Following last night’s win against the Dodgers, Mike Pelfrey is now 5-7 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP for the season.  Pretty mediocre numbers for someone expected to take the next step and lead the Mets staff this year.  But is he turning the corner?

Following a ghastly April (1-3, 7.39 ERA), his numbers have actually been decent (4-4, but a 3.66 ERA).  8 out of 12 starts during this span were ‘quality starts’ (at least 6 innings, no more than 3 earned runs).  However, looking at the numbers more closely shows that he still has a LOT to improve on — most glaringly, pitching on the road.  At home in cavernous Citi Field?  He pitches like an ace — 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA.  On the road though, is a much different story — 2-7, a 6.05 ERA, and an opponents’ batting average of .308.  And this is including last night’s 6 shutout innings.  In fact, last night’s win gave him only 4 quality starts on the road out of a possible 11 this year.

Who were those 4 teams that he pitched well against on the road?  The Rockies, Brewers, Pirates, and Dodgers.  The 2 teams he beat (Rockies and Dodgers) are currently below .500.  So basically, after 86 games, Pelfrey still has yet to beat a good team on the road in 2011.

Last night’s win also brings his career record to literal mediocrity — 48-48 (with an ERA of 4.35 and a WHIP of 1.44).  We’ve already seen both versions of Pelfrey in the past few starts alone — Good Pelf and Evil Pelf.  Can Good Pelf finally show us that he is here to stay?  This will only happen when Pelfrey can consistantly sustain his composure.  This means no more stomping around the mound when a close pitch is called a ball, or losing his command after suddenly allowing a few hits in a row, or other things that lead to shaky innings snowballing into disasters.  Quite simply, he has to bear down when the situation calls for a gut check — like when he’s not pitching in front of his home fans.  This includes learning to fight his way through games even on days when his stuff isn’t as good as usual (I remember David Cone being the master of this).

What can we expect from him in the second half?  Will be beat a good team on the road this year?  Will he even be a Met after this year?