Pelfrey made his third Grapefruit League start in Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Astros at Osceola County Stadium. He allowed four runs in each of his first two outings and was hoping to change that.
Giving up eight runs on eight hits and a wild pitch in 2 2/3 innings wasn't what he had in mind. Still, he insisted there were more positives than negatives.
"I actually thought the ball came out of my hand the best it has this spring," he said. "I just thought the execution was terrible. I walked way too many guys and the ball was up a little bit. I got through 80 pitches, so that's fine.
"Of course, I'd like to get everybody out. But I don't know if I've ever had a good Spring Training. I'm not too worried about it now. I feel good and the results will come."
And if that sounds pretty much like what every struggling pitcher says in Spring Training, well, Pelfrey points to 2010. He remembered "getting my brains beat in" until his final start against the Yankees in Tampa, Fla., where he finished on a strong note.
By the middle of June that season, he was 9-1 with a 2.39 ERA.
Pelfrey said he's still working on his sinker, but also tried to increase his velocity a little bit against Houston. As a result, a lot of his pitches were up and over the middle of the plate.
"Guys at this level are going to hit that," Pelfrey said. "I don't know how many more starts I have, but I definitely know I have to be better than that."
Mets manager Terry Collins also took the outing in stride.
"One of things we asked Mike to do was to start to ramp up the velocity, which he did," Collins said. "I always believe a guy like that, when he gets his arm strength the way he wants it, then the command will be better. I thought he just reared back and let some fastballs go, which is a good sign for me."
Collins agreed that asking a pitcher to throw harder is a little unusual.
"But Mike's got such a good arm. Here's a guy who can pitch at 94 or 95 and you've got to build it up. It's like a lot of things. If you're fast and you don't run fast, you're not going to be fast. And I don't want this guy to lose his fastball because he's trying to make pitches," Collins said.