Mike Pelfrey still feels tightness in shoulder, but intends to make next start

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Mike Pelfrey headshot.jpgThere was no shortage of good news in Friday’s 6-4 win over the Giants: Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs over 7 1/3 innings, the longest outing by a Mets starter this season. Jose Reyes — still in the No. 3 spot — had two hits and a stolen base while the struggling Jason Bay ripped an RBI double. Ike Davis slugged two home runs and made a fantastic catch over the railing to thwart a ninth-inning rally and finally, Rod Barajas hit two home runs of his own, the second of which was a two-run walkoff shot.

All great stuff, especially with Bengie Molina watching from the opposing dugout, but here’s one nugget of sobering news. According to MetsBlog, Pelfrey said he still felt some tightness in his throwing shoulder.

Of course, the big right-hander underwent an MRI earlier in the week because of “general shoulder tightness” and even skipped his regular bullpen session on Tuesday as a precaution before declaring himself good to go on Wednesday. Still, Pelfrey told the New York Daily News that he has every intention of making his next start against the Nationals.

“Just so you guys don’t come around asking all week, I’m going to make
my next start,” Pelfrey said, smiling. “You don’t have to worry about
that.”

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.