The end is nigh.
Oliver Perez blew up in epic fashion this afternoon against the Nationals, essentially squashing whatever minimal chance he had to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster out the bullpen.
Perez was originally expected to face left-handed batter Matt Stairs, but Nationals manager Jim Riggleman countered with the righty-hitting Jeff Frazier. In all went downhill from there, as the erratic left-hander gave up back-to-back home runs to Frazier and Brian Bixler. After recording two outs, he walked Roger Bernadina (a lefty batter) and allowed a hard-hit infield single to Danny Espinosa before being pulled from the game. And scene.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that no move will be made regarding Perez this evening, but it’s pretty clear this “experiment” is over.
As I said on Twitter earlier this afternoon, I now fully expect Perez to meet up with Victor Zambrano and form some sort of heel tag team on the independent wrestling circuit.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.