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AJ Pierzynski is a double-edged sword (Game 152 Preview) September 23, 2015

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Sports.
Tags: ,

Williams Perez starts tonight against Bartolo Colon in a game that, for the Mets, isn’t must-win. Still, it’s a game the Mets want to win to push their magic number (currently Wally Backman) down in order to clinch before the Nationals come to town.

ASIDE: The Mets’ magic number is 6. Winning tonight pushes it down to 5, meaning that the Mets could clinch just in time by going 3-1 against the Reds and 2-1 against the Phillies, even if the Orioles lose both remaining games to the Nationals. We can’t count on Washington losing to the Phillies, the Reds, or the Braves, so it’s imperative that the Mets force that number into 1967 Sandy Alomar territory.

With rookie catcher Christian Bethancourt out with a thumb injury, A.J. Pierzynski will catch Perez tonight. Pierzynski has been hard on Bartolo Colon this year – 5 singles in 12 plate appearances – compared to his career numbers against Colon (.271/.317/.4o7). Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has also brutalized Bart this year, 7-10 with a triple and two doubles for a .700/.727/1.100 slash line (and a career .550/.571/.750 line).

Pierzynski, though, hasn’t been Perez’s best batterymate. Perez has a season ERA of 5.16, but 5.26 in 66 innings with Pierzynski. With A.J. behind the plate, Perez allowed 3 runs to the Mets in a 6-inning no-decision on the way to a September 12 loss.

Despite Arodys Vizcaino‘s performance last night, the Mets can continue to beat up on the bullpen. Their best bet tonight is to wear Perez out as quickly as possible and get Fredi Gonzalez to go to his pen early.



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