It has been a good week to be a former Pirate pitcher. Shawn Chacon, Josh Fogg and now Oliver Perez have gotten paid. Perez beat the Mets at arbitration and will make $6.5 million in 2008. Most of that link talks about Johan Santana and not about Ollie.
Perez won’t be 27 until August of 2008. Back in 2004 he made Pirate fans sit on the edge of their seat every time he pitched, hoping for a double digit strike out game. He struck out 8 or more 15 times in 2004, but was unable to recapture that magic until last year when Perez set a career high in wins and struck out nearly one hitter per inning.
My fondest Perez memory is from June 26, 2004. My dad and I were on hand at Great American Ballpark. Perez allowed three hits and three walks and no runs in seven innings. He struck out 13, including Ken Griffey three times. Unfortunately, the Pirates couldn’t do anything off Aaron Harang and Perez got a no decision. Randall Simon poked a solo homer in the 9th off of Todd Jones to make a winner of Mark Corey.