By Mike Steffanos
Marlins 6 - Mets 3
The lateness of this post is due to actually going to last night's game and not getting home until around 1:30 AM. Although the game itself lacked a happy ending for a Mets fan, it was a good game to watch. I was at the game with Greg from Faith and Fear in Flushing. It was an enjoyable night, although I'm sure we both would have preferred a successful ninth inning rally for the Mets.
I came away impressed with Oliver Perez' performance. Although he wasn't as economical with his pitches as you would like, he battled through his difficulties in impressive manner. Milledge should have made the play on the ball to left field that knocked Perez out of the game, and then maybe that pivotal sixth inning goes differently. Perez' fastball was in the low 90s all evening, not quite the 93-95 he's shown in some games, but certainly enough to get the job done. The slider seemed sharp again, too, although that's easier to see when you're watching on TV rather than live.
The final line didn't look very impressive, nor do his totals so far as a Met:
|Total (5 Games)||27.1||19||19||29||32||13||4||6.26||1.54||3-2|
The only number that impresses in the totals is the strikeouts. For anyone that has been paying attention, these numbers reflect inconsistency as much as anything. I think Perez is 75% of the way to being an effective major league starter, and considering where he has come from this season, that's impressive. We had heard before Perez came over in the deal that he had lost his velocity, and I assumed there were physical problems. That is not the case. This kid has a good attitude, Pedro is mentoring him, and he has a tremendous asset in Rick Peterson, who has a knack for helping a pitcher straighten out mechanics.
Greg and I were talking last night, and I mentioned the Padres may come to regret not dealing Scott Linebrink for Perez and Heath Bell, although I understand why they didn't. Greg had a good point in that the Mets probably wouldn't have gambled on Mota if they already had Linebrink. Interesting how things work out some times.