Every time Oliver Perez pitches, the Mets fear they will get this sort of start out of him. When Perez was removed, the Mets bullpen fared even worse. The Mets dropped game two to the Nationals by a score of 10-5.
Perez lasted 5 2-3 of an inning, allowing five earned runs on six hits and four walks. Perez struck out three, and benefited from a double play in the third inning. The Nats got on the board against Perez in the bottom of the fifth, when after two walks and a single to start the inning, Felipe Lopez singled to center field, driving in two runs. Later in that inning, Ryan Zimmerman brought home Ronnie Belliard on an RBI ground out. Perez went out to start the sixth and allowed two singles and recorded two outs before being removed in favor of Aaron Heilman.
This was one of those Perez-will-be-wild-and-walk-everyone kind of games. It was bound to happen sooner or later. He's got the talent, but he still lacks the concentration a pitcher needs. Still, this wasn't downright bad, but it wasn't good either.
Heilman entered the game with two on and two out in the sixth inning. The first batter he faced, Lastings Milledge, working as a pinch hitter, was quickly walked to load the bases. Lopez came to the plate again, and knocked a grand slam home run to the right field bleachers. Heilman then allowed two singles before getting Austin Kearns to strike out swinging. Heilman's line: .1 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
I'm actually starting to feel bad for this guy. Nothing he does works out. Eighth inning or sixth inning, he still gets rocked. Rough, but he's a professional baseball player, so he needs to step up and get back on track ASAP.
Jorge Sosa came in for the seventh, getting the first out of the inning before Aaron Boone reached base on a Jose Reyes fielding error. Willie Harris followed this with a walk and Wil Nieves came to the plate and singled to right, bringing Boone home. Johnny Estrada, pinch hitting, again singled to right, scoring Harris. After recording another out, Sosa allowed another RBI single to right off the bat of Christian Guzman.
Pedro Feliciano made an appearance and recorded outs, three of them, allowing a single to Wily Mo Pena and striking out Boone in the eighth inning.
Celebrate! A relief pitcher didn't give up runs!
The Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but could not hold on. Two out RBI hits were the specialty tonight, as all but one run came with two outs.
In the third, Raul Casanova singled to right field to start off the inning. After being sacrificed to second by Perez, and moving to third on a ground out to the right side by Reyes, Casanova came home on Luis Castillo's first hit of the game.
First two out RBI: Castillo. He had a very good night, and a very good series overall. Read on...
The next inning, Ryan Church walked to leadoff. After Carlos Delgado struck out swinging, Church stole second with Angel Pagan at bat. Pagan later walked, and Casanova put a charge into one, to the warning track, which allowed Church to move to third. Perez came to the plate and helped his own cause, singling up the middle and driving home Church.
Second two out RBI: Perez. Strange place to get your first two RBI's of a game, that's for sure. I love when Perez hits. He does that little hop swing. It's just beautiful.
Castillo singled to right to start the fifth. With David Wright batting, Castillo took second on a wild pitch. Castillo moved to third when a pickoff attempt hit him in the leg and skipped into the outfield. With two out, Church singled to right, driving home Castillo.
I love me my Ryan Church. How good is this guy? I'm OK with people jumping on the Church bandwagon, because he's just so good.
The rest of the Mets runs came on solo shots. In the seventh, with two out of course, Carlos Beltran hit a home run to the first row of seats in the right field bleachers. In the ninth, Marlon Anderson came in for a pinch hitting opportunity and crushed his first home run of the year to right.
I'll say it again. I love Beltran's swing. So sweet. Too bad he struck out three times tonight. But when he makes contact, I like it. It's only rivaled by Moises Alou's swing, which we should see at Shea very soon. Good for Anderson, who was only 1-15 before this at bat. He needs to get going in case we need him late in a game.
Numbers: Castillo: 3-5, RBI, run tonight, 5-10, RBI, 2 runs last two games...Castillo: 6 SB this season...Church and Casanova: 2 hits apiece...XBH: Church (2B), Beltran (HR), Anderson (HR)...Mets: 11 hits...Team LOB: 7...Perez pitches: 100 (58 for strikes)...Beltran: 3 K's...Delgado and Wright: 0-4...Felipe Lopez: 6 RBI...
Game Ball: Castillo.