Mike Pelfrey was enjoying small steps, small victories.
The Mets right-hander was able to eat Thursday. That was an improvement over the prior five days in which he'd dropped 11 pounds. But a little food, a little less pain and sickness, and Pelfrey said he'd be taking the ball for the start Friday night in Philadelphia.
He had to convince the team, as the Mets had Dillon Gee ready to take the turn if Pelfrey could not. But a bullpen session went well Wednesday, and Pelfrey was able to talk manager Terry Collins into sticking with him.
"They told me they're going to watch," Pelfrey said. "Terry told me all he can do is go off what I tell him. I told him I'd be honest with him. I told him I was fine and I was ready to go. He said they were going to watch me. I don't see any restrictions."
Pelfrey actually pitched his best game of the season while feeling ill in his last start. He enters the start against Philadelphia with a 1-2 record and a 7.23 ERA -- but the worst of his starts was a two-plus inning debacle at Citizens Bank Park, when he served up eight hits and seven runs.
"He said he feels great, much better today and feels better than he did his last start," Collins said before the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Nationals on Thursday. "And he threw better his last start, so we're going to run him out there."
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