I wanted a split, and I wanted the Yanks to beat Oliver Perez. I got the split. Perez didn’t throw a three-hitter as I feared, it was a two-hitter. Seven innings. And he didn’t walk a batter. Believe that. Eight K’s too. The Mets’ southpaw, fighting to remain in the rotation, was brilliant on Sunday as the Mets shut the Yankees down, 3-1. The Yanks had four hits on the afternoon.
The best moment of the game came in the fourth with Derek Jeter on second and the Mets ahead, 2-0. Perez fell behind Alex Rodriguez 3-0, and then Rodriguez destroyed the 3-1 pitch, high and foul to left field. So close… The TV cut to the blimp angle which showed lightning cracking through the New York sky–it started raining but the game wasn’t delayed. Perez fired two more fastballs and Rodriguez put good swings on them but could only foul them back. Another fastball, foul tip. I kept waiting for him to go to the slider. But Perez challenged Rodriguez with another fastball, right in Rodriguez’s kitchen. Rodriguez swung and missed it. It was a Junior Miss Bob Welch-Reggie scene (Rodriguez just missed all day long; in his next at-bat, he skied a pop-out two miles in the air, and in the ninth, he narrowly missed a homer against Billy Wagner).
Darrell Rasner did okay; Jose Reyes had another lapse in form, as he threw down his glove in anger after making a throwing error in the eighth inning (a ball first baseman Carlos Delgado should have caught), but the Mets got a much-needed win all the same. Delgado had a solo homer, Bill Wagner got the save.