Sometimes the Mets do the unexpected. That happened in yesterday's game against the Orioles.
First, Oliver Perez, who got bombed while pitching for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, returned to the Mets and pitched three innings of shutout ball in which he surrendered just one hit. However, his control was off: He threw 51 pitches to the 11 batters he faced. As David Lennon wrote in Newsday, "No one in the rotation requires more maintenance than Perez, who fluctuates wildly between unhittable one moment and unwatchable the next."
Second, none of the four pitchers who followed Perez gave up a run. One of them, Bobby Parnell, yielded five hits in 2.2 innings; however, he continues to prevent batters from crossing the plate. His Spring ERA is now down to 2.89.
Hitting-wise, the big surprise was that Ike Davis, who started at first base, got two hits, a single and a double. Davis started because Nick Evans played right field and Carlos Delgado is "recovering" from his WBC stint.I'm still waiting for Davis to show he has home run power. He didn't show it last season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and has yet to hit one this preseason.
The least surprising thing that happened yesterday was that the Mets returned Jonathan Niese to the minors. With Livan Hernandez pitching well, the Mets don't need to rush Niese into the starting lineup.