Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Ollie Rolls On

Posted by JD on March 13, 2010

Oliver Perez made his second Spring Training start today. After watching the game, I think it’s safe to say that Good Ollie has not completely surrendered to Evil Ollie. Yet.

Before we get to the details it should be noted that the Tigers only started four regular players today. Carlos Guillen started in left field (he’ll most likely DH) and Magglio Ordonez was the DH (he’ll probably be the starting right fielder). Ramon Santiago started at shortstop and lead off and Max Scherzer was the starting pitcher. The rest of the squad was made up of minor leaguers, so it’s not like Ollie was facing a Murderer’s Row today.

That being said, he didn’t give up a single hit. You read that correctly: he threw four no-hit innings. By my count he threw 69 pitches, 33 of which were strikes. That’s not the best ratio, especially considering that he was basically facing a minor league team. However, he was consistently around the strike zone, maintained a steady pace, and showed good velocity (30 pitches exceeded 90 MPH and he hit 93 four times).

I don’t want to get carried away here. There were many positives, but there was plenty to work on. The most obvious negative was his reaction to Audy Ciriaco’s at bat in the third. Ollie worked him into a 2-2 count, but Ciriaco fouled off several pitches in a row to stay alive. Ollie responded by firing two consecutive 93 MPH pitches too far inside and walking Ciriaco. Evil Ollie immediately surfaced and walked Ramon Santiago on five pitches, eliciting visits from David Wright and Dan Warthen in the process. It looked bleak, but Warthen must have whispered the right “sweet nothings” because Good Ollie regained control and induced Guillen to fly out to Angel Pagan on the left field warning track. Good Ollie then went on to finish strong, throwing only 12 pitches in the fourth inning, seven of which were strikes. It was a very encouraging rebound.

Ollie battled the Tigers to a tie: he failed to record a strike-out but they failed to register a hit. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it wasn’t bad for a second Spring Training start. Ollie showed improvement and I remain encouraged…until the next start.

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