Reds 8, Mets 6
Somewhere, doing something with someone (there's a decent chance it was in Leesburg, drinking beer with Rob, but my brain ain't so sharp these days) about a month ago, I could be heard whining:
I think the Mets are going to look back and kick themselves for cheaping out on Derek Lowe and settling for more Ollie. Especially now that Lowe went to "the Turkish bath house of state capitals."One start is merely one line item on what (I hope) is a long stat sheet over the course of a season. But one start in, it's already hard to fathom that although it wasn't 100% "either/or" for those two guys in Omar's world, that's pretty much what it came down to this winter, and we may have landed the short straw.
Oliver Perez looked proficient at his craft right up until the point where the Mets spotted him 3 runs in Top 3. You see, young Ollie is allergic to lead (Pb). Might've been the paint in the house where he grew up. Let's hope this doesn't become a recurring line of would-be humor . . .
So yeah, he went all Mr. Hyde on us in the bottom of the 3rd, surrendering four runs just like that. Joey Votto's tater did the big damage, but as always, don't downplay the deleterious effect of the the two walks. 4-3, Reds.
Two innings later, tie game, more of the same. Walks, runs. New reliever Darren O'Day came in with a 6-4 deficit and a couple of Ollie's runners aboard and promptly issued a top o' the mornin' to ya to Edwin Encarnacion in the form of an HBP to load 'em up. Two batters later, the inimitable Paul Janish singled home a pair. 8-4, Reds.
The Mets did threaten, though their every rally was undone by GIDP's and cans of corn. At the end of the day, Ollie's 8 ER over 4 1/3 was not to be overcome. Four of his five free passes came around to score. And this is why there was deliberation over giving the guy $36M over three years.
Blame the WBC, Ollie. Blame whatever you want. Just be better. (Note: the "Be better" imploration worked for Pedro Feliciano, as he fanned the only two batter he faced yesterday. We're willing to try it again.)