200 Miles From the Citi

May 10, 2010 5:42 AM

Imperfect Game


It's sort of funny that on a day where Dallas Braden threw a perfect game for the Oakland A's, Oliver Perez was pitching for the Mets.

Further, Perez walked seven men and threw 98 pitches in just 3 and a third innings.

And to show that this game was about as far from a perfect game as you could get, the Mets' opponent, the Giants, almost lost the game.

I hardly know where to start.  But I'll say this - it was the most exciting ugly game I've seen in a long time.  (Looking at the box score and seeing it was 3 hours, 45 minutes long is kind of surprising...because the game seemed longer.)

Perez was terrible.  Raul Valdes was excellent in his three and two thirds innings, after walking the second batter he faced...with the bases loaded from three Perez walks in the fourth.

Those innings by Valdes allowed the Mets to come back and take the lead in the game - aided by some wind-knocked-down bloops and aggressive baserunning.

Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as Jenrry Mejia served up a 2-run homer in the next inning, putting the Giants back on top with a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Brian Wilson was a polar opposite in the bottom of the 9th to Perez, who started the top of the 1st.  He struck out five Mets (he came on in the 8th), and stranded the winning run on second base.

Here are my takeaways from the series (and series finale) with the Giants:

1)  The Mets are persistent.  I like that they don't roll over and they're in most of their games in the 9th inning.

2)  Let's not do flips and celebrate a revival from Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana yet - the Giants are not a great offensive team, and their good hitters were particularly struggling this weekend.  The jury's still out as far as I'm concerned from last week's stinkers by those two starters.

3)  I know this horse is way dead and I've beaten it again, but here I go - the Mets practically gave this game away on Sunday.  I know it was Perez, and walks come with the territory with him, but 11 walks in a 9-inning game is ridiculous.  Mejia walked the tying runner before giving up the homer.  Valdes walked in a run.  Unacceptable.  Especially against a team that doesn't hit very well - you can't give them these types of opportunities.

4)  David Wright absolutely lost it in the 9th inning after he struck out looking with the tying run on second base.  And he should have.  Not because the pitch was a ball - it was too close to take - but because it was his fourth strikeout of the game.  He just shouldn't have taken it out on the umpire - he should have blown up at himself in the clubhouse.  He needs to take a day off or something, get it together, and come back with a different mindset.

BACK TO THE PERFECT GAME:  I totally missed Braden's perfect game.  I switched over to ESPNEWS for my Sunday scores right as the game ended and they were showing the highlights.  And I'm mad that I didn't switch through all of the games as the Mets game dragged along.  But here are my thoughts on his historical outing:
-It's especially impressive that he threw the perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. We're not talking Kansas City there.
-I like that the Braden-Alex Rodriguez spat won't go away now.  I don't really care about players crossing over the mound, but I like that Braden's picking a fight with A-Rod about it.  I think they'll brawl if Braden faces the Yankees again this year, simply because of the disrespect Rodriguez showed talking about it afterwards.  And now that Braden has the perfect game in his back pocket, he's got that much more notoriety, which is exactly the shot A-Rod took at him.
-Maybe you haven't heard of Dallas Braden, but I have.  And if you read the blog, you've at least read about him as part of my Name Game.  He pitched against Braden Looper at one point, for the ol' Braden-Braden matchup.

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