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Friday, April 25, 2008

A Perez Idea

An Idea

This is just an idea I had yesterday while watching the game. Oliver Perez was obviously struggling, again, late in the game. I don't really have a problem with Willie pulling him, although I would've left him in, but something needs to be done with this guy. I was thinking about this in the 5th, and here's what I would've liked to see.

Just leave him in.

Let him give up 15 runs. Go to the mound, tell him Heilman and Sosa are sitting back and having a soda and he's finishing six innings no matter what happens. Perez has strived in pressure situations right? So take away the 'safety net' so to speak. Let him learn something about himself, and figure out how to get himself out of these situations, because it's an important lesson a good pitcher needs to learn.

Would this be an irreparable blow to his confidence if he did give up 15 runs? I don't really buy into that irreparable stuff anyway, but Perez has already had those in Pittsburgh before coming to the Mets and he managed to bounce back. We know he has great stuff, the problem is it's a coin flip on whether he'll be able to throw those great pitches. What will make him take that step to a great pitcher is being able to climb back to that peak after he's fallen out of stride during a game/inning/batter.

With Santana, Willie can prepare to use the best guys out of the bullpen and mentally prepare for which guys are going to come in that day, because Santana will pitch to within an inning or so of expectation nine out of ten times. Even John Maine usually can be expected to be pretty consistent, even if that consistency is a lower amount of reliable innings. However, with Perez there is still always that possibility that he walks 14 batters in the second inning and you need to piece together the rest of the game. If Willie leaves Perez in there last night, maybe he learns something. Or maybe we lose the game, which we did anyway, and the bullpen gets an extra inning of rest that it might need for tonight.

Getting Perez and most of the starters an extra inning or two I think could be the biggest key to this season. It would allow Willie to use his relievers that are struggling less, and able to go with the hot guys. It doesn't matter what bullpen you have, if you have to use too many pitchers in one game, likely someone won't be on his game that day.

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