Oliver Perez, huh?
One can hardly blame Willie Randolph. If he didn't pitch Oliver Perez, he'd have to pitch Darren Oliver, who hasn't started a game in more than two years. If he didn't pitch Darren Oliver, he'd have to pitch Steve Trachsel, who's got an owie on his leg, and his teammates think he bailed out last time. If he didn't pitch Steve Trachsel, he'd have to pitch Aaron Heilman, who's thrown only a dozen pitches since last Friday and clearly isn't ready to do something he did for many years before the Mets decided he couldn't do it.
When we learn that Oliver Perez is going to start a game that's going to determine the National League championship, we can't help but notice that this is the same Oliver Perez who went 3-13 this season and racked up a 6.55 ERA. It's true that Perez won Game 4 of the NLCS. It's also true that Perez's ERA in Game 4 was even higher than his ERA during the rest of 2006. If Oliver Perez has rediscovered the Oliver Perez we thought might become a star, he's doing a bang-up job of keeping it to himself.