Phelps steps up on limited pitches

Despite disagreeing with some calls, righty held Mets hitless through four

Phelps steps up on limited pitches

NEW YORK -- Before taking the mound on Friday night, David Phelps knew he was looking at a limited number of pitches before he got the hook. So the Marlins right-hander was aiming to make every one count, which increased his frustration when a couple of close calls didn't go his way.

Phelps was hurt by two walks and Bartolo Colon's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, which swung momentum in the Mets' 4-1 victory at Citi Field.

"I thought he pitched great," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He did exactly what he needed to do. I actually thought in that fifth inning, a couple of those walks, those pitches were close."

The pivotal pitches were to Anthony Recker with one out and Colon on deck.

Phelps thought he had Recker struck out, but home plate umpire Lance Barksdale called a 2-2 pitch a ball. Then with the count full, Recker walked. Colon followed with the game-tying sacrifice fly.

At 75 pitches, his maximum limit, Phelps was replaced by lefty Brad Hand, who struck out Curtis Granderson to end the inning.

In all, Phelps worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run and one hit while striking out two and walking three. Forty-two of his pitches were for strikes.

"I felt I was making pretty good pitches, a touch off the plate, here and there," Phelps said. "It wasn't an issue of getting tired. The ball to Recker there, I thought we had it. It's probably not the first time that I didn't agree with the call, and it probably won't be the last time."

Phelps was on a tight pitch count because he moved from the bullpen to the rotation after Henderson Alvarez went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Along with sliding into the rotation, Phelps' wife gave birth to the couple's third child on Monday. The right-hander spent part of the week on the MLB paternity list.

Still, Phelps held the Mets without a hit until the fifth inning.

"I felt good," he said. "I'm frustrated with myself for not getting through at least five, and killing our bullpen. The ball was coming out well. I felt like we stuck to our game plan pretty good. J.T. [Realmuto] called a great game back there. For the first one, I'm pretty satisfied. I wish I could have gotten a little deeper into the ballgame."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.