Friday, June 04, 2004
Pelfrey K’s 14Posted by Matthew Namee
Wichita State sophomore ace Mike Pelfrey pitched a gem today in the first game of the NCAA Regionals, beating Missouri 3-0. He pitched 8.2 shutout innings, struck out 14, and allowed just 4 hits.
The win runs Pelfrey's 2004 record to 11-2, with a 2.18 ERA, 125 strikeouts, and 24 walks in 115.1 innings.
Postscript: Pelfrey threw 128 pitches today, but I'm not really worried about that. Why? Well, I'm told he was in a groove, with no laboring or anything. I think there's a clear difference between 128 pitches in 8.2 phenomenal innings and 124 pitches in 6+ laborious innings (which is what Pelfrey threw a couple starts ago).
It's also interesting to note that Tommy Hottovy pitched the last 1/3 inning of the game. Apparently pitching coach Brent Kemnitz said going into the ninth that he'd pull Pelfrey if he allowed a baserunner. When he did, Hottovy (a senior) took the mound and finished things off. Hottovy has been a lights-out reliever all year, but was pressed into the rotation in the last month and has been excellent.
A big question head coach Gene Stephenson is facing is, do you start Hottovy tomorrow against Arkansas after he pitched (briefly) today, or go with freshman Kris Johnson (5-0, 2.02 ERA, 53 SO in 58 innings)? I'd go with Johnson, and save Hottovy for a must-win situation on Sunday.
Matthew Namee cofounded The Hardball Times in 2004, when he was working as the assistant to baseball author and Red Sox executive Bill James. Matthew still lives in Kansas, where he is currently pursuing a law degree. He can be reached at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.