“I did a bad job.” Those words uttered by Oliver Perez after a disastrous outing today could be the understatement of the year.
Oliver Perez may have thrown is last pitch for the New York Mets today, it was an 86 MPH fastball that capped off an inning that saw him give up four runs on back-to-back homers to right-handed hitters, and then when he finally got to face a left-handed hitter, he walked him on four pitches. That was all she wrote. Terry Collins had seen enough and pulled him out of the game. He left to a chorus of boos and jeers.
The home runs came from Jeff Frazier (a 3-run shot), and Brian Bixler (a towering blast), and they were the first two batters he faced. What a rude awakening that must have been for Perez.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, recounts the situation and quotes Collins,
Actually, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman did Perez no favors. Terry Collins initially had summoned Perez to face lefty-hitting Matt Stairs, but Riggleman played the matchup game — even in Grapefruit League play — and replaced Stairs with the righty-hitting Frazier.
Still, Collins noted, it’s not like Perez could be shielded from lefty-righty matchups in the regular season. Riggleman did exactly what an opposing manager would do if Perez were the lefty specialist and the games counted.
“That’s what’s going to happen in the big leagues,” Collins said. “They’re going to take that guy out sometimes. Obviously they’re not going to take Ryan Howard out. Somebody else, they might take him out and pinch-hit. He’s got to have something to get those righties. He can’t be hanging sliders.”
Collins hits the nail on the head. On many occasions you will bring in your LOOGY to face a left-handed hitter, and he ends up facing a right-handed pinch hitter instead who was announced after he was summoned from the pen.
Anyway, it’s only a matter of days now – hours even.