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)||120||54||40||95||119||47||15||3.00||1.18||11-8|
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.