A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ollie Time?

I finally got my wish, which was the same wish as many others, and got to see Oliver Perez pitch as a Met. The result? Just about everyone got what they expected. An erratic pitcher who showed flashes of absolutely dominating batters. You do not have to be a scout to see that his mechanics are horrendous at times. As Ron Darling pointed out during the broadcast, the higher the leg kick, the harder it is to repeat. In pitching, repetition is key and a consistent release point it key. Those are two things that seem to elude Oliver Perez.

Let's go over what we saw from Oliver Perez through a stretch of batters.
  • In the first inning with two outs, Perez worked a full count to Pat Burrel and struck him out. Burrel looked at three nice sliders in the inside corner.
  • To start the second inning, Oliver then faced Jose Hernandez and struck him out in five pitches. Hernandez took three straight sliders. Looked at the first one, harmlessly waved at one and fouled it off and looked at the same pitch the third time as it hit LoDuca's mitt.
  • Perez then got Chris Coste to fly out to center on an 0-2 count.
  • Abraham Nunez then came up and Perez struck him out looking on an inside fastball on a 2-2 count.
  • To start off the third inning, Perez then fell behind 2-0 to John Leiber before coming back with two straight fastballs. Perez then fell behind in the count to 3-2 and finally finished him off with another fastball. At this point, he struck out four of the last five batters.
  • Jimmy Rollins then stepped up to the plate. He looked at two high 70's mph sliders to get him into an 0-2 hole and finally took a silly swing on a gorgeous slider that almost hit him on the shin on a 1-2 count. Perez had now struck out his last six of seven batters at this point.
  • Perez then got Shane Victorino to pop up to right field for his eighth out in a row overall.
  • In the fourth inning, Utley grounded out weekly to first on a 1-1 on a fastball after taking a fastball low and taking a really nice slider that started on the inside of the plate and came back to the middle.
  • Ryan Howard then stepped up to the plate. He first took a breaking ball that he buckled a bit on and then took a 94 mph fastball on the outside part of the plate before popping out weakly to David Wright on an off speed pitch that he dropped his arm angle on. Howard got owned and was the tenth out in row.
  • Pat Burrel then came to the plate an took a slider for strike one. He took a 94 mph fastball that was close to painting the black for ball, swung through 93 mph fastball that Perez moved in a tick back over the plate, took a fastball in close to the same spot as the previous pitch but a ball, took a back door breaking ball for a ball, and took ball four on an inside slider and was the fist baserunner since the 1st.
  • Jose Hernandez then took a back door breaking ball that started off the plate and swept over to the inside corner. Perez then threw another high 70's slider, but this time got it an inch or two inside off the plate and Hernandez swung right through it. Oliver then threw two inside fastballs in the low 90's with the second one making Jose jump back. After burying to fastballs inside, he threw a backdoor slider similar to the one he started off Jose with and Hernandez just looked at it for strike three. At this point, Perez had 35 strikes to 30 balls and struck out six in the first four innings of play.
The rest was all downhill from there as he imploded. He started off with a bad call from Randy Marsh with Chris Coste on a 2-2 count that should have been strike three. He then walked Coste and that was followed by a play a field by Valentin that really should have been a double play, but only resulted in one out. He then walked Lieber and eventually hit Utley and gave up five runs in the fifth when all is said and done. Walking a pitcher is inexcusable and this inning still counts toward his overall performance and cannot be ignored. Oliver Perez had a bad start that was very reminiscent of Victor Zambrano's starts. A lot of pitches, a lot of walks, some signs of dominating, and inning of complete and utter implosion.

"I am pumped up about this guy," Minaya said. "He made good hitters look bad."

Though his start was a bit more Victor Zambrano than we would all like, it is tough not to draw a lot of positives from that start. He did not miss by much on a lot of those pitches and his stuff is clearly there. Similarly to Scott Kazmir and Randy Johnson, Oliver throws with a 3/4 arm slot that gives him a sweeping effect on his slider and his fastball. His pitches are always boring into the right side of the plate and he has the ability to nick the inside corner on righties and the outside corner on lefties making him unhittable when he is on with a devastating out pitch that is especially deadly to lefties. Perez also is very comfortable working on the inside corner to righties and loves to use his backdoor breaking ball.

You can say whatever you want and Rick Peterson's inability to help fix a damaged Victor Zambrano, but Peterson's specialty is mechanics. Perez still has a live arm. He can throw two different sliders in one that loops a bit more and looks like a slurve and a hard biting slider and spots them all over. Perez still is armed with a mid 90's fastball and I'm sure Peterson is salivating at the idea of getting his hands on him on the off season. When Perez did miss badly, it was when his mechanics fell apart and he looked horrible. Perez dominated the league in 2004 and completely dominated the Phillies for a stretch in his start on Saturday. He still has it in him and while it is clear that Perez will not help this season, a lot of our thoughts that the trade for Oliver Perez might turn into a steal for the Mets were only reinforced with his frustrating performance.

* * *

  • On Saturday, Mike Pelfrey returned to the mound and went three innings and gave up one hit, no runs, and three walks while striking out three in Norfolk's 3-0 win over Richmond.

    On Sunday, Alay Soler got jacked up in Norfolk's 9-0 loss to the Richmond Braves. Soler went five innings, gave up seven hits, five earned runs, and two walks while striking out seven.

    On Saturday, Carlos Gomez went 2 for 3 with three runs scored, his 36th and 37th stolen bases of the year, one walk, one double, and one RBI in Binghamton's win over Eerie. What has been most impressive about this season for Gomez is his improvement on the basepaths. Gomez has only gotten caught nine times so far in 112 games after getting nabbed 24 times in 120 games on 2005.

    St. Lucie lost 2-1 on Saturday to Daytona, but Fernando Martinez had a solid game with a 2 for 3 game in which he hit his fourth homerun of the year and walked twice.

  • Alfonso Soriano is closing in on the 40-40 club and a ridiculously big payday in the off season.

    If Soriano steals six more bases, he'll become only the fourth player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in one season, joining Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996) and Alex Rodriguez (1998). And if he makes a real push down the stretch, he might actually become the charter member of the 50-50 club.
    "If I got off to a better start, maybe, but now it's too tough," he said. "There's one month left, and I know I cannot get 16 stolen bases in one month. If I get it, I'm going to be surprised."

  • The Yankees were planning on having Carl Pavano return to the Yankee rotation this week, but he has other plans.

    After finishing the game - in which he allowed two runs in six innings - Pavano seemed okay, sources said. About 20 minutes after Columbus manager Dave Miley informed Pavano of the Yankees' plans, however, he mentioned that he had been feeling some pain in the lower chest and oblique area on his right side, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Now, it's unclear - again - when he'll be able to pitch.

    "He's scared stiff," one Yankee official said.

    Let us all point and laugh.

  • San Pedro is heading down to St. Lucie to begin his rehab and should only be there a week according to him. El Duque might be given some more time off so the Mets could get another look at Oliver Perez and Tom Glavine is still due to start on Friday in Houston.

  • From Newday.com:

    Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado homered in Saturday's 11-5 win, the franchise-record 10th time this season the teammates have gone deep in the same game. The mark of nine games was shared by three duos: Howard Johnson and Darryl Strawberry (1987), Robin Ventura and Mike Piazza (1999) and Ventura and Edgardo Alfonzo (1999).

  • Steve Somers is just a gem. This weekend, he first took some digs at Derrik Jeter. This is not verbatim, but he said something like this:

    "...and Derek Jeter scored one more run yesterday to increase his lead in intangibles to 1,423. He would definitely get my vote for MVI (Most Valuable Intangible) this season."

    Then some guy called up and said Jeter is the MVP or should be in the running for the MVP and Steve reminded him that Jeter already had his vote for MVI.

    Then, he went after A-Rod. He played a clip of a game in which Rodriguez had already struck out three times and just needed to get the ball out of the infield to tie the game. A-Rod struck out and John Sterling with his crew were just dumfounded. You could hear the disappointment and disbelief in their voices. They sounded like someone just ran over their dog. I wish the clip was somewhere on the internet as it was pure gold.

    At this point, A-Rod is the source of endless entertainment for people who enjoy laughing at his misfortune. He is whining, making excuses, and not getting any support from his teammates publicly. He should take note of how David Wright is handling his struggles.

    "There's no excuses, I'm just not hitting well right now," he said. "It's as simple as that."

    Unlike the other third baseman in town, Wright has not fallen into revelatory bouts of public self-pity, or mentioned vague injuries even his manager was unaware of, or feigned not caring when it was obvious that the whole thing was tearing him up. He has not ripped his shirt off in Central Park or jumped between a kid and a speeding truck. And his fielding, steady but never spectacular, is as steady and unspectacular as ever.

    What is also rather comical is how their respective team's fan base treats the situation. The Yankee fans are relentless in their disdain for A-Rod while the Met fans are like a supportive girlfriend (yes, I know that is an oxymoron).

    "When I open the letters of mail every day, there's people trying to give me motivational speeches, and there's people trying to let me know what I'm doing wrong. And that kind of support is what makes it great," Wright said after yesterday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies was rained out.

    "I mean, they haven't been negative at all," Wright said. "It's almost like they have been the opposite. They are trying harder to get me more comfortable and make me feel right at home."

  • Cliffy could be right around the corner.

    Cliff Floyd is scheduled to play in a rehab game today in Port St. Lucie, Fla. There's still no timetable for his return, but he will probably play in at least three or four games before he rejoins the team. Floyd could be back as early as this weekend in Houston.

  • Paulie ballgame, I apologize to you for calling you BloDuca. I was wrong and I admit that. I just hope we can all move on from this and put it behind us.

    John Maine learned quickly. It's generally foolish to ignore Paul Lo Duca.

    "My first game," Maine said, "he wanted a curveball and I wanted a fastball. It turned into a base hit."

    That was back in May, at home against Washington. Maine can't remember the pertinent details, like who got the hit, or what Lo Duca said to him when they huddled in the dugout and discussed where Maine had gone wrong. The other Mets pitchers could have told the rookie a given truth: Hardly anyone shakes off Lo Duca.

  • Joel Sherman hit the nail on the head on just why this Shawn Green trade was so good for this team. I agree with all of it and this really was a great move by Omar.

  • Since I apologized to Paulie Ballgame, I might as well apologize to Endy Chavez. I'm sorry for calling you a waste of at-bats and saying that Tike Redman was better. Though I'm not sure anyone could have predicted how well you are playing, you have been a stud this year for the Mets.

    Chavez was at it again last night, going 4-for-4 with a two-run double in the Mets' 11-5 rout of the Phillies at Shea. It was his second four-hit game of the season and he's now hitting .435 on this home stand.

    The team's fourth outfielder - a starter now in place of the injured Cliff Floyd - is batting .307 with 39 runs scored and 33RBI in 264 at-bats on the season.

    "I told him (in spring training) to be ready to play all three outfield positions, and I told him I'd use him a lot," Willie Randolph said. "I'm proud of him as much as anybody on this team.

    "I give him a lot of credit for making the adjustments he's had to make and I also think he's one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. He's a tough out, he gives us a lot of energy and he's one of the better backup outfielders in the game."

    Anonymous Danny said...

    I also thought Tike Redman was better than Endy Chavez. Ooops.

    I also didn't understand why Valentin was given a major league contract. Ooops.

    But I always knew Lima Time was a bad time. So in my mind, Omar and I are tied!

    Any theories on why Fernando is hitting for more power but less average at High-A? My guess is that Fernando kills mistakes, but can be pitched to at his young age (which is to be expected). He's not embarassing himself at High-A at 17, very impressive.

    I missed Ollie's game. Thanks for the report. If The Jacket can coax some consistency out of this guy... wow.

    12:18 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    But I always knew Lima Time was a bad time. So in my mind, Omar and I are tied!

    I love it. Yeah, I guess that makes it a tie since he was called up twice! No one could have predicted Valentin. No one. Not even his mother.

    No idea, but it is only four. Could just be a small sample size. Sometimes they come in bunches. Really won't know if he is getting more power unless he got an equal number of games. He has gone long stretches with no homers. He is not embarassing himself at all. He's batting .224 right now (or something close) and could still end up with a nice batting average when all is said an done if he gets hot.

    Yeah, I am making a prediction. A very bold one....Oliver Perez will be in the Mets opening day starting rotation next season.

    12:21 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "He is going to make the turn. I told him he has to keep digging. That he isn't getting traded, that he isn't going anywhere." - Reggie Jackson after talking with ARod for 20 minutes.

    This after ARod had a discussion with John Wooden during their road trip to Anaheim. I heard on ESPN Radio this morning that Dick Vitale speaks with ARod every couple of weeks to discuss the mental aspect of his game.

    For a guy that is the best player ever to play baseball, he has to be the most high maintenance professional athlete ever!
    It's a joke that ARod has to talk with people like Reggie, Wooden, and Vitale to help his mental game.
    Perhaps, we have to thank Steve Phillips and Co. that they did not pursue this guy after the 2000 season.


    12:35 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Hey Mike - Some good live chatting going on at hotfoot bleachers - come on by.

    12:37 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Toasty, what is the link?

    A-Rod is so fragile it is scary. He needs to be in a small market. He cannot handle what is going on now. I'm sure a lot of Met fans would still want him (cough..Benny...cough), but keep him away. He's a headcase that is bad for the team at a high price tag.

    12:40 PM

    Anonymous Benny Blanco from da Bronx said...

    Oliver Perez has atleast a track record of sucess.
    All Victor Zambrano had a track record of was throwing wild pitches.

    Everytime F-Mart gets a hit, its a bonus. He shouldn't be there.

    Who do we laugh at? The Yankees or Carl Pavano? If your a comptetive guy you don't want to rehab all day everyday. You want to be in the Big Show!
    The Yankees were just dumb, I knew whoever signed him was gonna regret it.

    Derek Jeter for MVP is just the creation of some asswhipe in the media taking advantage and mis-using his power. Now you have people ACTUALLY and having letigimate discussions about Jeter for MVP.
    Get the fuck outta here. Just end with that please.

    By the way, I bought the book the Fielding Bible by John Dewan. Book kicks ass. It proves me right. Jeter has consistantly been one of the WORST fielders out there. He sucks. He ranks in the bottom. Only worse shortstop is Michael Young, who's supposed to be a 2nd baseman.
    FUCK Derek Jeter. The creation of bullshit.

    But who's to say that other athletes don't talk to other "high profile" guys to "try" and be better.
    I mean, who knows until its publicized? We would never know unless its written about.
    I dunno, whatever, who cares.

    How are these things negative though:
    He has not ripped his shirt off in Central Park or jumped between a kid and a speeding truck.
    NO seriously though, lol. Why does that piss people off, haha.

    1:29 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Dang! I tried posting this before, and I got booted.

    Anyway, if Jeter is a legit candidate for MVP, then Trashball is a legit candidate for NL CY. Think about it - they are both extremely lucky (Jeter with lineup protection from Juice-on Giambi and K-Rod, Trash with an extradordinary amount of run support) and play for h igh profile teams. The ONLY reason Jeter is being considered is because he's a media ho, extremely visible and has a high batting average and even that is a little misleading.

    Keep in mind, these same propaganda artists are the same idiots who believe a mediocre first baseman who never won a darn thing (but had a cool mustache) belongs in the Hall.

    1:48 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yes Benny, you are 100% correct and thought I was going to say that, I didn't have the energy to write it. Perez was very encouraging though he imploded. His slider was Kazmir like nasty and he can nip that front corner of the plate and have it a few inches off by the time it reaches the back of the plate. Unhittable.

    Pavano is the one laughing making $11 mill per year! Holy shit, they have gotten nothing from him.

    Jeter has been good this year. I'll give him that, but Big Pappi or even Jermaine Dye have been a bit more important and bigger.

    I mean, who knows until its publicized? We would never know unless its written about.
    I dunno, whatever, who cares.

    A-Rod is a headcase Benny. You know it. He knows it. I know it. We all know it.

    Keep in mind, these same propaganda artists are the same idiots who believe a mediocre first baseman who never won a darn thing (but had a cool mustache) belongs in the Hall.

    My man Keith belongs there just because he is the man. Did anyone hear him talk about his lawn on Friday? The man attacks every aspect of his life with precision.

    2:03 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...


    2:11 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I tried to go there, but my firefox must not be set up right and my company's IE blocks anything with ActiveX. It was not meant to be.

    2:58 PM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Paul LoDuca is now officially Paul badmofoDuca in my book.

    Mets are tied with Tigers for fewest losses in MLB with 2 games in hand.

    3:39 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Keep in mind, these same propaganda artists are the same idiots who believe a mediocre first baseman who never won a darn thing (but had a cool mustache) belongs in the Hall.

    Michael, methinks coop was referring to Donnie Baseball. Keith actually did win stuff.

    A-Rod is a headcase Benny. You know it. He knows it. I know it. We all know it.

    That's funny. Well put. I know he is weak and all, but I really think the media actually played a part in his downfall. It's the contract. It was so absurd, everybody turned on him. The scrutiny over his game is so intense, it wore him down. The worst thing he did was take that scrutiny the contract brought to a large market. He isn't tough enough mentally for that.

    Carl Pavano is a bitch. Period.

    3:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Mets are getting better as the season goes along no matter what pitcher gets hurt. Simply amazing.

    Danny, you are right. I just immediately thought it was ours who people have argued for the HoF. I have written Mattingly out of my mind and I forget he even existed. I'm in Met mode 100% of the time.

    A-Rod wanted the money, he got it. If he was getting say $17 million per year without silly clauses about no person the in the universe being able to make more money, he might have less stress. In the end, he took on more than he can handle. he wishes he was hitting 50+ homers in Texas still.

    4:16 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Yup, I was referring to Mattingly. The reference should have been noted that he was a loser who didn't win a darn thing. Keith won lots of stuff (and had a cool stache)

    5:09 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Admittedly, I skimmed the response. I will do a better job next time. My apologies.

    9:55 PM

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