Pedro Beato appears worn down, and fireballer Bobby Parnell can't seen to figure out a way to harness his stuff, and this was an interesting proposition.

To be completely honest, i'm not sure there's a better Mike Pelfrey out there. Alderson is a smart man, and should realize the same by watching him on the mound (a sub-5 K/9 mark) and looking at the stats. It's obvious, though, that he realizes Pelfrey's value comes from his health -- and his ability to be on the hill every five days.

If there's one thing that's for certain: the Mets' bullpen will certainly look different next season.


Mets-Brewers Score: Bullpen Does Mets No Favors As They Fall 6-2

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Prince Fielder drove in two runs as the Milwaukee Brewers took a 6-2 win in the finale of a three-game set against the Mets at Citi Field to sweep New York and continue their surge.

Ryan Braun went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Brewers, who have won nine of their last 10 games. Yovani Gallardo (14-8) worked seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits with six strikeouts to get the victory.

“The guys picked me up out there today,” said Gallardo. “We’re just playing really good baseball right now and we want to keep it going out there.”

Milwaukee leads St. Louis, which plays in Chicago later Sunday, by nine games for first place in the NL Central — the largest division lead for the club in team history.

Also, thanks to a 22-3 run since losing consecutive games on July 23-24, the Brewers stand at 76-52 and are 24 games over .500 for the first time since holding an 80-56 mark on August 31, 2008.

Lucas Duda’s two-run homer accounted for all the runs for the Mets, who have lost nine of 11. R.A. Dickey gave up just two runs on six hits over seven innings, but did not factor into the decision.

“I have great confidence in my players and think they can get the job done,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “Obviously I was wrong, we can’t stop anybody. I should have stayed with Dickey and tried to keep the game tied. I thought we’d try to play the win there and we just can’t stop anybody.”

The score was tied after seven innings, but the Brewers went ahead in the eighth.

With Manny Acosta (1-1) on the mound, Nyjer Morgan worked a walk to begin the frame and Braun singled to right to put runners on the corners and chase Acosta. Tim Byrdak then took the mound and got Fielder to hit a grounder to second that Justin Turner fielded cleanly, but he threw the ball out of the reach of Ruben Tejada and everyone was safe with Morgan scoring the go-ahead run.

Jason Isringhausen then took the mound and got the next two batters out, but Jerry Hairston Jr. singled home Braun for a 4-2 advantage.

Francisco Rodriguez, who got the win in Saturday’s game in his first appearance against his former team, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Milwaukee tacked on two more runs in the ninth thanks to a suicide squeeze from Nyjer Morgan that plated Craig Counsell and an RBI double from Braun for a 6-2 lead.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect ninth to complete the win.

The first three innings of the game went scoreless before the Brewers took the lead on Casey McGehee’s two-out, solo home run in the fourth.

In the sixth inning the Brewers added another run as Braun led off with a single, stole second then came home on a single from Fielder for a 2-0 lead.

Gallardo, meanwhile, was dealing on the mound as he allowed just three hits through the first six innings, but the Mets finally got to him in the seventh.

David Wright led off the inning with a single and Duda tied it when he drilled a pitch over the wall in right-center for his sixth homer of the year. Jason Bay then double to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but the next two batters recorded outs without moving Bay up. After Tejada was issued an intentional walk, Gallardo got Willie Harris to fly out and end the inning.


Mets Vs. Brewers: Dickey Looks To Prevent Sweep

(Sports Network) – Yovani Gallardo gets the call this afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers go after a sweep in the finale of their three-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.

After winning Friday’s opener Milwaukee pulled out a thrilling win on Saturday, as Casey McGehee’s two-run single in the ninth capped a four-run rally to help the Brewers take an 11-9 victory.

“We had a lot of fun early, then it got a little nervous, and we were able to stay together and come back,” said Prince Fielder, who homered and also tied the game in the ninth with a single. "I’m just proud of my team.

Francisco Rodriguez (5-2), who Milwaukee acquired in a trade with New York last month, got the win in his first appearance against his former team despite allowing the Mets to go ahead in the eighth with a three-run frame.

Milwaukee now leads St. Louis by 8 1/2 games for first place in the NL Central, the largest division lead for the club in team history.

Also, thanks to a 21-3 run since losing consecutive games on July 23-24, the Brewers stand at 75-52 and are 23 games over .500 for the first time since holding an 80-57 mark on September 1, 2008.

Angel Pagan went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, Lucas Duda added a two-run pinch-hit double and Ruben Tejada doubled twice and scored twice for the Mets, who rallied from six down, but still fell for the eighth time in their last 10 tries.

After the Mets went ahead in the eighth, the Brewers responded the ninth off of Jason Isringhausen (3-3), who didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced and was pulled after issuing a bases- loaded walk to Mark Kotsay.

Manny Acosta then took the mound and quickly induced a short fly-out to right field from Ryan Braun then had Prince Fielder down in the count, but the burly slugger was able to dig out a low pitch and punch a single to right to tie the game. McGehee then plated two runs with a single to right.

John Axford had no trouble in the ninth as he set down the Mets in order for his 37th save of the season.

“It’s still quite a bit of a battle,” Axford said. “We play [the Cardinals] six more times, and six games can be a lot of ground. Putting the pressure on them, I think, is going to be a good thing for us because we’re playing well and we’re already a laid-back, relaxed team.”

Today it will be Gallardo, who is 13-8 on the year.He did not get a decision on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite a terrific outing that saw him allow just a run and four hits in eight innings of a 2-1 win. Gallardo also struck out nine and saw his earned run average dip to 3.55.

The 25-year-old right-hander gave up four runs in four innings of a loss to the Mets the last time he faced them and is 1-2 in four starts against them with a 3.68 ERA.

New York, meanwhile, will counter with right-handed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is 5-11 with a 3.77 ERA. Dickey did not factor in the decision of his team’s win over San Diego on Monday, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

It was the fourth straight start that Dickey had lasted at least six innings, while allowing three runs or less. However, he is 0-3 in that span.

“It’s just been a year where I’ve really had to fight and nothing’s been real clean,” Dickey said. “It’s been a real grind.”

Dickey is 1-1 in four games (two starts) against the Brewers with a 2.65 ERA.

The Mets took two of three in Milwaukee in the first meeting between the clubs this year after the Brewers won five of seven in 2010.


Mets-Brewers Score: Mets Mount Huge Late Rally, But Isringhausen Coughs It Up To Give Brewers 11-9 Win

The New York Mets are aces when it comes to toying with their fans' emotions. Chris Capuano didn't have it on the mound Saturday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers. By the time his final line was in the books, it was 7-1 Milwaukee.

But an inning later the Mets put together a monumental rally -- scoring five in the seventh, then added three in the eighth of off former Met, Francisco Rodriguez. The game couldn't have ended any better. It had an unlikely fairy tale twist to it, one that nobody could have conceived.

Yet, Jason Isringhausen did his best to erase any of the good memories, allowing four runs in the ninth inning on one hit and three walks. And that was all she wrote: Milwaukee won, 11-9.

It's becoming quite apparent that if Capuano is not going to hit corners with his average fastball and slow breaking stuff, he's going to get shelled, whether it's at Citi Field or not. Today, he was roughed up for five earned runs (seven altogether), with three longballs doing him in. Prince Fielder had the second home run, smashing a pitch into the right-field upper deck.

It looked like the game was over when Capuano left. The Mets were doing nothing at the plate, and with a 7-1 deficit, it would be easy to see them packing it in.

But they touched up Randy Wolf, who was cruising up to the seventh inning, for four runs in the inning, and got one off of reliever Saito as well. After seven, it was 7-6 Milwaukee and the Mets had new life.

Bobby Parnell pitched a quiet eighth inning, and the Mets' bats came alive again in the eighth inning. After two outs, Ruben Tejada walked, Josh Thole doubled him home and Angel Pagan smacked a home run to right field and the Mets had a two-run advantage.

But Izzy couldn't throw strikes, and Terry Collins was a bit late with the hook. Manny Acosta came on in relief and got Ryan Braun to to fly to right field, but Fielder singled on a curveball heading into the dirty, and brought home too. Casey McGehee hit a cue shot just past a diving Justin Turner at second base and the Brewers had an 11-9 lead they wouldn't give up.

The Mets have now only one two times in their past 10 games.


Mets Vs. Brewers: Capuano Looks To Cool Of Milwaukee

(Sports Network) – Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Randy Wolf looks to keep his unbeaten streak alive when he toes the rubber today in the second portion of a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Wolf is 4-0 with a 1.86 earned run average in his last four starts and threw eight shutout innings in Monday’s 3-0 win over Los Angeles. Wolf scattered six hits, struck out five and walked five batters, improving to 10-8 in 25 starts to go along with a 3.30 ERA.

The southpaw, who is just 4-6 in 13 road assignments, will make his 34th career start against the Mets. Wolf is 12-5 with a 3.21 ERA over the first 33 outings in this series and recorded a no-decision against New York in a 7-6 win on June 8, when he pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

Former Brewer Chris Capuano gets the nod for the Mets tonight and is 9-11 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 games, 23 of which were starts, this season. Capuano, who spent five seasons in Milwaukee, is only 1-4 with a 5.44 ERA in his last seven starts and has thrown six innings of four-run ball in back-to-backs outings. He was last in action during Sunday’s 5-3 loss at Arizona and struck out six.

Capuano, a lefty, has also allowed nine hits in each of his last two appearances and beat Milwaukee in a 2-1 decision at Miller Park on June 7. He held his former teammates to one run and six hits in six frames.

The National League Central-leading Brewers pushed their division cushion to 7 1/2 games over the St. Louis Cardinals with Friday’s 6-1 win over the Mets and stayed fresh after a nearly three-hour rain delay. St. Louis lost to the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day.

Brewers starter Shaun Marcum improved to 11-3 on the season by holding New York to a run and six hits in seven innings of work. Kameron Loe and Frankie De La Cruz each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

“I thought he threw really well,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Marcum. “At the beginning I didn’t see the velocity in his fastball. His changeup was great, his breaking ball was really good and then his velocity picked up. I thought he looked really good the last five, six innings.”

Casey McGehee went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Prince Fielder had two hits, scored two runs and knocked in a pair for the victors. Fielder and Mets reliever Tim Byrdak sparked a benches-clearing incident after Fielder grounded out to end the eighth inning, but both players said it was nothing and no punches were thrown. Byrdak heard Fielder say something he thought was directed at him, and the players jawed at one another.

“It was blown out of proportion,” Byrdak said later.

Fielder agreed, saying: “I don’t have any problem with him. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.”

Milwaukee has won 20 of its last 23 games and will also visit Pittsburgh for four games on this seven-game road trip. It is 11-7 on the road since the All- Star break.

New York has dropped seven of nine and failed to give Mike Pelfrey any run support. Pelfrey took the loss after yielding four runs — three earned — on eight hits and four walks in a five-inning start.

“It’s frustrating and I’m frustrated,” Pelfrey said.

Angel Pagan posted three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Josh Thole knocked in the lone run for the Mets. Mets injured shortstop Jose Reyes is continuing his rehab from a hamstring injury and is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.

“I need to run the bases first before I decide about when I can play,” Reyes said. “I’ve been running the past couple of days, so I’m feeling good. I’m not 100 percent, but it’s getting there.”

Justin Turner and Jason Bay both had the day off Friday for the Mets and should be back in the lineup this afternoon.

The Mets took two of three in Milwaukee in the first meeting between the clubs this year after the Brewers won five of seven in 2010. Former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez returned to Flushing, NY for the first time since being traded to Milwaukee in July and did not see action.


Mets-Brewers Score: Pelfrey, Mets Hit Around in 6-1 Loss

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Shaun Marcum hurled seven strong innings and the Brewers offense knocked around the Mets pitching to open a three-game series with a 6-1 victory.

Marcum (11-3) allowed one run on six hits and a walk for Milwaukee, which bounced back from a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers to win for the seventh time in eight games.

Casey McGehee went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Prince Fielder had two hits, scored two runs and knocked in a pair of the victors.

Mike Pelfrey (6-10) took the loss after yielding four runs — three earned — on eight hits and four walks in a five-inning start.

The Mets were coming off a series win at San Diego and were welcomed back to Citi Field by storm that resulted in a two-hour, 46-minute delay.

After waiting out the rain, Milwaukee jumped in front during its first at-bat. David Wright couldn’t handle a hard grounder to third by Ryan Braun, who stole second and was brought home on Fielder’s single to center field.

Fielder came up in the fifth with runners on the corners and slapped a base hit to left field to make it 2-0. McGehee added an RBI single and Yuniesky Betancourt doubled past a diving Wright to knock in Fielder.

D.J. Carrasco relieved Pelfrey in the sixth and gave up a pair of two-out runs, one coming on his wild pitch. McGehee singled in the other run.

The Mets finally got to Marcum in the seventh when Jason Pridie doubled off the right-field wall and Josh Thole knocked him in with a single.

Kameron Loe relieved Marcum in the eighth and struck out Wright to leave a runner on second, and Frankie De La Cruz hurled a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

Braun was ejected in the third inning by home plate umpire Angel Campos for arguing balls and strikes…Marcum has won four straight decisions…Brewers manager Ron Roenicke turned 55 on Friday.,.Milwaukee improved to 27-36 on the road.


Mets' Jose Reyes Getting Better, But Won't Be Ready To Come Off The DL on Tuesday

For the second time this season, New York  Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The latest incident occurred on Aug. 2 against the Atlanta Braves, and Reyes has been on the disabled list since. He's due to come off the DL on Tuesday, but despite some early reports suggesting it could happen, Terry Collins called it a "stretch."

Reyes has begun running, but it has not been at full speed and he's only run straightaway. The 28-year-old has also taken groundballs, thrown to first base and has hit ... but the most important step: testing the hamstring while running the bases, has yet to occur.

"I don’t know about that," Reyes said in reference to returning Tuesday according to ESPN NY's Adam Rubin. "I need to run the bases first before I decide when I’m going to play. I’ve been running the last few days, so I feel very good. I’m not running 100 percent, but it’s getting there." 

Reyes only returned from a 16-day DL stint July 19, but it appears he was a bit reluctant to run right away because he had only attempted three steals in 16 starts -- before trying to nab two Aug. 1. That day, he said, he felt some tightness in his hamstring, and the day after planted him on sidelines.

Rubin reports that Reyes says this hamstring strain is "about the same," but the Mets will certainly allow him all the time he needs to be ready, especially because they're not going anywhere with or without him in the lineup.

Of course, this doesn't bode into Reyes' favor about his contract situation. Dynamic when he's on the field, he's been extremely injury-prone throughout his career, and two more leg injuries for a player that relies on his speed doesn't really play to his advantage.

Regardless, Reyes just wants to get to playing, which we all know he loves to do.

"I don’t worry about my contract right now," Reyes said. "I just want to be on the field healthy."

H/T to Rubin for the Reyes injury information.

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