Game 138: Win
Wow! Just when we were all ready to cross off Oliver Perez for the season, and hope he could turn things around sometime in 2007, he comes out and pitches a magnificent shutout.
His late afternoon performance was reminiscent of the dominance he showed in 2004, when he had a 2.98 ERA and a 12-10 record for an awful Pittsburgh Pirates team. Perez held the Braves to only five hits and one walk — a sharp deviation from his previous two starts — while he struck out six and was remarkably efficient, throwing just 107 pitches.
True enough, Perez had a LOT of help behind him, as several ESPN Web Gem – worthy plays were made in the game. However, there was never a point in the game where Perez needed the extra effort; he clearly dominated the Braves and pitched with a rhythm and confidence more commonly seen from a frontline ace than a 2-11 hasbeen trying to salvage a career. In fact, he was so impressive, one would have to think that he’ll at the very least be given another start — and at the most, be considered for postseason duty. He looked that good.
Time will tell … if nothing else, it will be fun to watch this story play itself out. Oliver Perez is definitely an entertaining ballplayer.
While Oliver Perez was rejuvenating his career on the mound, Shawn Green was doing the same at the plate. Green — who had been in a 1-22 slump going into the day’s games — burst out of his doldrums by going six for eight on the afternoon with two homeruns and a double. After the game, he attributed his success to, among other things, his reunion with former Dodger batting coach Rick Down and best friend Carlos Delgado, who along with Julio Franco had been helping him regain the swing that made him a force to be reckoned with just a few years ago. It’s great to see Green so comfortable in a city that once made him bristle, and even better to see the Mets fans — who demanded a curtain call of him — accept him so quickly and with such adoration. Here’s one fan hoping Shawn can keep it up and be part of the Mets’ future at least through 2007.
Though Shawn Green provided much of the damage, it was Jose Reyes who started it, leading off the game with his 17th home run. It seems as though he learned quite a bit from his mentor Rickey Henderson; I wonder if the Mets will consider having Rickey hang around more often.
Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup and was hitless but walked twice and scored twice. He also made several excellent plays in centerfield and stole a base, so it appears that his bruised knee is nothing to worry about.
Uncle Cliffy also returned and went 1-3. Hopefully he can shake the achilles issue and team up with Green to scare the daylights out of opposing postseason pitching.
Endy Chavez played about half the game and went two for two with two RBI. What a surprise.
Anderson Hernandez started at 2B and batted second — why, we’re not sure — and made some outstanding plays in the field. If only he could squeeze out one hit a week, he might be worth considering as the second baseman of the future.
The Dodgers come into town on Thursday night. They’ll have Brad Penny opposing Tom Glavine in what may well be a preview to a postseason game.