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It’s Time to Be Worried About Mike Pelfrey

Much was made, going into last night's Mets-Diamondbacks game in Arizona, about this being the first time since May 20, 2009 that Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes were in the same lineup. The Mets lost that game 2–1 on a blown save by J.J. Putz. (Who's great this year, by the way.) Last night was much, much worse. The Mets now have two dead spots in their rotation, rather than one.

The Diamondbacks drilled the Mets 13–2, and if it weren't for Phil Cuzzi, they would have now lost five in a row. The problem was Mike Pelfrey, who had perhaps the worst start of his Mets career, giving up six runs in just one and a third innings. Fun stat from Adam Rubin and Elias: Pelfrey's the first guy "in franchise history to allow four or more earned runs in four straight starts while failing to complete the fifth inning." On June 13, Pelfrey was 9–1 with a 2.39 ERA. Now, he's 10–5 with a 4.01 ERA. That's worse than the much-maligned Hisanori Takahashi over the last month. The Mets insist he isn't hurt, even though this start was pushed back because of a stiff neck. But four bad starts in a row isn't a blip; it's established.

Just as bad: Pelfrey's bad start probably means Oliver Perez — whose absence started the Mets' rise to contention in the first place — might be back tonight (the Mets need bullpen help after Pelfrey's implosion). Funny thing, too: If you would have told Mets fans back in March that Pelfrey would be 10–5 with a 4.05 ERA on July 20, they would have been doing back flips. But now they need him, and he's not there.

Beltran and Reyes went three-for-nine with a double, by the way.

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Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images