In what so far has been a disappointing, underachieving season, there was a lot to like in last night’s victory at Atlanta.
Of course, since everything begins with pitching and John Maine was superb after a rocky second. There’s always one inning with Maine where he gets in trouble, but if he pulls out of it he goes on a hot stretch fueled by his fastball. He’s a power guy and gets in trouble when he tries to be too cute with his off-speed stuff.
Another positive the offense came from behind from three runs down for the first time this season. Carlos Beltran, who has been stroking line drives all year, went deep twice. Beltran is a hitter who when he gets hot can carry a team for a couple of weeks. What better time with all these games with the Braves and Phillies?
David Wright also showed signs of coming out of it with a homer.
But, it’s only one game and we’ve seen that before. Let’s get a string of these before proclaiming the Mets are all right.
Livan Hernandez, who has been shaky, goes tonight for the Mets.
There’s always news of some kind when the Mets are in Atlanta. Last year, for example, marked the beginning of the end for Willie Randolph and was also the site of Ryan Church’s concussion.
Word is Oliver Perez will be demoted to the bullpen, with the team eschewing the minor league and DL options.
Oh yes, Carlos Delgado returns tonight.
Reports have Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon in Atlanta to meet with Jerry Manuel and Oliver Perez to best figure out how to handle the disintegrating lefty.
1) Convince him to accept a minor league assignment. As a veteran of at least five years he has the right of veto. The pros of going to the minor leagues is it could demoralize the already shaky Perez emotionally beyond repair. Nobody has a way of knowing for sure. Theoretically, he’ll get consistent work in, albeit away from pitching coach Dan Warthen.
2) Keep him around where he could work with Warthen and pitch out of the bullpen in a to-be-determined role. The disadvantage is not getting consistent work against live hitters.
3) Put him on the DL with a knee (injury). All of a sudden Perez was wrapped in ice after Saturday’s start and said it had been hurting him all year. This is the path of least resistance because the Mets can bring somebody up and Perez can still be around the team to work out.
We’ll know tonight.
OLIVER PEREZ: The minors could help.
After all but agreeing to take a minor league assignment following Saturday’s loss, Oliver Perez’s right knee was conveniently wrapped in ice yesterday afternoon. He said it has been bothering him all year, which begs the question: Why didn’t the Mets say something earlier?
Perez might take a face-saving trip to the DL or might be used in relief sometime this week. As of now, he won’t make Friday’s start against Pittsburgh at Citi Field.
Perez can veto any demotion to the minor leagues because of his service time, which would make him incredibly selfish. If he does it would be interesting to see how many “leaders” in the Mets’ clubhouse would tell him that’s the thing for him to do.
I’d say none. Not even Johan Santana would suggest to him the minors is the way to go to fix his mechanics and attitude. The players will say it is beyond their responsibilities to tell a teammate to go to the minor leagues even if staying is the best interest of the team.
There’s something incredibly wrong with Perez that has nothing to do with his knee. And, the Mets can’t waste any more major league innings trying to figure it out.
Today’s game at Philly has been rained out, which gives us a moment to reflect on the train wreck that is Oliver Perez.
“I’m not doing anything to help the team,” said an admittedly embarrassed Perez yesterday.
Because of Perez’s length of service (it doesn’t have to be good service) he can refuse the minor league assignment that is in his and the Mets’ best interest. Perez gave no indication he would do so, which is a good sign.
It’s better he go to the minors than hang around as a long man because he won’t get regular work in that capacity. The Mets gave Perez Saturday’s start because of his success against the Phillies, but it didn’t pan out.
It’s time to start over with Perez.