Mets fans grab your torches! We’re going to Oliver Perez’s house!

Alright, now that I have your attention, let’s state the obvious; Mets pitcher Oliver Perez is in serious trouble.

Sure, his stats from Sundays loss to the San Francisco Giants weren’t horrific upon a quick glance (two hits allowed, four runs, two strikeouts), but it was other categories (three 1/3 innings pitched and seven walks) that have Mets fans all over the world ready to GPS directions to his home.

Like many fans of the Amazins’, I have been less than enthusiastic about the mediocre start that the team has gotten off to. There is seemingly far too much talent on this club to warrant a 17-14 record. The team seems to lack fire at times, and that translates to their fanbase.

In fact, my initial reaction to my impending trip to Citi Field for their Mother’s Day affair with the Giants was, “Well, at least Tim Lincecum is pitching for the Giants.”

But the major reason for the 35,000 people in attendance being underwhelmed was that Perez, the perpetual wild-card would be taking the mound for New York. And depending on your team allegiance, he was either a major disappointment or a great asset. Perez took a no-decision thanks to his team making a late inning comeback before eventually falling behind for good by one run in the eighth inning on a two run homer by Giants centerfilder Aaron Rowand off of Mets rookie Jenrry Mejia.

And let’s be honest, despite their 18-12 record (good for second in a wide open NL West), the Giants are a pretty average team offensively. Sure, infielder Pablo Sandoval is a very dangerous hitter, but he’s in a horrible slump at the moment, so much so that even Perez dominated him. All-Star catcher Bengie Molina did not play in the game, and none of the other players in the lineup are household names (though Rowand and shortstop Juan Uribe are both excellent players).

This game should not have been such a struggle for Perez.

In the post-game interview, Mets manager Jerry Manuel hinted that the weather might have been to blame for Perez’s slow start to the season. This has been the constant knock on Perez during his tenure in New York. The thinking within the Mets organization seems to be that Perez will settle in once the warmer months come around. But the last time that I checked, the beginning, and more importantly, the end of the Major League Baseball season come in colder months.

And quite frankly, I don’t care if a pitcher is winless through the netire season as long as he can win in October. But if we’re to believe that Perez does not function well in cold weather, should he just be demoted to Triple-A come September?

Sitting up in section 525, closer to the clouds than the field, the boo-birds were all over Perez from the very first of his seven walks. Most fans booed loudly or shouted four letter words, but one fan in particular took great pleasure in loudly heckling the struggling hurler, telling him to “Go back to Mexico” several times throughout his three plus innings on the mound.

Post-game, Manuel also told the media that he didn’t foresee any changes being made in reference to Perez. But should a manager simply be willing to expect a loss every fifth day? Because at this rate, Perez is good for nothing better.

Could he fare better for another team? We’ll probably never find out. Perez is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million dollar contract, which no sane team would possibly take on at this point.

Manuel also seems averse to moving Perez to the bullpen, seeing no real place for him there.

The solution, at least for the time being, seems to be sending the embattled southpaw to Triple-A Buffalo for some extra work. Maybe working with Bisons pitching coach and former big leaguer Ricky Bones will do some good for Perez, seeing as working with Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen seems to be doing nothing.

And at this point, it clearly couldn’t do any more harm.

So send us a postcard from The City of Good Neighbors, and enjoy the hot wings Mr. Perez. We’ll see you this summer.



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