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Chris Perez ruins Justin Masterson’s stellar day

Apr 5, 2012, 6:33 PM EDT

Chris Perez Reuters

While he finished with a 3.32 ERA and 36 saves in 40 opportunities, Cleveland’s Chris Perez‘s 2011 performance suggested that worse days were on the way. One struck in Thursday’s opener.

Justin Masterson allowed just two hits and struck out 10 in eight innings, only to watch Perez blow a 4-1 lead in the ninth against the Blue Jays.

Masterson was terrific from the get go, allowing just a homer to Jose Bautista while getting 20 of his 24 outs via a K or a groundout. Perez seemed likely enough to protect a three-run lead from there, but he managed to retire just two of the seven hitters he faced while blowing the three-run lead in the ninth.

What’s scary about Perez was the way his strikeout rate fell off last year. He went from fanning 61 guys in 63 innings in 2010 to 39 in 59 2/3 innings last year. Flyball pitchers who don’t get swings and misses simply aren’t very good bets, and Perez’s swing-and-miss rate has deteriorated each year since his debut.

Vinnie Pestano relieved Perez today, got the final out of the ninth to preserve the tie and then pitched a scoreless 10th in a tie game. He had more than twice as many strikeouts as Perez last year, finishing with 84 in 62 innings, and it’d be no surprise if he soon becomes Cleveland’s closer.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    As a Jays fan, I was happy with Perez today; however, since he is on my fantasy team, I hope he recovers next week.

    • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      E5 made me proud, today. That double to tie the game was epic…till he went TOOTBLAN, but still..

    • foreverchipper10 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      As someone who took Pestano as their last pick and does not have Perez I will have to hope against that. :)

  2. APBA Guy - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Time for a scan or Chris Perez’ arm and shoulder. You don’t lose that much in a year without a real possibility of injury.

  3. Kevin Gillman - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Was there an official reason why Luis Perez wasn’t thrown out of the game for almost hitting Choo in 15th inning? There was a warning earlier in game, did they just throw that warning out the window?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      Umpires are still allowed to use discretion after the warning. They gathered together after the pitch and bench clearing and decided it wasn’t intentional.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        Okay, see I didn’t have the sound on, so thank you. But I know the Indians didn’t lose because of that…LOL They lost because they had no clutch hitting today at all. But if they take the series, I’ll take that anytime.

  4. frankvzappa - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    It’s amazing how every time a guy has an off day you guys manage to come up with a picture of the guy making a retarded person’s face to accentuate the point.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      Thanks. It’s a gift.

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