The Mets lost to the Twins, 4-3, and Mike Pelfrey came out of it with a no-decision and optimism about his future.
Pelfrey allowed nine hits and didn't walk anyone over five innings, and three of those nine baserunners came around to score. The Opening Day starter located his fastball, as he and his superiors noted, but it didn't have its optimal oomph. The Hammond Stadium scoreboard clocked the pitch occasionally, although Mets people indicated that they had it a tick lower. In any case, the Twins knocked the ball around pretty good, and Pelfrey needed some help from his defense to avoid more damage.
"He’s very close to where he needs to be," Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said, and Pelfrey added, "I felt better, felt stronger."
I'm giong to write about Pelfrey for my column tomorrow. You'd be helping me out if you didn't tell the competition.
--Sandy Alderson attended the game, after missing camp Monday and Tuesday to speak at a two-day Major League Baseball symposium in the Dominican Republic. He offered his usual dosage of common sense, although it's also interesting to see him deal regularly with the New York media after serving his previous team gigs in smaller Oakland and San Diego.
For instance, he expressed bemusement at the amount of media attention gazed upon the second-base competition. But that's the way it is. Job competitions are going to get attention. All the more so when you have a lightning rod like Luis Castillo involved.
In any case, Alderson made clear that the second-base decision would ultimately come down to him, with strong input from Terry Collins, the coaches and the team's other front-office members. The team will be utilizing projections as much as anything it sees in spring training, Alderson said, in making the call.
He said that a player's roster status could be a factor - in other words, the Mets would likely lose Brad Emaus back to Toronto if they don't take him on their roster - and he said that it's "human nature" to consider the fan/emotional component tied to Castillo, but that it wouldn't be the deciding factor.
Emaus, BTW, pinch hit for Angel Pagan in the eighth inning, got ahead 3-and-0 on Phil Dumatrait and received the green light, which he used to drill a double down the third-base line.
"Why not?" Collins said afterward, about letting Emaus swing there.
No, this second-base saga is not over yet.
--Very sad news from Braves camp: Minor-league manager Luis Salazar lost an eye, the result of getting hit by Brian MCann's line drive in a March 9 exhibition game between Atlanta and the Cardinals. Our thoughts are with him.
--Do you remember your first big-league game? Newsday wants to know. Share your memories.
Me? My first game was June 16, 1977. Being six years old, I had absolutely no idea that the Mets had traded Tom Seaver to Cincinnati the previous day. All I knew was the Mets won that night, so I figured they were pretty good.
--Have a great night.