This should probably be my lesson to get out of the crystal-ball racket, and I can’t really shake the feeling that by making announcements I managed to damage the karma of the team. But, while looking over the highlights once I got home, it occurred to me that there might have been a few things other than karma at work.
First off, I don’t think Shawn Greene has any damn business playing behind Oliver Perez. Not very long after Moises Alou got injured, Perez took a one-hit shut-out into the ninth inning. The out fielders behind him were Carlos Beltran, Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez. All three are centerfielders by vocation, all three are defensively excellent, all have good speed. Watching that game I couldn’t shake the feeling that, had Alou and Greene been playing instead of Gomez and Chavez, Perez’ outing would have been far less impressive. Against Perez, hitters hit a lot of balls into the outfield, and how often they get caught and how long it takes them to make their way back into the infield, can easily be the difference between success and failure in an Oliver Perez outing. The first run against Perez was a walk that was driven in by a triple from a first baseman who had hit six previously in his career, and stolen all of three bases. I have this weird feeling that, had the ball been run down by someone who didn’t have a broken bone in their foot, the batter would not have reached third base and the runner might not have scored; if the ball had been fielded by someone with Gomez’ speed and Gomez’ arm (someone such as Carlos Gomez), they might have had a play at second.
So, yeah, "Nigel" it was actually all about Endy: they miss his defense as much as they miss Alou's bat.
In the end, though, it was the walks that did Perez in, so I guess there is also a lesson about the in-game web-surfing habits of my favorite south-paw from south of the border: Perez obviously does not keep up with this blog, if he did, he might have known to stop walking people.