By Ed Coleman
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Mike Pelfrey was a much different pitcher on Saturday, and that was a relief both to him and the Mets. Pelfrey had one bad inning – the 3rd when the Cardinals batted around – but that was precipitated by a Justin Turner error at third base leading off the inning. Overall, Pelf was pleased with his effort and the fact that he went deep into the game.
St. Louis scored 4 runs in the third after Pelfrey had set down the first 6 batters in order in the first two innings. He was working with a new delivery, and even though the inning was tough, he liked how it felt.
Pelfrey usually kept his hands near his belt during his windup, but he began with his hands above his head, and it helped drive his sinker down and also helped with his fluidity.
Manager Terry Collins thought it was a big step forward for Pelfrey.
The manager does have a problem at the moment in centerfield. Andres Torres has a left calf strain that doesn’t appear that serious, but it’s also not getting better quickly.
Is Torres’ absence more of a void offensively or defensively, Terry?
So the Mets are in a bit of a quandary as to what to do in the long run, and it’s dictated by the health of their outfielders.
If Torres can’t go, Scott Hairston is the choice in center, but Hairston has been bothered by an oblique injury and has just begun swinging a bat. The other alternatives are Kirk Nieuwenhuis, also bothered by an oblique, and Matt Den Dekker.
But as much as the Mets like Den Dekker, he’s still a longshot with drawbacks.
By the way, Jordany Valdespin will get a start in centerfield on Sunday against the Nationals.
The Mets and Cardinals tied 6-6 on Saturday. Closer Frank Francisco gave up a run in the 9th, and he has allowed at least a run in 6 of his 8 appearances. Bobby Parnell looked good again and now has 6 1/3 scoreless going.
Ike Davis had four good at-bats, including an opposite field home run. Lucas Duda homered as well, and Collins talked about his young power hitters.
Look for David Wright to have his first game action on Tuesday, the first of three straight home games for the Mets down here. On Sunday, Dillon Gee will pitch a minor league game in Port St. Lucie while phenom Matt Harvey gets the start against one Stephen Strasburg when the Mets and Washington meet in Viera.
C U soon