Tonight’s NLCS Game 7 pitching matchup between Oliver Perez and Jeff Suppan seems like a weird matchup. I don’t think Perez is anyone’s idea of a Game 7 starter.
I read about the decision to pitch Perez this game, and immediately thought of Perez’s last team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that organization, Perez has always struggled (but then, most pitchers struggle there for some reason). As most of the pitchers I’ve seen have done in the past 10 years, Perez was touted as a huge prospect, and then proceeded to not do much of anything. The Pirates were only happy to have the Mets take him off their hands.
Now, the Mets are pitching him in Game 7. They really don’t have a good choice here. The only person who can be happy with this situation is Perez, who gets the chance to prove on a national sports stage what he is made of. If he pitches a great game, and advances the Mets to the World Series, he will always be remembered as the worst Game 7 pitcher to win. That is the stuff that legends are made of. If he wins, no matter what happens afterwards, he will be remembered as someone making the most of their opprotunity once thrust on the stage.
If he loses, he really has nothing to lose either. He won’t be blamed, since no one thought they would be counting on him at this stage. Mets fans will blame the injuries that caused them to resort to starting the 3-13 Perez twich in the NLCS. Sure, he won’t be remembered, but he won’t be the goat, either. Unless, of course, he does something worse than put out the losing pitching effort, such as botch an easily catchable out, or hit a batter with the bases loaded to force home the go ahead run. In other words, he’d have to do something besides lose the game in order to be remembered in a negative light.
I can’t imagine that Oliver Perez thought he’d be pitching in Game 7 a month ago, or even a week ago. What a change for him, considering where he was at the beginning of this season.
UPDATE (James Joyner): Rob Neyer dubs Perez “the worst — Game 7 starter ever.” More precisely, “He has the worst regular-season ERA of a pitcher to start a Game 7.”
- Texas Rangers sign P Darren Oliver
- Pirates Reach Historic Lows
- Former MLB Pitcher Bruce Dal Canton dead at 66
- Pittsburgh Sports Fan in Non-Football Season
- Yankee bats fall silent – streak over at nine
- Pedro Martinez to miss 4-6 weeks with hamstring pull
- Former MLB pitcher Dave Roberts dead at 64
- 20 in a row- Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3
- Former MLB Dock Ellis dead at 63
- Baseball Preview: New York Mets
- Eight is Enough- Edmonton beats Chicago 8-4
- Lydia Ko wins New South Wales Open
- The Comeback I- Pittsburgh Penguins beat NY Islanders 5-0
- Seattle Mariners Outfielder Greg Halman stabbed to death at age 24
- Hee Young Park wins CME Titleholders Championship
- Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50
- Costly mistake- Blackhawks waive Rostislav Olesz
- Manager Tony La Russa announces retirement
- Puck Drop- Florida Panthers start the 2011-12 NHL season
- 13-time PGA Tour winner Dave Hill dead at 74
Comments are Closed