By Mike Steffanos
Nationals 4 - Mets 3
One of the bigger questions for the Mets this year is which Oliver Perez will show up -- the good Ollie, who can be a dominating left-handed pitcher, or the bad Ollie, who doesn't have a clue where the ball is going when it leaves his hand.
Both Ollies showed up yesterday. While he looked impressive at times, it was walks and poorly located pitches that eventually did him in.
I know I'm a lot less pessimistic about Perez than the majority of fans. I think he can pitch well enough over this season and next to hold down a rotation slot. I doubt very much, however, that he will ever find himself a real fan favorite.
Perez is more than capable of getting hot and putting a real good streak of games together, but as soon as he falters he's sure to get booed by the home fans. Really, the best-case scenario for him would seem to be a solid couple of seasons to fulfil this contract and then for the Mets to let him move on.
I favored signing Derek Lowe over Perez back in the winter of 08-09, but I'm not sure I wouldn't feel worse about 3 more years of Lowe than 2 of Perez -- particularly since Lowe would have cost more per season.
Lowe hasn't looked at all like a solid #2 pitcher in Atlanta, and he's 37 now. He's won 17 and lost 10 in his season + with the Braves, but that was with the Braves' offense behind him. His ERA was 4.67 last year.
As for Willie Harris robbing the Mets of chance to win -- it's frustrating, but if the offense could have produced at all earlier in the game he wouldn't have had the chance. I find the 2-14 the Mets were with RISP more frustrating by far.