Pelfrey will try to help the Mets, who face an uncertain offseason, complete a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals in the season finale for both teams Sunday.
Despite having the fifth-highest payroll in baseball, the Mets will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and finish with back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 2003 and 2004, leading to speculation that manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya may not be back with the club in 2011.
“Nothing has been told to me other than, just like every year, you discuss it at the end of the year,” Manuel said. “Obviously, I like what I’m doing. I love, obviously, the city. I love this environment. But I look forward to hoping to get the opportunity to help turn the franchise around. It’s had a couple tough years, obviously.”
One of the few bright spots for the Mets has been Pelfrey (15-9, 3.75 ERA), who has a chance Sunday to post career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts and ERA.
The right-hander has been very good at Citi Field, going 10-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 18 starts. A win Sunday would tie Mike Hampton(notes) for the second-most home wins of any Mets’ pitcher in a season since 1990.
Pelfrey allowed three runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings Tuesday, but did not receive a decision as New York beat Milwaukee 4-3.
He will be looking for his fourth consecutive home win, but could have a hard time doing so against a Nationals team he has struggled with over his career.
Pelfrey is 4-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 15 starts against the Nationals. He had his second-shortest start of the season against them Sept. 6, allowing five hits and six runs over 3 2-3 innings in a 13-3 loss.
Hernandez (10-12, 3.73) surpassed 200 innings for the 10th time against Atlanta last Sunday, allowing seven hits and two runs over six innings, but left without a decision in Washington’s 4-2 victory.
Hernandez is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA against the Mets this season.
The Nationals (69-93) will finish with a losing record for the fifth consecutive season. The franchise hasn’t had a winning campaign since 2003, going 83-79 as the Montreal Expos.
Adam Dunn(notes) was held out of the starting lineup Saturday due to a sore hamstring, and his absence is one that Washington fans might need to get used to. The Nationals have yet to decide if they are going to re-sign their slugger, potentially creating a significant hole in the 2011 lineup. Dunn recorded his seventh straight season of at least 38 home runs this year.