Sunday, March 28, 2010
#738) MIKE PELFREY
Mike Pelfrey selected by the New York Mets in the first round (ninth pick overall) of the free agent draft on June 7, 2005. The 6ft.-7in. right-hander is known affectionately as "Big Pelf". He made his major league debut on July 8, 2006 at Shea Stadium facing Florida. Five innings of work earned him his first career victory in a 17-3 blowout of the Marlins.
Mike always wore a mouthpiece while pitching for the Mets during his first two seasons. Often chewing on it as he threw. The protective device was in response to Tempromandibular Joint Disorder. A problem that began after being struck in the jaw by a batted ball while he was pitching for Team USA in 2004. He abandoned the practice out of fear he might be tipping his pitches through his mannerisms with the mouthpiece.
The prized prospect was established as the fifth starter in the Mets' rotation out of spring training in 2008. Pelfrey rewarded that confidence when he earned the National League Player of the Week Award on July 13, 2008. During that time he threw 15 scoreless innings in his two victories. "Now we feel like we're going to win when he's out there," catcher Brian Schneider commented. ""He's come on so fast. You knew he had talent, but he was having trouble getting to it. Then, boom."
His success during the final season of Shea Stadium continued when he became the first Mets pitcher, since Bret Saberhagen in 1995, to throw consecutive complete game victories. Pelfrey's two wins coming on August 20th and 25th. The second of which placed the Mets temporarily into first place in the National League East. A half game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mike Pelfrey signed his card in the set after a Mets' morning practice in Port St. Lucie, Florida on March 14, 2010.