Mike Pelfrey was 5-16 with a 5.56 ERA after two years in a Minnesota Twins uniform, but his third season in the Twin Cities is off to a convincingly better start.
The veteran righty is currently 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA and Pelfrey is coming off one of his best starts since joining the Twins. He’ll take the ball once again tonight and get to face the same team he defeated in that last outing, the Boston Red Sox.
Pelfrey went seven innings against Boston and allowed just one run. The Twins spotted him an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and that would be enough as Minnesota held on for the 2-1 victory in the middle contest of their three game series at Target Field. The teams switch venues today and meet in Boston. The Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the hill, who was Pelfrey’s opponent in Minnesota last week.
Pelfrey has been giving Minnesota a chance to win virtually every time he takes the hill now, which is why the Twins are 7-2 in Pelfrey’s nine starts in 2015. This is very different from the player that first-year manager Paul Molitor almost put in the bullpen to the start the season.
His personal success this season has been doing wonders for the team as well. The emergence of Pelfrey as a reliable starter is just one of many reasons why the Twins were able to wake up this morning as owners of the best American League record. Minnesota has owned the worst ERA from starting pitchers in each of his first two seasons as a Twin, but things have been a lot different in 2015. The team currently has the 14th-best ERA from starting pitchers and their 22 wins from starters ranks third across the Majors.
A former 15-game winner with the New York Mets, Pelfrey is still pitching to contact and posting a low strikeout rate, pointing towards finally being healthy as a major reason for his turnaround. Various injuries have limited the 31-year-old recently — he has started fewer than ten games in three of the past four seasons.