Cutnpaste: – Oliver Perez, Chris Young, Pat Misch, Taylor Buchholz, Duke Snider
February 28, 2011 Leave a comment
During the final moments of Oliver Perez’s fourth-inning meltdown Sunday, the Champion Stadium loudspeakers blared “The Twilight Zone” theme. In reality, Perez was standing on the mound, but his head always seems to be in some alternate universe that defies explanation. One minute, Perez is striking out Dan Uggla with a 73-mph slider. The next, he’s walking three straight batters, the last with the bases loaded on a full-count pitch to David Ross. Perez is thoroughly unpredictable, and for that reason, it will be very difficult for the Mets to trust him in any role – starter, long reliever or specialist.
Last spring, before his shoulder betrayed him, Chris Young planned to call Curt Schilling. Young hoped to pick the brain of Schilling, the former ace, about a pitch he mastered, the split-fingered fastball. But then Young’s health intervened and his season was redirected. He never spoke with Schilling. A year later, healthy and throwing well for the Mets, he has the time to fiddle with the splitter as he competes for a position in the starting rotation.
Manager Terry Collins indicated an awareness of MLB’s preference to have teams play a reasonable number of regulars in away games and also to have enough pitching in away games so that ties can be avoided. The Mets adhered to both directives Sunday, starting Angel Pagan, Ike Davis and Josh Thole — regulars all — and having Chris Young as their starting pitcher. Pat Misch pitched in relief. Though Collins made a point of saying Misch still is a candidate to start, he also noted that Misch’s pitch repertoire and resilient arm make him well-suited for relief work. Misch’s preference is to be a big league pitcher, regardless of role.
Taylor Buchholz is currently dealing with hamstring tightness, but doesn’t expect to miss any time. At least it’s not his arm, right? Buchholz, 29, has made just nine major league appearances since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2009. The good news is that he tossed two scoreless innings and notched three strikeouts in the Mets’ Grapefruit League opener Saturday against the Braves. If healthy, he should crack this bullpen.
Born in 1926, which made him more or less five years older than Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, Edwin Donald Snider was the first of the trio to arrive on the major league scene, and the first to depart, but in his heyday, he was the centerpiece of a lineup that dominated the National League. Snider was the top slugger and typical number three hitter in a lineup that included fellow future Hall of Famers Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Pee Wee Reese, the anchor of a team that won five pennants from 1949 through 1956—and could have added two more had it not been for losses on the final days of the 1950 and 1951 seasons.