View Full Version : Baseball: Oliver (Perez) Getting Brave Reviews

05-24-2007, 03:37 PM
Wonder how the Pirates feel now about including Oliver Perez almost as an afterthought in that trade last year? As of today, he's tied for the best record in the NL with 6 wins, and looks to be a strong current and future part of the Mets' rotation. See what can happen to a talented guy who goes to a team where there's a culture of winning? Makes you wonder if the Pirates' ownership will ever wake up.

************************************************** *************


May 24, 2007 -- ATLANTA - The last out of the fifth inning came when Chipper Jones grounded to shortstop. Afterward, Oliver Perez pointed at Paul Lo Duca.
It was an interesting gesture, with Perez later explaining that he points at other catchers besides Lo Duca, essentially to acknowledge that they're on the same page. Lo Duca said there doesn't appear to be any logic behind the pointing, noting it sometimes happens during at-bats as well.

Regardless of the story behind it, Perez was certainly on the right page last night, as he was sensational again in the Mets' 3-0 shutout of the Braves. The left-hander gave up four hits in seven shutout innings, earning his NL-best-tying sixth victory of the year.

"He's turning into a monster," Lo Duca said.

Behind the beast, the Mets pushed their NL-East lead back up to 2 1/2 games, meaning they'll leave Turner Field in first place after tonight's series finale.

Last night marked Perez's third straight excellent start, but maybe even more impressively, it was his third straight excellent start against Atlanta.

Perez, who's earned the win in the Mets' three victories over the Braves this year, is now 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA against Atlanta this season. It ranks him as almost a reverse of Jones - a Met who kills the Braves.

"Everybody knew he had the stuff," David Wright said. "It's just a matter of harnessing it."

Perez threw a season-high 122 pitches, but he was clearly still strong in his last inning. On his 121st offering, he hit 93 mph. He allowed one hit over his final four frames, walking two on the night and striking out five.

Perez had a shaky first three innings, putting six Braves on base with three hits, two hits batsmen and a walk. But he didn't allow any runs. Atlanta went 0-for-5 with men in scoring position in that span.

Willie Randolph later said Perez is "proving to me more and more that he can dig down when he has to."

The biggest escape for him was in the third. He got in trouble by allowing a leadoff single to pitcher Chuck James, then threw a wild pitch. One out later, Perez walked Edgar Renteria, and after Jones lined out, Perez plunked Jeff Francoeur to load the bases.

But Perez ended up getting Matt Diaz to fly to right field to end the inning. Afterward, he appeared to point at Lo Duca after the out.

05-24-2007, 05:12 PM
You think maybe the extra $100 million+ a year the Mets spend on payroll might have anything to do with it??

05-25-2007, 10:57 AM
You think maybe the extra $100 million+ a year the Mets spend on payroll might have anything to do with it??

I see your point...but my answer to your question would be not necessarily. Every year there are small market teams who are at least competitive, for example Milwaukee this year.

And nobody spends more on a year to year basis than the Yankees...where are they today? Four games under .500.

For most of the last 14 seasons (soon to be 15, I think), the Pirates have pretty much been the farm system for the rest of the majors. Reminds me of what Adam LaRoche had to say in the preseason Post-Gazette article:

He heard fans at PirateFest speaking wistfully of winning 82 games, one above .500.

He phoned his wife.

"Adam's telling me, 'You wouldn't believe this. All they want to do is not lose,' " she recalled.

LaRoche offers no apologies.

"My first reaction was ... I didn't even know what people were talking about. What's the number 82 mean? Were they serious?" he said. "I mean, look, I haven't been here. I don't know how hard it's been for the people up there, or for the players. At the same time, I don't feel bad saying this: If that's anyone's goal in Pittsburgh, it just shouldn't be."

Later in the article, he said he doesn't see "a losing attitude" in the players, coaches, ownership, or front office. Wonder if he feels that way today?

I would argue that the market size doesn't matter as much as does the absolute refusal to accept a decade and a half of being so far away from being comptetitive that the national media doesn't even consider the team worth mentioning. Until the day comes that losing is unacceptable, and everyone from the ownership to the batboy/girl believes it, this team will stay in or near the basement.

05-29-2007, 12:17 AM
I still think the Pirates gave up on Perez to quickly.

05-29-2007, 01:17 PM
No salary cap means no realistic chance for teams like the Pirates to compete. There will be teams that come out of nowhere even though they spend a fraction of what the big boys spend, but they are few and far between. The Pirates are about due for one of those "once in a blue moon" seasons, but thats as good as it's gonna get regardless of whose running the show.

We may take satisfaction in the fact that the Yankees are doing worse, but thats not enough to get excited about Baseball.