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Mike Pelfrey

New York Mets — No. 34
Starting Pitcher
Born: January 14, 1984 (1984-01-14) (age 26)
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
July 7, 2006 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     28-32
Earned Run Average     4.58
Strikeouts     275
Career highlights and awards
  • Most consecutive batters faced by a Met without giving up a home run (243)

Michael Alan "Mike" Pelfrey (born January 14, 1984, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio), nickamed "Big Pelf," is a starting pitcher for the New York Mets in Major League Baseball. He is a 6' 7", 230-pound right-handed power pitcher.


Professional career

After his junior year at Wichita State, Pelfrey entered the June 2005 amateur baseball draft. Having chosen Scott Boras as his agent, there were concerns that Pelfrey would hold out or require a higher-than-market value contract.[1] The Mets selected him with the ninth overall pick, even though he was projected to have gone higher than that. After six months of negotiations, the Mets signed Pelfrey to a four-year major league contract on January 10, 2006. The deal reportedly included a $3.5 million signing bonus and $5.3 million in guaranteed salary.

Pelfrey began the 2006 season on the Single-A St. Lucie Mets, going 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts before being promoted to the AA Binghamton Mets. With Binghamton, he was 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings over his first eight starts. He throws a hard four-seam fastball at speeds up to 98 mph, a sinker, a two-seam fastball, a curveball, a slider, and a circle changeup.

Major-league career



Pelfrey made his major-league debut with the Mets on July 8, 2006, earning the win in a 17-3 victory against the Florida Marlins. The Mets hit grand slams (José Valentín and Carlos Beltrán) in Pelfrey's first two major league starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was a first for a rookie pitcher.[2]] He was sent down to the AAA Norfolk Tides at the beginning of August.


Michael Pelfrey before a spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In 2007, Pelfrey pitched well in spring training and earned a spot in the Mets starting rotation to begin the season. However, after starting the season 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA, he was demoted to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs. He continued to make occasional starts for the Mets throughout the season, at one point running his record to 0-7.

However, Pelfrey found success later in the season. Having been recalled when rosters expanded on September 1 to pitch in Atlanta, Pelfrey put together his best start of the season giving up only one run on one hit in six innings for his first win of the season. Pelfrey would go on to win his next two starts in September in the midst of a close pennant race, finishing the season with a record of 3-8.


On March 30, 2008 the Mets named Pelfrey as their Number 5 starter. Pelfrey made his first start of the season on April 9, earning a win against the Philadelphia Phillies allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings pitched.

Pelfrey then followed up this performance with arguably his best start in the Majors thus far. Using his sinker to get fifteen ground ball outs, Pelfrey pitched seven shutout innings against the Washington Nationals and earned the win. It was the first major league start of his career where he did not give up a run.

On May 15, 2008, Pelfrey pitched another good game against the Nationals. He pitched 7 and 2/3 of an inning, not allowing a hit until the seventh and only allowed one run. While the Mets still lost the game, 1-0, it was a step in the right direction for Pelfrey.[3]

On June 11, 2008, Pelfrey again pitched a good game. He pitched 8 innings, and attempted to pitch a complete game, but was replaced by Billy Wagner when he allowed a single to lead off the 9th. In the time he pitched, he only allowed one run and walked 2, while striking out 8 Diamondbacks. However, Mike got a no-decision as the Mets won in extra innings, 5-3, after Wagner blew a 3-0 lead in the 9th by allowing a 3-run homer to Mark Reynolds with 2 outs and 2 strikes. Later in the year, Pelfrey set a club record for most batters faced without giving up a home run, at 243; the streak was broke by Adam Dunn of the Reds.

On July 14, 2008, Pelfrey was named the National League Player of the Week. Pelfrey went 2-0 while not allowing a run over his two starts against the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies during the week ending July 13. Over his 15.0 shutout innings, Mike scattered nine hits without a walk, while striking out 10.[4]

On August 20, 2008, Pelfrey pitched the first complete game of his career against the Atlanta Braves. He struck out 3 in the 9 innings, throwing 108 pitches. It was a 3-hitter. In his next turn, Pelfrey pitched another complete game victory, this time allowing only 6 hits and 1 run, while recording his 13th win of the season. So far, David Cone is the only former Mets pitcher to pitch 3 consecutive complete game victories.

Once known to throw a power curveball, he gave this pitch up and learned a slider at the request of his former pitching coach Rick Peterson. However, current pitching coach Dan Warthen has since allowed Pelfrey to work his curveball back into his pitching repertoire.

On August 25, 2008, Pelfrey pitched his second consecutive complete game win, the first Met to do so since Bret Saberhagen did it in 1995. He allowed only six hits with one earned run while striking out six and walking none.

At times, Pelfrey wears a mouthpiece while he pitches. Suffering from TMJ Disorder after being hit by a ball in college, he can be seen chewing on it between pitches.[5] In early 2008, after beginning the season with some good and some bad performances, Mike stopped using the mouthpiece. Mike then went on to pitch dominantly in June, July, and August. This led fans and announcer and former Mets pitcher Ron Darling to say that perhaps Mike was pitching better in part because he had stopped using the mouthpiece, which may have been a distraction.


In 2009, Pelfrey led the majors in balks, with 6.[6]

Personal life

Pelfrey was one of the victims of the $8 billion dollar fraud perpetrated by wealth manager Allen Stanford. Pelfrey estimated that 99% of his assets were frozen after the fraud was revealed.[7]


External links


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