Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newcombe honored, Zephyrs win despite Vargas' performance

In a pre-game ceremony at Brooklyn's KeySpan Park, the Cyclones honored former Brooklyn Dodgers' Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young winner Don Newcombe. No other pitcher has won those three awards.

Big Don threw out the first pitch, and then the Cyclones retired his number, 36. The team further honored Newcombe by winning their game, 7-3, behind Nicholas Waechter's three-hit, no run pitching over five innings. Waechter struck out seven. He now has 33 K's in 33 innings. Only Nicholas Carr has more, 35, in just 29.1 innings.

The GCL Mets have a pitcher worth mentioning. Gavin Dlouhy is a 19 year old Australian with a last name I'm unsure how to pronounce, but in his first pro season with the GCL Mets he's shown he can pitch. In the team's Sunday game, Dlouhy gave up three hits, no runs, walked none and struck out six in four innings, lowering his ERA to 1.93. Dlouhy, a righty, has been particularly effective at home and against lefties. At home his ERA is 0.60; against lefties his ERA's 1.29. Dlouhy is one of several Australians whom the Mets have signed.

Yesterday, Jason Vargas got hit hard. In five innings he gave up nine hits and five runs. In three of his last four games he's given up five, seven and eight runs in 12.1 innings. His latest poor performance raised his ERA to 5.40. That's much higher than two of his New Orlean Zephyr teammates, Philip Humber and Mike Pelfrey.

On Monday Humber had a decent outing marred only by the two homers he gave up. If it weren't for them, he wouldn't have given up a run during five innings in which he struck out six. His ERA's now 4.21. He's only given up more than three runs in one of the ten games he's started this season.

However, that's not as good as fellow Zephyr Mike Pelfrey's performance. In nine starts this year Pelfrey hasn't given up more than four runs in any game. The righty's ERA is 3.88. That's much better than his ERA for the nine games he's pitched for the New York Mets: 6.12. That's a prime reason why he's 0-7 in the Majors.

Surprisingly, like Dlouhy, Pelfrey's Zephyr ERA against lefties is better than it is against righties. Against lefties it's 2.11; against righties it's 5.27. You'd think he and Dlouhy were throwing screwballs.

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