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200 Miles From the Citi


August 23, 2009 8:23 PM

WINNERS VERSUS LOSERS

I hope the fact that the game ended on an unassisted triple play (capping off a wild string of plays to end the game) doesn't overshadow the fact that Oliver Perez is a mess.

I don't think you could find a starker contrast in pitchers than Perez versus Pedro Martinez.
Put simply: Pedro Martinez is a winner. Oliver Perez is not.

Even when he was ineffective because his health wasn't 100%, Pedro was able to use his knowledge of the game, his abilities - in short his head - to get outs and keep his team in most ballgames. Oliver Perez is just a head case.

There's no other explanation for a pitcher getting so shaken up that he goes to 3-0 on the opposing pitcher - a lifetime .099 hitter - after giving up two homers and falling behind 6-0 in the first inning. Maybe it was a mercy move by Jerry Manuel removing Perez from the game mid-batter, maybe he was sending a message - but either way it's an embarrassment. And when you have the types of issues on the mound that Oliver Perez has, I don't know how you bounce back from that type of embarrassment.

There were a couple of side notes from this game that were neat - the Mets didn't give up after getting down 6-0, which is one of the few times this season they have actually shown some heart. And I wonder if there have ever been games in major league history that featured both an inside-the-park home run and an unassisted triple play.

But the larger story was the winning pitcher, Pedro Martinez, versus the losing pitcher, Oliver Perez. A true winner versus a true loser. Kind of like the 2009 versions of the teams they pitch for.

X-WORD: I've become kind of crossword-obsessed this summer, and if you can get your hands on a copy of the Sunday Boston Globe magazine you'll really enjoy their Sunday crossword puzzle. (I have tried to find their puzzle on-line and I've never been able to find it. It is a puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon [well-known puzzle makers], though, so maybe it's searchable by their names.) Anyway, it's heavy on baseball clues. Pretty fun.

Tomorrow we'll focus on the Jets a bit - prime-time, with Mark Sanchez getting the start.

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