August 19, 2006 - Oliver Perez took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, pitching the Tides past the Charlotte Knights 1-0 in front of 8,687 fans at Harbor Park Saturday night.
Perez (2-5) was outstanding in his fourth start with the Tides. The 25-year-old southpaw struck out 11 and walked just two in 7.0 innings of work, facing just three batters over the minimum. The only hit he allowed was a leadoff single to former Tide Jorge Velandia in the 7th inning.
Perez, who hit one batter and walked two, recorded at least one strikeout in each of his seven innings. He also struck out the side on 12 pitches in the 5th inning.
Virginia Beach native Tim LaVigne relieved Perez and pitched a scoreless 8th inning, and Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his 12th save of the season. The shutout was Norfolk's ninth of the season.
Norfolk plated the only run of the contest in the third inning, as Anderson Hernandez led off the frame with a bunt single and proceeded to steal second base. After Charlotte starter Tim Redding (10-10) retired Ruben Gotay on a groundout, Jacob Cruz lined a single into right field to plate Hernandez and give the Tides a 1-0 lead.
The Tides and Charlotte will continue their four-game home-and-home series with a 6:15 contest Sunday night from Harbor Park. Brian Bannister (1-3, 5.71), who authored a 1-0 victory in his last outing on Tuesday night, is scheduled to take the hill for the Tides against Charlotte southpaw Stephen Randolph (9-6, 3.59).
I think every Mets fan saw the potential. The best slider I've seen all year. The rumors that his velocity has dropped 6-9 MPH were false. He consistently hit 91-94. He was fooling hitters badly, and did a good job hiding the ball. He looked good in the beginning and had a no hitter going through 4. I liked his enthiuasm. He screwed himself in the ground by walking people. The last person you want to face in the NL right now is Ryan Howard with the bases loaded.
I'm optimistic with Perez. His fastball was good, and his slider was brilliant. If he can bring his walk totals down and regain his 96 MPH fastball, we truly got ourselves an ace. I think the thing with him is all mental. At 21 he was already compared to Drysdale and Johnson. I think he needed a change of scenery. He probably put too much pressure on himself in Pittsburgh, because he felt he had to be a savior. Perez is currently 5th for K's through 9 IP for active Starting Pitchers.
Perez has the stuff to be an ace, but he needs to get whatever is in his head out, and re-gain his velocity and gain command.
Interesting thing happened the other night, Jon Lieber threw a 94 MPH Fastball?
I'll repectfully disagree with the optimistic Perez assessments. His numbers seem to indicate that his one good year was the aberration. However, my impression of Lieber is that he's always been a fairly hard thrower, just not a guy with a great "make 'em miss" pitch. Although perhaps they used the radar gun from the All Star game that had Brad Penny throwing 99 mph. If he's really throwing 99, I'll eat my hat.
Yes, this guy have a great stuff and talent and what he needs to be effective once again is to regain his confidence. But i doubt about him being able to return to his awesome form unless his arm is really that ok now.
If he still is a lethal human being, it would really be exciting to watch Oliver pitch those fastballs once again.
Last edited by madaslives911 on Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dave Williams is penciled in to start Wednesday's game for the Mets.
Williams will likely start on Wednesday and Oliver Perez will go on Thursday. The Mets rotation for this week is John Maine, Steve Trachsel, Dave Williams, Oliver Perez, and possibly Tom Glavine returning on Friday.