Spring Notes: Ollie Blames The Sun, Give Mookie No. 1, Gee’s Impressive Stint

An article by posted on February 27, 2011

New York Mets Pitcher Oliver Perez Throws

Sunday Night Spring Notes

After allowing all four runs in the Mets 5-4 win over the Braves on Sunday, Oliver Perez had plenty of excuses. “I think they took more pitches, and I think most of the pitches were around the home plate, and that’s why I walked those three guys.” He also blamed nerves, “ I felt a little nervous, you know, my first time, my first outing, I was excited and nervous … at the same time.” The sun was also at fault, “Because in the past week, we’ve been working hard, and I think everybody is kind of tired a little bit, because it was very sunny.” This is kind of comical.

Anthony DiComo writes that Mookie Wilson doesn’t look right wearing No. 53 — or for that matter, any number other than 1. I totally agree with him. A clubhouse guest suggested Sunday that Luis Castillo might be better off giving his No. 1 to the coach and finding a degree of anonymity in wearing 53.

Dillon Gee might be the underdog in the 5-way battle for the last two spots in the rotation, but his performance on Sunday could change that. Gee pitched 2 1-3 hitless innings and fanned four batters while walking one. Pitching coach Dan Warthen had this to say, “He’s come on nicely. He’s a working man’s pitcher, a blue-collar guy. He put up some very good numbers last year against teams in contention.”

Sunday Morning Spring Notes

In yesterday’s exhibition opener against the Braves, Jenrry Mejia allowed just one hit and an unearned run in two innings of work while walking none and striking out three. He displayed a much improved changeup and an outstanding curveball that drew high praise from manager Terry Collins. It’s obvious too many that as good and as electric Mejia was last season, he has shown more refinement and an ability to spot his pitches better thus far this spring.

Luis Castillo looked solid in the field and at the plate in yesterdays game. He is somewhat baffled that after all his time in the majors, he’s being treated like a rookie. “I have 15 years in the big leagues,” Castillo said after Friday’s Grapefruit League opener. “This is my 16th year, and I feel like a rookie right now. I have to show I can still play.”

Leftfielder Jason Bay got his first game action in nearly seven months when he took the field in yesterday’s spring opener and played four innings. “I’ve felt good for a while,” said Bay. “What was pleasantly surprising was it didn’t feel like I was trying to overcome anything. I just kind of felt like I was going out there and getting ready. And I guess that’s a good thing.”

The Mets will play two games this afternoon – one against the University of Michigan at Digital Domain Park, and the other against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Here are the lineups for this afternoons action.

Mets vs. University of Michigan 12:10

1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Luis Castillo 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Jason Bay LF
5. Fernando Martinez RF
6. Nick Evans 1B
7. Jason Pridie CF
8. Dusty Ryan C
9. Kai Gronauer DH

Chris Capuano (4-4, 3.95 ERA in 2010) will start for the Mets, Dillon Gee, Taylor Tankersley, Bobby Parnell, Blaine Boyer, and Tim Byrdak to follow.

Mets vs. Braves 1:05 PM SNY, WFAN

1. Willie Harris LF
2. Angel Pagan RF
3. Daniel Murphy 2B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Scott Hairston CF
6. Justin Turner 3B
7. Josh Thole C
8. Val Pascucci DH
9. Ruben Tejada SS

Chris Young (2-0, 0.90 ERA) will start for the Mets, Oliver Perez, Pat Misch, Boof Bonser, Ryota Igarashi, and Mike O’Connor to follow.

It will be interesting to get our first glimpse of Chris Young today, who throw two innings, and we’ll also get to see if Oliver Perez is as improved as everyone is saying he is.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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