I have no idea what to realistically expect from Williams Perez long-term. And I didn’t watch last night’s game. But in his earlier starts, I like the tailing fastball that, when it’s working, swoops over corners ala a 300-game winner who was recently inducted into Cooperstown.
In no way am I comparing the 24-year-old Venezuelan rook to Gregory A. Maddux. That’s absurd. But he does have similar action on some of his pitches. Then again, I observed the same thing about Jair Jurrjens. He won’t even win 100 games. As for Perez, he was not an elite prospect or even among the top 20 in the Braves system. But he’s certainly looked good in his first three big league appearances, and of course last night was especially impressive.
The vibe, unfortunately, is different from today’s starter. Julio badly needs a good outing. Big picture, I think he’ll be fine. I like to think he’s capable of a Smoltz-in-’91 about face (2-11, 5.16 first half; 12-2, 2.63 second). I also wonder if he’s repeating the bad year he had at AAA shortly before he righted himself and first made the big club.
Today figures to be a difficult assignment. Bumgarner is just good. Maybe last night’s outburst will have some carry-over for Bravos’ hitters. Even if it does, they don’t figure to score a ton of runs off one of the game’s best. No matter what the offense does, it would be comforting to see J.T. pitch well.
Freddie gets his first day off today. CJ will man first. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have more righties in the lineup vs. Bumgarner — they hit .246 against him vs. 213 for lefties. On the other hand, Freddie’s shown signs the past couple days of emerging from his slump. On the other hand, Freddie is only hitting .227 against the big lefty lug from North Cacalacky.
Today’s lineup: Peterson, Maybin, Markakis, Gomes, Uribe, CJ, Simmons, Behancourt, Julio.