It was Oliver Perez’ second outing of the season, and as a Mets fan, you can’t ask for anything better from Oliver Perez. He went 6 1/3 scoreless, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. The Mets lost 4-3 tonight to the St. Louis Cardinals.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Initial Reaction: Oliver Perez pitched his rear end off tonight, out-dueling Chris Carpenter for almost 7 innings tonight. He went 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, only to be stripped of a winning decision by Fernando Nieve and Raul Valdez. These are the type of games that make Mets fans pull their hair out. This loss goes on the shoulders of Jerry Manuel.

The Positives:

Oliver Perez: Ollie wasn’t good Ollie tonight, he was awesome Ollie. Perez’ official line was 6 1/3 innings pitched, with 4 hits, 3 walks, and 0 runs. He looked outstanding tonight and was effective with his slider, which has plagued him for so long.

David Wright: I feel like I’ve put him in the positives every single day and that’s a good thing. Wright has been awesome so far this year. Defensively, he had two great diving stops and threw out the runner successfully. Offensively, he was 1-3 with a double.

Jeff Franceour: The hottest hitter on the Mets stayed hot again tonight, going 2-3 with a walk and raising his average to .457.

The Negatives:

Bullpen: Until tonight, the bullpen was a National League best, with a 1.95 era. After Oliver Perez was relieved (prematurely) in the 7th inning, Nieve loaded the bases, and Valdez gave up a grand slam to Felipe Lopez.

Jerry Manuel: Taking out Oliver Perez was unnecessary. He’d pitched out of problems all night. This was Perez’ game to lose, and Manuel lost it for him. Taking the ball out of the hands of a $12 million per year pitcher and handing it to two unproven relievers is unbelievable. Thank you Jerry.

Interesting Facts:

Jeff Franceour extended his hit streak to start the season to 10 games. He’s raking right now. How good does the Franceour for Church trade look?

Oliver Perez threw only 97 pitches tonight, but pitched into the 7th inning for the first time since 2008

Tomorrow’s Probables:

NYM Johan Santana (1-1) 4.91 ERA vs. STL Jaime Garcia (1-0) 1.50 ERA