It was vintage Mike Pelfrey.
Aggressive, confident and more importantly, calm under pressure.
The San Diego Padres may have struck first at Citi Field, but the righthander did everything he could to keep his team poised for yet another late-inning victory - which the Mets got, courtesy of Ike Davis' 11th-inning, walk-off home run in last night's 2-1 win.
Pelfrey lasted nine innings, allowing one run and five hits, striking out six and walking none. He threw 103 pitches, 78 for strikes.
Yet, he did not get the win.
"When the guys on the other side match you and you come out of a tie game, it's fine,'' said Pelfrey, who lasted longer than six innings for the fifth straight start. "In the end, we got the 'W' and that's the most important thing."
He has been the epitome of consistency this season, carrying an 8-1 record into the game and leaving with an ERA of 2.23. But it didn't take long for the Padres to score.
With one out in the first, Chase Headley ripped a single down the leftfield line and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's double.
"I think he's the one guy, going into the game, I didn't want to beat me," Pelfrey said of Gonzalez.
Jerry Manuel had the option of pinch hitting for Pelfrey with one out in the seventh, but the manager thought his starting pitcher had "earned the right" to continue.
"I felt he had enough where he could give us another two clean innings if he had to," Manuel said. "Which he did."
When asked about possibly being taken out at that point, Pelfrey said, "He would have had a big fight on his hands because I wouldn't have been too happy about it."
After Jose Reyes' home run tied the score at 1 in the seventh, Pelfrey returned in the eighth, determined to keep the Padres at bay. But he ran into trouble against pinch hitter Lance Zawadzki, who hit a one-out double down the leftfield line. But Pelfrey struck out David Eckstein on four pitches and got Headley to fly out to rightfield to end the inning.
"I tried to talk him into coming out in the 10th," Pelfrey said with a smile, "but that didn't work very well."