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Perez Bounces Back

Mike SteffanosThursday, April 16, 2009
By Mike Steffanos

Game 8: Mets 7 - Padres 2

It wasn't the most electric stuff I've ever seen from Oliver Perez, but he pitched intelligently and under control.

During the game both Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez were very complimentary of the split finger pitch that Perez was using as a changeup to right-handed batters. It was sinking nicely and Perez used it a lot. Given Perez' dominance against lefties, developing that changeup as an effective weapon against right-handed batters would be a big lift to Perez' game.

The ballpark atmosphere seemed lighter tonight than it did Monday, even when the Mets didn't execute. It probably didn't hurt that the Mets were never behind, but the game was close until the Padres defense betrayed them in the seventh.

Gary Sheffield had a fairly lousy game at the plate with a strikeout and a double play in key at bats. It was hard to get a read on him -- his bat speed looked all right to me, but he looked rusty at the plate. I suspect that Church will continue to get the lion's share of the playing time, particularly if he continues to hit well, but I suspect Sheffield will get more opportunities. I saw nothing conclusive in today's effort.

It wasn't a perfect game for the Mets. They only managed 7 hits and Daniel Murphy continues to struggle in the outfield. They did take advantage of some Padres mistakes, though, and a win is a win -- especially when a team is scuffling somewhat.

The Mets play the rubber game tonight with John Maine facing Jake Peavy.

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (2)

Can Perez find the ways of consistancy? That's all he needs to do, and he will be on his way. Sheff needed some extended spring training, or needs a couple of weeks in the minors to get regular atbats. Murph is putting pressure on himself, he needs to relax, play ball, and work on fundamentals. They knew he'd be a work in progress. Team still needs to work on situational hitting. Go Mets 2009!

I won't predict a winner tonight, but John Maine will go six innings, strike out eight to ten batters.

Tell you, in a logical world Ollie Perez would have such a debt of gratitude to the New York Mets, who traded for him when his career was hanging by a thread and sent him into battle. Not to take anything away from the success he has managed since that day, but usually when a team takes such a big flyer on a Lost Soul pitcher, that team is called the Nationals. Ollie was fortunate to find a much better landing site.

I am still trying to get over the fact that Gary Sheffield didn't take a glove to spring training. I mean, isn't it fun to catch and throw a ball? Isn't fun the reason why these guys took up baseball in the first place? If Shef no longer enjoys the game, why is he on my team? It's not because the team needed a lovable mascot, I'm pretty sure of that.

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