News flash: Oliver Perez is having a pretty terrible year. He has walked 32 dudes in 26 innings against only 29 strikeouts and has an ERA of 6.25. His demotion to the bullpen hasn’t helped anyone either, with his latest performance coming Saturday against the Brewers when he gave up three runs just as the Mets started to rally themselves.
Now two anonymous Mets players are telling the New York Post’s Mike Puma that they want Ollie gone:
“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one
Mets player said, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million
on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.
second Mets player echoed that line of thinking.
“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of
money, but for what?”
The need for the ultimatum, of course, is that as a veteran in the middle of a big multi-year contract, Ollie must give his permission before accepting a minor league assignment, and Scott Boras clients just don’t do that. What they do do, however, is leave the team once they’re designated for assignment, because they have no choice. Likewise it seems like the Mets have little choice but to do the designating.
Perez is terrible, there’s nowhere to hide him and he has lost the confidence of his teammates and his manager. Indeed, Puma asked Jerry Manuel when, exactly, he’d consider using Ollie. Manuel’s answer: “That’s really a tough question. [Maybe] extra innings or
something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.” The response to that by one of the anonymous players:
“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used
all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?”
Wow. It’s one thing to have a useless player on the team. It’s another thing to have a useless player who is being openly mocked by his teammates. $20 million is a lot of money to flush down the toilet, but it’s time for the Mets to do it.
After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.
The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).
Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.
With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.
Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.
With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:
So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
According to MLB.com’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).
Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.