At this point, the antics of Oliver Perez have become somewhat of a routine to Mets fans. Whether it be changing his arm angle, jumping over the foul line, or simply losing command of the strike zone, Perez never seems to have a dull moment.
Looking more like Jose Reyes, Ollie stole a base in the second inning of yesterday’s game, while later adding a bunt single in the fourth. However, the only thing that matters to the fans is the amount of wins he can produce.
With three consecutive losses, Perez was in dire need of a victory yesterday, in order for the Mets to win their series against the last-place Cincinnati Reds. While Perez provided that much needed lift in the Mets 8-3 victory (striking out eight over six innings), the sixth inning showed us a glimpse of his season-long struggles.
After limiting the Reds to just one hit over five innings, a walk, double, triple, and a wild pitch produced three runs that got the Reds right back into the ballgame.
However, Carlos Beltran’s scorching-hot series proved too much for the Reds. After totaling just five hits in his previous eight games, Beltran finished Sunday’s three-game series going 5-for-13, with a home run, a triple, and eight RBI.
If Beltran’s bat can continue to produce, it would provide the Mets with that much needed thunder in the middle of their lineup.
In addition to Beltran, Ryan Church also added his seventh home run of the season directly after Beltran hit his, taking over the club lead. The home run gave Church three in five games, as he continues to add to his surprising season (.321 average, 7 home runs, 26 RBIs).
If the Mets continue to hit like they have in the past four games, minus the hiccup against Arroyo, look for the pieces to begin falling into place. And if Perez continues to pitch in an “effective” way, look for him to make a case for that payday he so desperately wanted before the season started.