phenom vs. phenom, big one wins

July 9, 2008

I had a chance to go to last night’s game, as a bunch of my friends (ALL except one being from the Bay Area, ugh, I’ve never known more Northern Californians in my life than I have in New York, what the hell is that about?) got tickets to see their precious little Timmy Lincecum. Stan asked if I wanted to “go see Pelfrey again,” and after complaining earlier this season (as well as early last season) about Pelf, I responded “Actually I would. He’s been amazing.”

And he has. Unfortunately I had a prior commitment, but got to witness/hear most of the game. It was a funny little match-up; Big Phenom vs. Little Phenom, a guy drafted 9th in 2005 vs. a guy drafted 10th in 2006, both of them 24, both future-of-the-franchise type pitchers (with one excelling faster than the other). Howie Rose made an interesting comment that these two (but Lincecum especially) seemed to be pitching with a kid’s mentality, a playground challenge. Except Big Pelf got the best of Tiny Tim today. Pelf strikes out Tim with an inside curve; Tim throws the same to Pelf in the next inning, only to see Pelf get a hit.

It’s been dazzling to see Pelf pitch this way over the past few starts. He got into a jam in the first inning (thanks in part to a Damion Easley error) but came out of it unscathed and flew from there. This is not the Pelfrey you would have imagined earlier this season or last season. In fact, it sounds like Lincecum.

Lincecum also got into a bit of a jam in the first inning, but instead of working out of it, he threw a bad curve to Carlos Beltran, who shot it out of the park for a three-run homer. This is not the Lincecum you would have imagined earlier this season or last season. In fact, it sounds like Pelfrey.

Having a lead–especially against a lowly offensive team like the Giants–certainly only helps inspire confidence. But not only that, Pelfrey is pitching like a confident young man, and just rolled right through the meek Giants lineup, allowing only ONE hit into the outfield all night. ONE. And the offense wasn’t done either; Delgado would hit a bomb, Beltran would single in Argenis Reyes (who got the first hit of his ML career, leading to some funny shenanigans from Tatis), Easley would drive in Beltran, and then just for kicks on a night the Jets were honored at Shea, Tatis kicked the extra point.

Johan Santana must’ve been thinking, “Why can’t they do that shit when I’m pitching?!?!?!?” Because don’t look now, but Pelfrey hasn’t lost in eight starts, and his won his last five. Santana hasn’t won in six starts, and has lost four of those. Much of that, certainly, has to do with the offense. Hopefully the Mets, who have gotten double digit hits in seven of their last eight games, can provide Santana with enough of a cushion so that he can grab himself a win and put things back on track. Otherwise, I’ll have to repeat a notion from earlier this season that I found ludicrous but true: Pelfrey is our ace.

And I for one am glad to see it.

Looking pretty studly nowadays, eh?

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