Pelfrey's focus on keeping ball down
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Mike Pelfrey entered Sunday's intrasquad game with the goal of throwing more effective two-seam, sinking fastballs and that's pretty much what he did for two innings at an unseasonably chilly Digital Domain Park.
Pelfrey mixed in the occasional cutter, changeup and curve ball. But this was all about pounding the bottom of the strike zone, and Pelfrey was satisfied with his ability to do that as he prepares for his first Grapefruit League start Thursday against the Marlins.
"I was pretty pleased with the movement on it," Pelfrey said.
He struck out two and walked one over his two hitless innings. Pelfrey also shattered Valentino Pascucci's bat with a sinker as he worked exclusively from the stretch for two reasons.
The first was part of his continuing effort to be quicker to the plate after allowing far too many stolen bases (29) last season. The second reason was to protect the right ankle he sprained earlier in camp. While the injury is not a major concern, it is enough to require caution. It did not appear to affect his pitches, however.
"They had late break, late sink," Terry Collins said. "Mike said it - he's determined to have a big year."
Parnell goes wildSunday's intrasquad game came to an abrupt end when Bobby Parnell drilled Zach Lutz on the left elbow in the fifth inning. After Lutz was hit, an upset Parnell stalked off the mound, and was consoled on the infield by catcher Mike Nickeas.
"I think he was more concerned about Zach than anything," Nickeas said. "You never want to hit a teammate."
Parnell allowed three hits and two runs in just 2/3 of an inning.
Single game tickets for the 2012 Mets season go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at Mets.com or by calling 718-507-TIXX . . . Mike Baxter homered off Chuck James in the intrasquad. Jonathon Niese, who makes his Grapefruit debut Wednesday against the Marlins, struck out two over two scoreless innings . . . Oft-injured second-base prospect Reese Havens will get a cortisone shot today for a stiff back.