If you haven't been paying too much attention to the Mets, you probably haven't noticed that their ace right now isn't named Johan.
The Mets ace is going to take the mound tonight against the San Diego Padres. His name is Mike Pelfrey.
I've written plenty about Pelfrey in the past, particularly when he's been going good. It's very easy to get behind Pelfrey to begin with, considering he's a home-grown guy, someone who struggled mightily at the beginning of his career only to find himself during the 2008 season. We all know that he couldn't build on it last year, and at the beginning of this season, he was basically at a crossroads because nobody knew what the hell to expect. But the Mets invested a lot in the hope that he'd return, and they have been rewarded tenfold for their faith.
I don't know if it was the indignation of a poor spring, or frustration over being dropped down to the #4 spot in the rotation at the beginning of the year, but whatever it was, Pelfrey got mad and mean and started putting up numbers worthy of All-Star status.
He started strong early and the hope was that he could keep it up. After a pair of minor hiccups which you could basically just chalk up to days where he just didn't have it, Pelfrey has basically become the guy for the Mets right now. At this point, he's had, what, two bad starts all season? There's no guy in the rotation I feel more confident taking the ball right now than Pelfrey, and that's including Santana (who hasn't been pitching badly at all). That's called being a Key Met. And that's how you remove yourself from Key Met status and put yourself under the Sure Thing column.
It's back. Go Big Pelf.