Jerry Manuel: 'I'm going to stay with Ollie'

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Oliver Perez couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning last night despite being handed an early 3-0 lead, getting yanked after a four-pitch walk to opposing starter Charlie Haeger.
Perez has a decent-looking 4.25 ERA in four starts thanks largely to not serving up a homer yet, but has averaged just 5.1 innings per outing with more walks (16) than strikeouts (14).
Dating back to last season he’s now 3-6 with a 6.23 ERA and 78/72 K/BB ratio in 86.2 innings spread over 18 starts, but manager Jerry Manuel made it clear that his rotation spot is secure: “I’m going to stay with Ollie. I thought the night was a difficult night. It was very cold, windy. I think we need Ollie to get it right. We need Ollie to figure it out.”
Mark Hale of the New York Post suggests that Hisanori Takahashi could eventually replace Perez in the rotation, but then again Takahashi might first be needed if the Mets dump the equally struggling John Maine. Perez, who was booed off the mound at Citi Field, is making $12 million this season and is owed another $12 million next year.

Manny Machado called for interference with Orlando Arcia

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Fresh off our “Manny Machado didn’t hustle” post, here’s one about him trying a little too hard. Machado was called for interference in the bottom of the fourth inning during Monday night’s NLCS Game 3 against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. It was actually Machado’s second attempt to interfere with Orlando Arcia during the game.

In the bottom of the second, Machado led off with a single. Cody Bellinger followed up by hitting a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who fed to Arcia. Machado slid towards Arcia enough to disrupt the play, allowing Bellinger to reach first base safely. The Brewers didn’t challenge, in part because Arcia didn’t attempt a throw.

Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth. Machado again leads off and again reaches base, this time with a walk. Bellinger hits another grounder. First baseman Jesús Aguilar snags the ball and fires to Arcia covering the second base bag. Machado slides into second base and reaches out with his right hand to mess with Arcia’s throw to first base. It succeeds, as Arcia’s throw skips past first base towards the dugout. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call, alleging slide interference (the “Chase Utley rule”). The umpires reviewed the play and agreed that Machado did indeed interfere with Arcia, so Bellinger was called out. What made Machado’s effort even worse is that Bellinger would’ve reached easily regardless, so there was no need to interfere with Arcia.

The Dodgers trail the Brewers 1-0 through the first half of the game. The Brewers got their run early thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Braun off of Walker Buehler in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín has pitched excellently for the Brewers thus far.