Oliver Perez successfully held down the fort against the NL-leading Dodgers in his return from the Disabled List, giving up only two runs in five innings pitched.
The highlight of the night had to have been when Kevin Burkhardt caught up with Perez moments after he threw his final pitch of the night. Burkhardt asked the $36 million dollar man if he was nervous coming into the game, and Perez immediately admitted that he had some butterflies. Knowing how mentally unstable Perez is, we all knew that he was going to be nervous coming into this one, just didn’t exactly know he would admit to it.
As we switch from the mound to the plate, Manny Ramirez, who went deep in the final inning off of Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez, has had a wild series in his trip across the country. Having just returned in the week before flying to New York, the slugger was bombarded with questions from the New York media regarding his recent suspension due to testing positive for a banned substance.
The Mets’ bats woke up in a snap of a finger today. After being held for three games without an extra base hit and shut out in consecutive games, the Mets couldn’t have possibly gotten any worse at the plate. They bounced back tonight, as the streaky David Wright bounced back with a great day at the plate, and the struggling Daniel Murphy turned around and ripped two doubles.
While the Mets are still very banged up, the return of Perez may be a sign of good things to come. It was obvious that his return was much-needed, and with every player that returns, the chances for the Mets to bounce back and contend in the shaky NL East division increases.
While Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, JJ Putz, and others won’t be in a Mets uniform until after the All-Star Break, we have heard some encouraging news from Billy Wagner. The former closer is reportedly well ahead of schedule and is apparently close to or already has faced live batters.
The Mets could use any help they could get right now, so look for the team to be monitoring his situation closely.
New York concludes their series with Los Angeles tomorrow night when Livan Hernandez takes on Randy Wolf.