Monday, September 3, 2007

Three pitchers, three wins, one loss

Three pitchers with ties to the New York Mets excelled over the weekend. One's on the Mets roster, one's on the Mets Triple-A team, and one's an ex-Met.

First, the current Met.

Mike Pelfrey has had a rough season with the Men of Shea. Going into Saturday's pressure-filled game at Atlanta, he'd lost seven of his nine starts in the majors without a win in a season some have said should have been spent in Triple-A until the September call-ups. But on Saturday, Pelfrey proved the naysayers wrong. In six innings he surrendered one hit, three walks, and only one run while striking out seven.

He threw a lot of pitches, 99 (51 were strikes), but he's not alone in doing that. Both Maine and Perez also usually have high pitch counts. More important, he notched his first win.

Next, the ex-Met.

Today, contained this headline: "Don't look now, but ... has 12 wins and is building a good case for AL Rookie of the Year."

Though on various discussion boards know-it-alls have knocked this pitcher, I've never wavered in my belief that the Mets never should have traded him. His name is Brian Bannister. Yesterday, he won again. In eight innings, he gave up six hits and a run to lower his ERA to 3.15. And he's not pitching for a pennant contender. He's pitching for the Kansas City Royals, whose record is 61-75.

The Mets traded Bannister for Ambiorix Burgos who's helped the Mets very little this season and will likely miss most, if not all, of next season due to recent Tommy John Surgery. This trade could go down as one of Mets General Manager Omar Minaya's worst trades in a season in which he's done little to make the Mets better than they were in 2006.

It also makes me question Minaya's ability to judge pitching talent. There's more to pitching ability than how high on the radar gun a pitcher's fastball registers and how many batters a pitcher strikes out.

Last, the yet-to-be Met.

Sunday, Kevin Mulvey started his first game in Triple-A after spending the season with the Binghamton Mets. The promotion to the Mets highest minor league farm team, the Zephyrs, didn't phase him. In six innings he didn't give up either a run or a walk and limited Round Rock to two hits. Equally impressive was his control. He threw 79 pitches; 52 (66%) were strikes.

Hopefully, Minaya won't be as hasty in parting company with Pelfrey and Mulvey as he was with Bannister.

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