PHILADELPHIA -- Every once in a while, a pitcher's bullpen session intrigues the Mets more than usual.
So it was on Saturday, when manager Jerry Manuel rushed to the bullpen to watch Mike Pelfrey's routine session alongside pitching coach Dan Warthen and bullpen coach Randy Niemann. The group was interested to see if Pelfrey could correct the arm-speed issue that has plagued him in recent starts.
"I think he understands it," Manuel said. "That's a big part of the fight."
During last Wednesday's loss to the Braves, Warthen noticed that Pelfrey's arm speed was slowing on breaking balls and speeding up on fastballs -- a quick and easy way to telegraph pitches.
"I could feel it sometimes, that I was slowing down on offspeed pitches," Pelfrey said. "They just tried to emphasize again how important it is to keep the same arm speed on all your pitches."
Manuel to find more time in lineup for Frenchy
PHILADELPHIA -- Though he hit his second game-winning home run in five days on Saturday evening, and though he spent roughly 15 minutes in a closed-door meeting with manager Jerry Manuel the following morning, Jeff Francoeur nonetheless began Sunday's game on the bench.
"I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out," Francoeur said. "I don't know if they know for sure how it's going to play out, either."
In Francoeur's place, Angel Pagan played right field and Fernando Martinez started in left.
After the Mets recalled Martinez in a roster shakeup on Saturday morning, they mapped out what Manuel referred to as a "platoon situation" between Francoeur and Martinez. Though he amended that slightly on Sunday morning, saying that he would try to find playing time for Francoeur against right-handers as well, Manuel was not swayed by Francoeur's game-winning homer or his recent hot streak at the plate.
"You're going to see Frenchy play games against right-handers," Manuel said. "It's just trying to pick and choose what you think is the best fit, what's best for us. I can't see him strictly being used just in that [platoon] role.
According to Manuel, Sunday's opposing starter, Roy Halladay, did not present an ideal matchup for Francoeur, who is 1-for-6 lifetime off the Phillies ace. Left-handed batters entered Sunday's play hitting nearly 50 points higher than right-handers against Halladay.
Manuel confident that Beltran will connect
PHILADELPHIA -- It may seem like the same old story, but the Mets continue to stress the notion that Carlos Beltran will eventually hit.
After finishing 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts in Saturday's victory over the Phillies, Beltran raised his average, to .205, in 73 at-bats since returning from the disabled list.
"I think he is trying to find his way," manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's where he is now, trying to figure out how to get that bat on the correct swing path in order to get hits. I believe he's going to figure it out, I really do."
Though Manuel indicated after Saturday's game that he would probably bench the center fielder for Sunday's finale, Beltran lobbied his case and earned the start.
"We checked with him last night, and he said the same things he said the other day," Manuel said. "'We need to win. I feel good. I want to play. I need to push it. I love to be out there. We need to win games, and I feel like I can be a big part of that.' "
Mets start seven homegrown players
PHILADELPHIA -- Sunday's lineup featured seven homegrown players -- all but Carlos Beltran and the pitcher, R.A. Dickey. It marked the first time the Mets had fielded seven such players since July 22, 1990, when Gregg Jefferies, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden highlighted their lineup card against the Braves.
Sunday's homegrown lineup was made possible by the recent promotions of outfielder Fernando Martinez and second baseman Ruben Tejada. Martinez, in particular, may play a critical role down the stretch for the Mets -- though only if he can improve the struggles that dogged him during his first stint in the Major Leagues last summer.
"I'd like to see recognition of pitches a little bit better," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I thought the last time he came through here, he was swinging at a lot of pitches outside the strike zone. If any young hitter can begin to identify pitches, it obviously makes him a better hitter. I'd just like to see a little more patience."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.