Mike Pelfrey has become the rock

Pelfrey went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA last season. Getty Images

A search on Google for "Mike Pelfrey inconsistent" turns up about 53,100 results. By contrast, "Oliver Perez inconsistent" clocks in at just 8,380. Included in the results are headlines like "Mike Pelfrey Has Become Consistently Inconsistent," complaints from Keith Hernandez over Pelfrey's inconsistency, and a story that asserts "Pelfrey's inconsistency has more to do with his head than his arm."

As spring training hits its stride, Pelfrey's inconsistency is again a hot topic. There's only one problem with this analysis: Over the three full seasons that Pelfrey has been a starting pitcher, he's been the most consistent pitcher in baseball.

Oh sure, by ERA, he's jumped wildly, from a 3.72 mark in 2008 to a 5.03 in 2009 and back to a 3.66 in 2010. His ERA in April 2010 was 0.69; in July 2010, that skyrocketed to 10.02.

And Pelfrey himself has copped to the charge, telling NJ.com's Brian Costa in 2009, "It's been frustrating, especially the way the season has gone. I've been inconsistent, and I think that drives me crazy, it drives the pitching coach crazy and it drives the manager crazy, not knowing what you're going to get out of me."

Case closed, right? Not exactly. A closer look at the statistical record shows this to be a false confession.