New York - Mike Pelfrey and the New York Mets zeroed in once again.
Pelfrey and the Mets bullpen pulled off a most extraordinary pitching feat in this big-hitting era, shutting out Philadelphia for the third straight game Thursday night and handing the flailing Phillies a 3-0 loss.
Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and the Nation League champions got swept in the series without scoring a run – it marked the first time since 1983 that Philadelphia was blanked three days in a row.
“Luckily, we were able to keep it going,” Pelfrey said.
Pelfrey (7-1) and a pair of relievers held the Phillies to four singles while winning their fifth consecutive game. The big right-hander followed top efforts by knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey and Japanese newcomer Hisanori Takahashi as the Mets threw back-to-back-to-back blankings for the first time since 1988.
“I think your job is to put up zeros,” Pelfrey said. “I thought I was OK.”
In today’s times when sluggers rule, it was even more amazing. Not since 2004 had any team shut out another club in a three-game series – Johan Santana and Minnesota blanked Kansas City in that set, STATS LLC said.
Santana will try to keep the streak going Friday night when he starts for the Mets at Milwaukee.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s 1-0 or 10-0 or 10-9,” he said. “As long as you win, that’s what matters.”
Jose Reyes, fresh from giving batting tips to the newly crowned Miss USA, was pretty at the plate. He singled and scored in the first, singled the next time up and delivered a two-run double in the seventh that finished Cole Hamels (5-3).
After a rain delay of nearly two hours at the start, Pelfrey quickly found his rhythm. He allowed three hits in seven innings, working around five walks while striking out five.
Pelfrey relied on his sinker all evening, with great success. The Phillies either swung over the pitch or worse for them, beat the ball into the dirt to wreck any chances to rally.
Pelfrey made up for his only loss this year, a 10-0 defeat in Philly earlier this month.