Over at Mets.com, Marty Noble sheds some light as to why Mike Pelfrey hasn't been reaching his potential as a starter. It became particularly noticable last season that Pelfrey was tipping his pitches. After making adjustments that he thought would fix the problem, he got lit up this weekend against the light-hitting Marlins.
At first, Pelfrey attributed his performance to his own imprecision, to disobedient pitches.
"That was me last year," he said.
But later, three colleagues -- Billy Wagner, Ryan Church and hitting coach Howard Johnson -- told him they had cracked his code.
"They all told me they had my fastball," Pelfrey said Sunday morning. "Every time I threw my fastball, I was really chewing on the mouthpiece, bearing down. The other pitches ... I didn't chew."
On fixing the problem:
But every pitcher also has the wherewithal to counter. It's called an inside fastball thrown with the same "tip" as a curve.
"Stand up a few hitters -- it'll stop," one Mets pitcher said. "Word will get around. Some hitters don't want to know what's coming. The ones who do want to be 100 percent sure. So if you cross them up a couple of times, that plants just enough doubt."
Finally, after discussing how the wind can effect pitching performance, Noble assures us that Pelfrey REALLY wants that 5th starter slot:
"But that doesn't mean that I'm giving in. I want to pitch. I want that job to mine if I can get it. I want to earn it, win and keep it."
Good luck, Mike- we want you to win it, too!!!