James already covered Ollie's return so I won't rehash all of that here. If James's synopsis was brief, mine will be comparatively miniscule: good fastball, awful command.
The real story of the game wasn't Perez's return but rather the return of the Mets' offense. While even one run would have been an improvement over the prior two games, the Mets scored five (!) runs on nine hits against a very good staff led by a very good starter in Hiroki Kuroda. His ERA was deceptively high at 3.91 entering tonight; his tRA was a more impressive 2.91, driven by his terrific strikeout-to-walk and groundball rates. Kuroda didn't really have it tonight, as he allowed more flyball outs than grounders (5 to 7) and he walked two batters for the second straight game after four consecutive starts without walking anyone.
In going 0-for-5 and seeing just 11 pitches in the process Alex Cora continued his freefall back to his old cruddy self, but everyone else in the starting lineup reached base at least once. Daniel Murphy picked up a pair of doubles and contributed this ridiculous flip-play at first base.
Francisco Rodriguez was shaky again in the ninth, allowing a leadoff homerun to Manny Ramirez and a walk to Casey Blake -- his fourth on the night -- before striking out Mark Loretta. Russell Martin singled to send the tying run to second but Rodriguez walked away with the "save" by getting Andre Ethier to ground into the game-ending double-play.
Big winners: Jeremy Reed, +14.0% WPA, Ryan Church, +10.0% WPA
Big losers: Alex Cora, -8.0% WPA, Gary Sheffield, -3.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ethier GIDP in ninth, +28.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Blake walk in ninth, -11.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +27.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: +22.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Brian Schneider
Nice job by bleedin' orange and blue; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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