- Last Updated: 10:05 AM, August 13, 2011
- Posted: 2:06 AM, August 13, 2011
PHOENIX -- Mike Pelfrey swallowed a dose of truth serum yesterday and admitted he never gave the Mets much of a chance in 2011.
The beleaguered right-hander, speaking about his struggles and possible future with the team, told The Post it was a pipedream to believe the Mets could immediately become something special under the new regime of general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins.
"It's unrealistic for anybody at the end of last year to come in and say, 'The Mets, this is a one-year thing, next year we're going to win it all,' " Pelfrey said before the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks last night. "It's unrealistic."
One Met, in particular, wasn't amused when told of Pelfrey's comment.
"He's cutting his own throat," the player said. "What's his record, six and nine? He's supposed to be the ace of the [bleeping] staff. Why don't you go and win 12 or 13 games?"
The Mets (58-60) fell 11½ games behind Atlanta in the wildcard race last night, and Pelfrey has been as culpable as anybody. He will bring that 6-9 record and 4.53 ERA into tonight's start at Chase Field, but hasn't lost hope the Mets will retain him for next season.
He's just glad the Mets won't hold a popular vote to determine his future.
"The way this year has gone, [the fans] probably don't want me back," Pelfrey said.
But Pelfrey, who is arbitration eligible after the season, hopes the Mets want him back.
"This organization is headed in the right direction," he said. "The front office has done a lot of smart things, and in the end this organization is going to have a chance to be in the playoffs every year."
Pelfrey's sense is Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen would like him to return. Convincing the front office could be another matter. He views this final six weeks of the season as an opportunity to prove he belongs.
"I didn't have the year I wanted to have -- it's not anywhere close to what I set for myself," Pelfrey said. "There's a month and a half left for me to turn it around, and make it respectable in my mind."
Among the goals within his sights: Surpassing 200 innings (he's at 155), finishing with a winning record and dropping his earned runs average below 4.00. But even if he reaches those goals, it will be a far cry from what Collins had in mind when he named Pelfrey the staff ace in Johan Santana's absence earlier this season.
In retrospect, Pelfrey says receiving that label probably wasn't good for him.
"I went out there and tried to be too good," Pelfrey said. "I almost tried to force it, because I wanted to do so well. I tried to force being dominant, and tried to put every pitch on the black in a perfect spot and almost looking back, it's almost like I was nibbling.
"That was stuff I was doing three or four years ago and not stuff I should be doing now."
The fallout has included 19 home runs allowed - eighth most in the National League entering last night's play. Opponents are hitting a robust .272 against him.
Pelfrey said the health of his arm hasn't been an issue.
"The only time I had a problem, injury-wise, was last year," he said, referring to a strained rotator cuff and posterior capsule he pitched through. "My shoulder feels great and my elbow feels great, so I've been good. I feel strong.
"That's the one thing that means probably more than anything to me is being able to take the ball every fifth day. I think I've shown I can do that."Follow @NYPostsports