Tim Hudson(notes) and Mike Pelfrey(notes) may have been considered solid candidates to make the NL All-Star team. Only Hudson got the nod, and Pelfrey’s latest effort made his omission appear justified.
Hudson will try to add to the Atlanta Braves’ NL East lead over the New York Mets, who hope Pelfrey can rebound from his worst performance of the season when the rivals continue their series at Citi Field on Saturday.
Hudson (8-4, 2.44 ERA) was one of five Braves (51-35) named to Tuesday’s All-Star game, thanks in part to ranking among the league leaders in ERA. The right-hander was 6-1 over his first 11 starts but is 2-3 in his last six despite reaching at least the seventh inning each time.
He’s one of the reasons the Braves lead the East by season-high four games over the second-place Mets (47-39) after a 4-2 win in Friday’s series opener.
Hudson, 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA in four starts versus the Mets, was a hard-luck loser Sunday, allowing three runs in eight innings of a 3-2 home defeat to Florida.
Pelfrey (10-3, 3.39) has seen his luck change recently.
The right-hander was outstanding in his first 16 games of 2010, going 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA and also recording his first career save. However, he’s 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in his last two outings and suffered what appeared to be an All-Star snub.
The day after being left off the NL roster, Pelfrey turned in his worst effort of the year in Monday’s 8-6 loss to Cincinnati. He suffered a meltdown in the fifth inning after a call was changed from a strikeout to a hit batter with the bases loaded, and gave up five more runs before exiting with two outs. Pelfrey wound up allowing seven runs, nine hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.
“For the first time in over a year,” Pelfrey told the Mets’ official website, “I let my emotions get the best of me.”
Pelfrey will now try to focus on improving upon his 6-1 record and 2.83 ERA in 10 starts at Citi Field. That includes a rain-shortened 1-0 win over the Braves on April 25, when he allowed five hits in five innings.
He beat them again at Atlanta on May 17, yielding two runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 3-2 victory.
Infante has eight hits during Atlanta’s three-game winning streak - four of them Friday including a solo homer. He’s batting .340 with 15 RBIs in his last 28 games against the Mets.
“That’s why he’s on the All-Star team. I don’t see why anyone could second-guess that one,” manager Bobby Cox said Friday. “They got a great one. He can play center, right, left, second, shortstop really good and third.”
“Hopefully, if I get some more improvement overnight then we’ll strap it up (Saturday),” Jones said.