Except when he faces the New York Yankees.
Perez pitched another gem against them Sunday, Carlos Delgado homered again and the Mets won this year's Subway Series, beating the Yankees 3-1.
"If we can get Ollie to be consistent, which has been the dilemma for him his whole career, we will have an excellent pitcher, no question," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
Billy Wagner closed out the Mets' fourth win in the six-game rivalry. It was just the second time since interleague play started in 1997 that they've taken the season series.
All done with AL teams, the Mets left Shea Stadium for a tough, eight-game trip that starts in St. Louis. The Yankees headed back across the Triboro Bridge for a nine-game homestand.
"Obviously, we got some big series coming up," Manuel said. "The next time we see Ollie, we'll be in Philadelphia. That should be exciting to watch, another rivalry as well."
Perez (6-5) limited the Yankees to one run and three hits in seven sharp innings. He retired the first 10 batters and wound up striking out eight without a walk.
Perez improved to 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees, including a win last month at Yankee Stadium.
"Today, that was the real Ollie," Perez said.
Which certainly leaves the Mets wondering why that other version of No. 46 ever shows up. Perez had won only one of his previous seven starts since that victory in the Bronx.
But he surely gives the Yankees fits.
"If you can find someone with a little life, a little look like Ollie, a little small beard he got going, left-handed, a little crazy, that might be a little problem," Manuel said.
Perez was in command the whole way. His lone blemish came when Wilson Betemit homered over the left-field bleachers with two outs in the seventh.
Pedro Feliciano pitched a hitless eighth and Wagner took over in the ninth. For the first time on a humid, rainy afternoon, the crowd of 56,277 really got into the game, even more so after Derek Jeter led off with a single.
"Pretty much see who's the better man that day," Wagner said.
Said Rodriguez: "If I come through with a couple of hits, maybe the results are different."
Darrell Rasner (4-6) managed to escape several early jams with a minimum of damage. Even so, he lost for the sixth time in seven starts.
Stuck in a season-long slump, Delgado struck again two days after hitting two home runs and setting a Mets record with nine RBI in a rout at Yankee Stadium.
Delgado connected for a solo drive in the third estimated at 445 feet. His 14th home run banged off the scoreboard in right-center field and temporarily knocked out a panel of lights.
"It seems like I'm doing some things right," Delgado said.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the sixth. Reliever Dave Robertson, averaging well more than a strikeout per inning in his two-year minor league career, made his debut in the majors and gave up a run on singles by Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by David Wright.
"I just came in and tried to get somebody out. I was glad to get that first inning out of the way," Robertson said.
Castillo barely beat out an infield hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the second for the game's first run. Rasner clenched his fist to signal out, but Castillo reached the bag just ahead of Jeter's snap throw from shortstop.
- Mets RF Ryan Church was activated from the disabled list and went 2-for-4 in his first game since June 6. He'd been slowed by the effects of his second concussion this year. "Everything felt fine," Church said. "Just getting back into the flow."
- Yankees RF Bobby Abreu (0-for-10 lifetime vs. Perez) and 2B Robinson Cano got the day off.
- The Mets went 4-2 against the Yankees in 2004. The Yankees are 37-29 overall against the Mets in interleague play.
- Reyes has scored a run in each of the last 13 Mets victories.