That’s right, I gave Ollie a pass yesterday.Â I’m chalking his performance up to the regular bevy of excuses:Â working on some pitches, hoping to pitch without pain in a real game, a little nervous, just trying to get some work in, first real game in 4 months, shaking off the cobwebs.Â I’ll take them all today for I am behind Oliver Perez andÂ I’mÂ giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I’m not kidding.
I’ve been hard on PerezÂ in the pastÂ and the one thing I wanted him to do this off season is lose some weight, get in shape and show up to Port St. Lucie in shapeÂ and ready to Â play and Ollie did them all.Â So yesterday was his unveiling and by all means it was not impressive.Â As a matter of fact it was downright Oliver Perez like; Â three innings, 5 runs on 7 hits, walked one and struck out two.Â Â Actually, Â the Nationals had three runs on the board before Perez could register an out-very Perez like indeed.
I’m not making any predictions nor conclusions.Â
Barring any injury or tightness(which I knowÂ none of as I write this), Perez is scheduled to make his next start.Â THAT’S the one where I expect a betterÂ performance.Â I’m not looking for aÂ three up three down, 4 inning performance.Â I just wantÂ Ollie to keep his composure and throw strikes and keep the Mets in the game a little longer than yesterday.Â
Because, honestly, if he begins toÂ revert to that old Ollie form, Minaya better start working the phones and getting someone, anyone in here that could pitch.Â We all know what the Old Perez can do to a bullpen on any given day-not to mention the psyche of a team on a winning streak. We have some pieces (Santos, Matthews or Pagan) that might net the Mets someone decent.Â But lets not go there yet.Â
So Ollie, welcome back, ice up and get ready for your next start.