The Frustrating And Finally Over Mike Pelfrey Baseball Career

Former Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey has retired from the game of baseball after a 12 year career, and he has accepted an assistant coaching position with Division II Newman University.  Now, Pelfrey can play the part of Rick Peterson in helping a young pitcher learn about which one of his pitches is like putting ketchup on ice cream.

Reflecting back on Pelfrey’s career, I mostly remember the disappointment.

There was his inability to jump from being the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft to truly help an injured Mets rotation.  That certainly stung when we watched Steve Trachselget pounded for five runs over the first two innings of a pivotal Game 3 of the 2006 NLCS.

There was also Pelfrey being a part of the 2007 and 2008 teams that collapsed. In 2007, his September 24th start saw the beginning of a five game losing streak with the Mets losing six of their last seven games to see a two game lead become an embarrassing collapse.

Pelfrey was a much better pitcher in 2008 with him going 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA.  His improved pitching did not stop him from going 0-3 with a 4.06 ERA to help the Mets second consecutive collapse.

Still, Pelfrey showed enough to give Mets fans faith for the future.  To that end, the rotation was set up so he would be the first ever Mets pitcher to toe the rubber at Citi Field.  The third pitch throw in Citi Field history would be deposited by Jody Gerut into the left field stands for a lead-off homer.

Still, with Pelfrey, Mets fans always had hope for him, and we were waiting for him to finally turn that corner to be the front line starter we all imagined he could be.  It just never happened for him.

He followed a good 2008 with a disappointing 2009.  He rebounded in 2010 by winning 15 games, but he then went 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA.  By that point, we all figured he was one of those every-other-year type of pitchers.  It all seemed that way when he jumped out of the gate in 2012.

Through three starts, he had not recorded a decision, but he had a 2.29 ERA.  His last start was an eight inning gem that would have been a win had the Mets not started that season with Frank Francisco as the Opening Day closer.  A few days later, it was announced Pelfrey tore his UCL, and he was going to require season ending Tommy John surgery.

With his impending free agency, this mean that April 21st start would be his last in a Mets uniform.  It would seem somewhat fitting his last win in a Mets uniform was from the previous August when he had a six inning three earned run quality start against the Phillies.

That was Pelfrey’s Mets career.  His flashes of brilliance really led nowhere, and you were left to look for the little joys in his moments of mediocrity.

Still, it wasn’t all bad memories. He did bring hope with him. He was a player who chomped on his mouth-guard and kicked his fingers while he tried so desperately to succeed. As noted, there was a few seasons he did succeed. There was also a signature moment.

In 2010, there was a crazy 20 inning game between the Mets and Cardinals. With the Mets out of relievers and the team desperately clinging to a 2-1 lead, Pelfrey entered the game despite throwing 106 pitches just two days prior. On that day, Pelfrey saved the day.

That was always the case with Pelfrey. He was always willing, and he did all he could to improve even if that meant his stop putting ketchup in his ice cream.

In the end, he put together a 12 year Major League career full of adversity and perseverance. It’s a career un which he can take much pride. It’s one that will be of immense value as he now seems to impart his wisdom to a new generation of pitchers.

As a Mets fan, I know I wish him the best of luck.

17 Replies to “The Frustrating And Finally Over Mike Pelfrey Baseball Career”

  1. Instilling Fear Out of The Gate says:


    DID ANYONE SEE ASTRO PROSPECT DAVID PAULINO’s THREE INNINGS YESTERDAY….? Did you have thoughts as you watched him?

    as a transition:

    Do you believe it is important:

    To have an over .667 winning percentage in April?
    To start that goal in March with heavy emphasis on strong early run production in the first two innings?
    ESPECIALLY: March production of runs without the HR?
    March production many innings with 4-5 consecutive hits?
    To have strong relief innings (like yesterday’s Astro Mr David) with many strike outs?many 1-2-3s building off breaking pitches combined with 94 mph heat?

    To set up preliminary starting line up within the next week and work it consistently leave starters in until they consistently hit as you wish they will do for the season and only then bring in projected subs who are projected to play on the starter’s days off.?


    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think the most important thing in Spring Training is to get in shape and stay healthy. More than anything, that helps a team start off the season right

  2. Gothamist says:


    Pitcher’s with 0.00 ERA and total innings pitched:

    43 division pitchers w 0.00 spring ERAs has combined for 138 innings

    (Mets have one pitcher, lights out for four total innings)

    Atlanta 13/38
    Philadelphia 7/29
    Washington 9/33
    Miami 14/38
    St Louis

  3. Five Tool Ownership says:

    I was shocked how fast Pelfrey went from AllStar calipher to worthless.

    Ony three first rounders after Mike had more productive careers..

    1. metsdaddy says:

      There were some really big names there like McCuthchen and Bruce

  4. Five Tool Ownership says:

    de Grom, Familia, Noah, Ramos, Swazack are playoff roster pitchers, everyone else are up in the air.

    The other right roster pitchers are in compleye flux.

    We can pencil in starters Harvey and Vargas

    So it is:

    Fifth starter, two lefties and three 5-7th righty relievers

    of the last five 1-2 long relief swing starters who can punch in if a starter goes down

    Wheeler, Gsellman, Matz for fifth starter unless Lugo clearly is dominant in March.

    Can they give fifth to Gsellman and have Matz and Wheeler in the pen?

    Four Cuts/DLs

    a Noah *
    b Harv *
    c Jake *
    d Fam *
    e Swarz *
    f Varg *
    g Ram *
    h Wheeler
    i Matz
    j Sew *
    k Blev *
    l Raffy
    m Robles
    n Rhames
    o Conlon
    16 : Callahan

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think it’s still too soon to pinpoint the depth chart.

  5. OldBackstop says:

    I think the notable thing about Big Mike was his size — 6′ 7″. It seems like every pitcher nowadays is at least 6’4″, but 6’7″ just seemed freaky big ten years ago.

    I always liked him too. I wish him luck.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The height did stand out, but not as much as the licking

  6. Jack N says:

    *Gerut hit the first pitch into the right field seats, down the line.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It was not the first pitch. It was the third. I double-checked with BR

      1. Jack N says:

        My bad. You’re right. 1-1 count.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          No big deal. When I initially wrote it, I also thought it was the first pitch.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      That article wasn’t Sherman’s finest hour

  7. Five Tool Ownership says:

    Gsellman will not be a starter.
    Did not see sufficient offerings or ability to miss bats.
    Wheeler looked great yet there is too much time to go.
    I just do know who Steven Matz is anymore – which is also a clean slate, a positive.
    It is not implausible that Montero, out of options either gets traded, gets a pass and someone else gets temporary gets sent down or Montero may have to clear waivers to get assigned to Vegas AAA.

    What if the Marlins pick him up on a waiver claim?
    What possible scenarios in 2018?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. It’s too soon to make conclusions about Gsellman
      2. Wheeler has been good, and he is really trying to force the issue.
      3. Matz is still working into shape
      4. Montero probably won’t slip through waivers, especially with Warthen in Texas

Comments are closed.