How did Good Ollie show up to get the first Met win at Citi Field, and what can Jerry Manuel do to make sure he keeps showing up? Make every Met wear the same number so Perez doesn't have to worry as much about hearing the boobirds? Start an outfield containing both Daniel Murphy and Gary Sheffield to compel Perez to bear down since the flyball pitcher knows most of his outfield will not be coming to his rescue?
On a day when Mike Pelfrey was diagnosed with forearm tendinitis, a strong start from Perez was that much more welcome.
But let's hope the superstitious Perez does not decide that he needs Sheffield in the lineup to get his wins. Sheffield's punchless bat could have cost the Mets the game.
With two on and none out in the second, Sheffield struck out. With the bases loaded and none out in the fourth, Sheffield hit into a double play, which scored a run, but helped put an end to a chance at a big inning. Five runners on base with one out and only one run scored - on the double play.
Sheffield was in the lineup for Ryan Church. Would Church have done better than Sheffield? You can' t say for sure, and Church did strike out as a pinch hitter later in the game, but Church was hitting .423, fourth in the National League, coming into the game. And Church would have been a lefty facing the righthanded Kevin Correia.
Starting Sheffield instead of Church weakened the Mets both offensively and defensively. It's still early, but Sheffield so far has shown nothing at the plate so far to suggest that the Tigers were wrong to eat his $14 million contract.
Fortunately, the Mets broke open the game in the seventh with the help of the Padres' bullpen. AndJose Reyes, who wants to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson by stealing home one day, scored from first base on a wild pitch on Jackie Robinson Day.
But without the Padre bullpen and defense meltdown in the seventh, the Mets would have been in a tight 2-1 game, at least in part because they were not using their best players. At least Sheffield did not hurt the Mets in the field, as Daniel Murphy continues to do. But Murphy at least is hitting.
If the Mets want to give Sheffield another start, they need to wait until a lefthander is pitching. Maybe then he can justify more playing time. It has not happened so far.