By Mike Steffanos
Mets 5 - Reds 2
Played Sunday, July 15, 2007
6 strong innings from Oliver Perez, a decent amount of runs and some more great work from the bullpen enabled the Mets to take 3 of 4 from the Reds en route to their first series win in July. Showing no signs of any hangover from the sore back that cost him a couple of starts, Perez did a nice job of battling out of trouble a couple of times -- particularly in the sixth inning when he limited Cincinnati to only a single run after they began the inning with 3 straight hits. It wasn't the most dominating we've seen Perez this season, but it was a heartening return as this team finds itself in a divisional dogfight.
|Oliver Perez (Last 5 Starts)|
|Season (16 Games)||100.2||43||35||79||91||40||12||3.13||1.18||9-7|
Ruben Gotay failed to get a hit for the first time this month, but had another solid day in the field with a pair of double play turns. He has no fear on those, but he needs to learn how to protect himself from the baserunner a little better. He may get killed out there if he doesn't.
Lastings Milledge came up with another big hit as he doubled in the second and third runs for the Mets. He may only be 4-18 since his return, but he's had a knack for getting some big hits. Good thing Minaya ignored the strident cries of some of the local sports columnists and didn't give this kid away for a bag of balls. He's helped breathe some life and energy into this team.
The recent run of strong bullpen work continued as Feliciano, Heilman and Wagner shut the Reds down over the last 3 innings. For Heilman, it was as good as he's looked this season with some nasty stuff and a pair of Ks.