By Mike Steffanos
Phillies 5 - Mets 2
I wasn't surprised when Oliver Perez had a strong outing against the Braves last Friday, nor was I surprised when he took a step back last night. Another thing that didn't surprise me was the way a good percentage in the media have seized on Perez' struggles last night combined with Maine's on Monday to resurrect the vulnerable rotation stories.
Please, stop the insanity.
This overreacting from start to start is crazy, and in no way reflects the reality of a baseball season. Neither does trying to impart October significance to April games. Can we please all take a deep breath, count to ten, and take a reality check here?
Maine and Perez are both works in progress -- to different degrees, and for different reasons both have work to do to reach their potential. It was painful to watch Maine struggle Monday, and even more painful to watch Perez' third inning meltdown last night. Not quite as painful, though, as the headache I get reading the negative stories written by the same guys who were gushing about these two last week.
I know that it's the sensational that sells papers, just as it brings ratings to sports talk radio. But I'm not going to climb on the rollercoaster of making judgments on these young pitchers based on their last start. I want to see how Maine and Perez bounce back from these two stinkers.
Oliver Perez may indeed become the top-of-the-rotation pitcher we all hope for, fulfilling the promise of another young lefty who was imprudently dealt away by the previous regime. He also might be the bust that so many skeptics predict. For now I'm content to watch him from start to start and see what enfolds.
I believe Rick Peterson has made a huge difference in the kid, but I understand that his fall from top prospect to the trash heap took two years. This salvage operation, if successful, will not be accomplished overnight. It's okay to hit a bump in the road. Now let's see how the kid responds.
|TOTAL (2 Games)||9.2||4||4||6||8||7||1||3.72||1.34||1-1|