Mike Pelfrey (10-12, 5.03 ERA in 2009) v. Garret Mock (3-10, 5.62 ERA in 2009)

Tonight’s our first chance to see if Pelfrey can take the next step. David Lennon wrote about his work with a sports psychologist earlier and, on the mechanical side, he’s got a splitter working for him now, so it’ll be interesting what effect, if any, they will have on his performance.

Pelfrey’s ’09 season ERA might be somewhat misleading. He improved his line drive percentage from 2008 (down to 18.7 percent from 20.8 percent), raised his groundball rate from the prior season (to 51.3 percent from 49.6 percent) and his home run per flyball ratio shot up to 9.5 percent (from 6.3 in 2008), perhaps intimating that he was a bit unlucky.

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He throws his fastball about 80 percent of the time and a slider about 13 percent. He rounds out his tool kit with little thrown curves and changeups.  How big of a difference the splitter makes is to be seen.