Friday, April 10, 2009


Since his July 31, 2006 acquisition, the Mets have truly never known which Oliver Perez will take the mound when he starts a game.
Will it be Dominant Ollie, the pitcher who rises to the occasion on the big stage, such as he did in National League Championship Series Game 7 of 2006, when he handcuffed the Cardinals on one scratched out earned run over six innings?
Or will it be Wild Ollie, who the next season in a must-win late September game against the Florida Marlins plunked three batters in a single inning en route to a crushing loss?
Yesterday at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Dominant Ollie pitched the first two innings, striking out four, but Wild Ollie relieved him for the next 2.1, walking five, as the Reds put together two two-run rallies in the third and fifth innings to wallop the Mets, 8-6.
The Mets rewarded Perez with a comfortable three-run lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran an a two-run double by Ryan Church, off Reds' starter Bronson Arroyo.
But in the bottom of the frame, Perez gave the runs back, starting it by walking Reds' catcher, Ryan Hanigan. Reds' first-baseman Joey Votto slugged a three-run homer to cap that inning's scoring. Again, the Mets took the lead in the top of the fifth inning on a fielder's choice groundout, but in the bottom, the Reds knocked Perez out with four more runs, aided by two more walks. The biggest blow in that inning was a two-out, two-run single by Reds' shosrtstop Paul Janish, off Mets' reliever Darren O'Day. The Mets would score single runs in the sixth and seveth innings on sacrifice flies, but whatever hopes the Mets had of tying the game in the ninth were quickly extinguished by Reds' closer Francisco Cordero, who struck out the side.

Winning pitcher -- Arroyo (1-0)
Losing pitcher -- Perez (0-1)
Save -- Cordero (1)
2B -- Church 2, (3)
Home runs -- Votto (2)
RBI -- Beltran (3), Church 2, (2); Votto 4, (7), Delgado 2, (6), Phillips (1), Janish 2, (2)
Stolen bases -- Encarnacion (1)
Caught Stealing -- Reyes (1, 2nd base, Hanigan/Janish)
Runners left on base -- Mets 5, Reds, 5
Runners left in scoring position -- Mets 3, Reds, 3
Errors -- Phillips (1, catch)
Hit batsmen -- O'Day (1, Encarnacion)
Web gems -- None

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