Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oliver Perez: The Good and the Bad

The line looks ugly. Very ugly. Oliver Perez simply didn't have it (control!) today against the Reds.

New York Mets
O Perez (L, 0-1)4.1588571100-5516.62

This has to be concerning for the Mets, who just committed $36 million bucks to Perez and are depending on him to be their third starter.

But Perez's performance today can be broken down into two distinct parts: the good (innings 1, 2, 4) and the bad (innings 3, 5). When Perez was on during the three "good innings", he only walked one batter and struck out six hitters. He was the Oliver Perez that the Mets fronted the big bucks for.

But when Perez was bad, he was really bad. Just take a look at the play by play of the third and fifth innings when Perez was on the hill:

Cincinnati - Bottom of 3rdSCORE
Oliver Perez pitching for New YorkNYMCIN
R Hanigan walked.30
P Janish struck out swinging.30
B Arroyo sacrificed to pitcher, R Hanigan to second.30
W Taveras walked.30
D McDonald singled to center, R Hanigan scored, W Taveras to second.31
J Votto homered to right center, W Taveras and D McDonald scored.34
B Phillips flied out to center.34
4 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors

Cincinnati - Bottom of 5thSCORE
Oliver Perez pitching for New YorkNYMCIN
W Taveras reached on bunt single to pitcher.44
D McDonald walked, W Taveras to second.44
J Votto singled to center, W Taveras scored, D McDonald to third.45
B Phillips hit sacrifice fly to center, D McDonald scored.46
J Bruce walked, J Votto to second.46
D O'Day relieved O Perez.

As you can see, when Perez is bad, he is really bad. During innings 3 and 5, Perez walked 4 batters, gave up three hits, and only struck out one hitter. The walks were the real killer for Perez. When Perez walks hitters, he's terrible.

Inconsistent. Inconsistent. Inconsistent.

It's night and day with Perez. When he's on, he's fantastic. But when he gets distracted or loses his control, he's painful to watch.

The Mets better hope that Perez comes around and does not deal with these inconsistency issues for the entire season. We all know that Perez will deal with his ups and downs over the course of the season, but the Mets need the dominant Perez much more often than the Oliver Perez who cannot find the strike zone.

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