The 3 worst pitchers to start for the Mets on Opening Day

Mike Pelfrey
Mike Pelfrey / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Mike Pelfrey was rewarded with the opening day start for the 2011 New York Mets

Mike Pelfrey was a highly-touted first round draft pick out of the college baseball powerhouse Wichita State. Pelfrey was a big, imposing figure and was believed to be on the fast track to the Big Leagues because of his success and perceived advanced skills on the collegiate levels.

It was probably either another case of Mets scouts over-hyping their selection or, more likely, Pelfrey had some issues that prevented him from translating his physical abilities into success on the Major League mound.

Pelfrey would be one of those Mets with whom fans would exude utter frustration with. It was clear he had great stuff. But there always seemed to be something that would happen, some weird play behind him, a bad call by an umpire, it didn’t matter, and then he seemed to implode.

The big right hander struggled out of the gate when he was given a cup of coffee with four starts in 2006 (2-1, 5.48 ERA, and 12 walks in 21 innings) and 2007 (3-8, 5.13 ERA, 39 walks and nine (9) HBP in 72 innings). He seemed to have a break-through and break-out season in 2008, making 32 starts, tossing over 200 innings, and going 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA.

That would turn out to be his best season with the Mets, the best of his career. Because Pelfrey would regress in 2009, going 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA. He would rebound in 2010 and pitch to a 15-9 record with a 3.66 ERA. That would get him rewarded with the opening day start for 2011.

Pelfrey got rocked in the season opener against the Florida Marlins in Miami. He allowed five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-2 loss.

Pelfrey would frustrate Mets fans throughout most of his time with the team that spanned seven seasons, over which he went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA. But nobody was more frustrated than Pelfrey himself who spent most of his time with the Mets battling the “yips,” a tic that caused him to balk and make errant throws. Unfortunately, and unfairly, he became known for those yips rather than the talents he brought to mound.