10/14/06 6:39 PM ET
Oliver Perez pregame interview
Mets lefty will try to keep nerves at bay in Game 4 start
By / MLB.com
OLIVER PEREZ:Like you said, I've been throwing a couple bullpens and the first two games of last series and this series, I was in the bullpen to be ready for something. But more important, I was learning the hitters better, the last five games we played and the last.
How strange does this feel to you to
suddenly be making a key start like this in the
OLIVER PEREZ:I think it's like you say, it's very important to be part of our team and the game is the most important right now. This is the first game we play here in St. Louis and we're going to do everything we can to win tonight.
What have you done specifically
with Rick Peterson since you got here that you
feel might make you a better pitcher now than
when you were in Pittsburgh?
OLIVER PEREZ:We just work more on like don't think too much about the mechanics, because that was my problem when I was in Pittsburgh. I was thinking too much on the mound. I wasn't pitching relaxed in the game. I think right now in the last games, I was just pitching the games and just being relaxed and enjoy the games.
How many innings do you feel you
OLIVER PEREZ:The most I can.
Do you guys as starters think about
that? Obviously the bullpen has obviously
been used a lot, do you think about that when
you're going into a game?
OLIVER PEREZ:We're not thinking too much about that. We are just trying to compete every time the manager gives us the opportunity. The pitchers we want to go deeper in the game like you say because we want the bullpen to get rested a little bit. But the more deeper we go, it's better for the team.
You said a minute ago that you had
been watching these games, just learning.
What have you learned about the playoffs
watching these games?
OLIVER PEREZ:I think the more important in the playoffs is don't get too much nervous. It's the same baseball, just a little more pressure. You just have to play baseball and don't think about, I did bad this or we lost or something. You just have to play because everybody knows, one team is going to win and one team is going to lose, so you just have to prepare to do everything you can.
You were a part of that great young
rotation with Peavy and Brian Lawrence and
you've been scattered to the wind with other
teams. What's happened to your career since
you've evolved since then?
OLIVER PEREZ:This is my second time I get traded. The first time I got traded, I was feeling nervous because I was in San Diego and when I was starting in the Minor Leagues, and when you go to another team, I was a little nervous. And the next year, that was my first full season with the Pirates, and I started feeling more comfortable and learn more about the big league games.
How about now with the Mets?
OLIVER PEREZ:Right now I feel good because there's a lot of veteran guys. It's my first time being with a lot of veteran guys and they help me a lot, like Glavine and Pedro, they just tell me, like, be relaxed in the game and don't think too much and just play the baseball.
When you said you learned just not
to be nervous, try not to be nervous, are there
teammates in particular who you've watched
the most or learned most by watching guys
that have impressed you the way they are in
OLIVER PEREZ:I've been watching more the pitchers, because the hitters, that's not my position. Like Glavine, when you see him on the mound, he don't look nervous. I think that's how you can learn, like to be in the game, like don't think too much. Just play the game and be focused every pitch and everything happens.
How has Rick Peterson helped you
since you've been here?
OLIVER PEREZ:Like I said before, just don't think too much on the mound. Just be focused on every pitch you throw, and like don't get nervous because when you walk somebody, sometimes you think, oh, I have one runner on base and sometimes you start thinking about, you know, the last four games, I've just been focused every pitch I throw and I think I'm getting better.
OLIVER PEREZ:We were working on my mechanics and everything. I think I started feeling more comfortable, more relaxed and that's better for me.
When you first came to the Mets,
Roberto Hernandez said when you were in
Pittsburgh, the Pirates wanted to make you a
finesse-type pitcher but you're more effective
when you just go after hitters. Are you going
after hitters now more than you did now?
OLIVER PEREZ:With the Pirates, my velocity was down a little bit because I hurt my shoulder and my velocity was not consistent. And I hurt my toe in St. Louis. They took me from a more controlled guy to go deeper in the game, throw more strikes. But I know I'm an aggressive guy and right now I feel good in my body and I think I can go aggressive every time.
I know one of the things they have
wanted you to do is repeat your delivery more
often. What are the mechanical things that you
have done to get to that point?
OLIVER PEREZ:Because I was a little fast when I go to the home plate. We was working like on being more relaxed, and understanding the explosion and knowing when I'm starting, my legs go up and go home.
We've been asking you about the
pressure, you talk about not getting nervous.
Are you going to enjoy this, are you going to let
yourself just have fun with this opportunity?
OLIVER PEREZ:Yeah, because this opportunity, it's not every day. You don't go every time to the post-season and tomorrow I'm going to have my first opportunity. So I'm just going to do all my best, enjoy the game and if something it's part of the game. Sorry about the English but I try. (Laughter.)
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.