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Decent Start for Perez in Losing Cause

Mike SteffanosThursday, September 21, 2006
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:

Oliver Perez
Total (5 Games)27.1191929321346.261.543-2

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.

Box Score

Comments (6)

Hi Mike- Thanks for passing along my regards to Greg........I hope you guys enjoyed yourselves despite the loss and the 2 DOntrelle home runs.
I noticed last night that the Marlins hitters seemed not that willing to swing last night. I think teams are starting to figure out Perez a bit and thats why his strikeouts were down-not that I'm complaining strinking out 5 or 6 in 6 innings is excellent, but when you think about him being in double digits for most of starts as a Met is seems alot lower-all in all I think he's very promising and would love to see one more start this season and hope he will be the complete package in 2007 with the right coaching.

It was okay, it would have been really cool if they could have pulled that out in the ninth.

Perez just lacks consistency. Don't forget that in his one really good game of the year he only had 6 Ks in 9 innings. He needs to pitch winter ball, then work with Peterson in spring training, and I would be surprised if he wasn't good next year.

I agree- he should pitch winter ball and get in as much playing time he can this winter. It just seemed like the Marlins and I 'm sure other teams now know not to just go up there hacking when he's pitching-they worked quite a few 3-2 counts after starting the hitter off at 0-2. You have to give Girardi credit for telling these youngs guys to wait Perez out, and they actually did it-especially since the Marlisn are chocked full of free swingers who are rookies.

Shari - I hear you, but it's the book on Perez, and Girardi didn't write it. Other than the shutout against Atlanta and the blowout in Colorado, it's how every game Perez pitched has gone. (Sorry, I just think the Marlins manager gets way too much credit already. Did he cure cancer yet? grrrrrrr...) He's never made it past 6 in any other game because he throws too many balls. I bet you'll find that if he gets more consistent next year his strikeout totals actually go down, but then so will his ERA.

I keep reading Milledge should have caught the ball and he is wall shy. Is in it one of the 5 tools? An outfield is an outfield, AA or AAA or pro, why is he having trouble catching the ball? Is he a poor outfielder and nobody said anything? Sorry, I am asking alot of questions, but it seems to me he is having trouble playing the outfield,did he have trouble in the minors?

Rev - He's a guy who's played centerfield his whole life who is learning to play the corners and having some problems doing it. He does seem to be a little shy of the wall, it's happened 3 or 4 times now. If he's still shying away next year I'll worry more.

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