The New York Mets took on the Miami Marlins for the second straight game, but like Wednesday’s bout, Jose Reyes was nowhere to be seen. Mike Pelfrey, the Mets supposed “ace” last season, got lit-up in his first Spring start. Pelfrey surrendered six hits, four earned-runs, two walks in 2.6 innings. He did not strikeout a batter, and was certainly the culprit for the 5-4 loss.
Miguel Batista relieved Big Pelf, throwing a scoreless frame-and-a-third. Free-agent acquisition and to-be closer Frank Francisco took over for Batista, but could not stop the bleeding. Francisco succumbed to his second Spring Training loss, giving-up a solo shot to Hanley Ramirez. The just-as-new-reliever Jon Rauch had a more pleasant outing, hurling two scoreless/hittless frames, while sitting-down two. Tim Byrdak and Armando Rodriguezthrew-up zeros as well to close out the one-run loss.
On the hitting sides of things, the Mets scored 3/4 of their runs in the first innings. Lucas May, who is technically competing with Mike Nickeas for the backup catcher role, enjoyed the sole multi-hit game–going 2 for 3 with a double, two RBI, and a run-scored. Mike Baxter also chipped in with a RBI-single in the first inning. Baxter is hoping to secure his own roster spot as the left-handed bench option//fifth outfielder, but Adam Loewen might have something to say about that. Loewen contributed some pop during the fourth inning, with a solo bomb off right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin. The dual of the southpaw hitters will surely go down to the last day of Spring Training.
Even though it’s just Spring Training, it was troubling to witness Pelfrey struggle so mightily. The big right-hander’s 2012 is an important season for both the Mets and Pelfrey himself. If Pelfrey has a good 2012, it’s likely the Mets will successfully dangle him at the deadline–but on that same token, Pelf would be in-line for a nice payday as a 28 year-old free agent. That being said, Pelfrey has miles to go before that scenario becomes reality.