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Ollie is Never Boring

Mike SteffanosThursday, August 2, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 8 - Brewers 5
Played Wednesday, August 1, 2007

After a game like last night's, you see a lot written about the "volatility" of the Mets young left-hander. Sometimes I think the people writing about him forget that he won't turn 26 until August 15. He may have major league experience going back to 2002, but he's still a very young pitcher. So while some will focus on his rough first two innings, I was actually impressed with his last 4. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Perez still has some work to due. Still, that shouldn't overshadow how far he has come -- joining John Maine as a double-figure winner with 2 full months left in the season.

His fielding woes seem to be more mental than physical. He's a good athlete and I'm not all that concerned about that aspect of his game going forward. I have to admit that I am tempted to cover my eyes when a ball is hit to him this year, however.

Still, despite the occasional bumps in the road, Perez is a 10-game winner with an ERA right at 3. He is a lefty with his best years in front of him, averaging just under a strikeout per inning while cutting his walk rate down to a respectable 3.5 per 9. Opposing batters are hitting .212 against him. Those are pretty fair numbers for anyone, and makes me shake my head when some choose to focus on the negative.

He's a little high-strung and unpredictable, and while that can work against him at times it's also what makes him very good. I thought the classic moment of last night's game was when they showed Rick Peterson's face when Perez did the stop during his leg kick while pitching to Fielder and missed with the pitch for the second time in that at bat. He may have to reach for the antacids at times, but I'm sure Peterson would rather have a pitcher with emotion and talent to work in the long run.

Oliver Perez (Last 5 Starts)
Season (19 Games)12054409511947153.001.1811-8

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

As for the club, it was nice to see the intensity there for a second consecutive night without the need for someone chasing a milestone. Thank goodness Vargas started the game and not Manny Parra, or this game might not have had such a happy ending.

Chad Fairchild is rapidly becoming a poster child for the sad state of umpiring in baseball. His reaction to Tom Glavine yesterday proves that he is a hot head with an inflated sense of his own importance to a game. Calling Delgado out on the phantom third strike in yesterday's game was simple incompetence. Hard to understand what he was thinking there. I question whether he was even paying attention.

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (3)

Ramon Castro is 4th in h/rs on the team with less then 100 at bats. Good for him, shame on the h/r hitters in the rest of the lineup. Can we put Green on the DL and put a fill in for him. The fill in players are doing pretty good.Perez is fun to watch.He is a great addition to this team and like you said he is only 26 this month.

Agreed on your bit on Oliver Perez and his ability to gather himself back to the job at hand. I must say, though, that he reminds me of Scooby Do when it comes time to field a ball and throw it somewhere. He kind of has that same sort of neckline too.

Shawn Green, however: have you ever seen a worse played ball, then that one that got by him in the 3rd or 4th inning? The ball drops in, THEN he dives, or so it seemed. If Perez brought Scooby Do to mind, Green caused me briefly to think of "Eight Men Out." Hope he's not pal-ing around with Arnold Rothstein in his spare time, just kidding.

But it's nice to see some hitting from those Mets, hey?

Al - Green really looks done, doesn't he? Sad to watch...
dd - I think Green is taking some heat for letting playable balls drop in front of him and maybe pressed a little hard on that one. I've never seen a guy lose it so fast as him. 5 years ago he was a great player, now I'm not sure he's a serviceable bench guy any more.

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