Well, folks, it's come down to this. Arguably the Mets first true "must-win" of 2006, tonight's Game 4 of the NLCS and our World Series dreams rest squarely in the hands of one Oliver Perez. Truly this shows how tough the combination of losing ElDuque and the Game 1 rainout have hurt the Mets. If El Duque was healthy he would have pitched Game 2 and the Mets probably would have headed to St. Louis up 2-0. Or, if Game 1 hadn't been rained out we'd be able to send Tom Glavine to the hill tonight to save our season. Instead, a loss puts the Mets down 3-1 and on the brink of elimination, but a win sets the series even at 2-2 and the Mets hopes would be very much alive.
Was I the only one screaming at the set during the first inning last night, asking why there was no one warming up in the bullpen? In the end, it didn't matter with the Mets forgetting to bring their bats to the game, but really why on earth was Trachsel allowed to stay in the game long enough to give up five runs? It reminded me again to be angry and Omar for having Anderson Hernandez on the roster instead of Royce Ring. The Mets bullpen is shorthanded, and with a rotation of dubious starters there's no excuse for not having 12 pitchers on this roster. Praise the Lord for Darren Oliver, for as Steve over at the Eddie Kranepool Society says, if by some chance there is a Game 6, Ollie's our man.
We have no idea what we'll get from Oliver Perez tonight. The fact that he throws with his left arm is a plus, as the Cardinals have been as inept against lefties as the Mets have been (see performance by Darren Oliver). Also fortunately, Cardinals fans are equally unsure about their starter, one Anthony Reyes. The fastball-throwing rookie Reyes is 5-8 with and ERA over 5. His last start, 10/1 against Milwaukee, he lasted just 2/3rds of an inning and allowed two homeruns. It was the third time in 2006 he didn't last more than 3 and 1/3 innings. Starting to feel a little confident? Well, Viva El Birdos asks us not to forget this: Oliver Perez has a 6.55 ERA, the worst ERA by any pitcher in postseason history. Okey dokey here we go.