While the swipe of Oliver Perez (10 K’s yesterday against the free swinging Fish) for the mere price of the X-Man ranks as one of the Mets’ most savvy deals in the eyes of the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman, it is more than likely Pittsburgh’s Dave Littlefield will also rue his acquisition of Adam LaRoche. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dean Kovacevic.

There was much else for the Pirates to dislike about how they finished this 5-4 homestand. Early in the afternoon, they lost the completion of the game suspended from Tuesday, 8-6, on another poor outing by reliever John Wasdin. And, in the regularly scheduled game, a 7-1 defeat, staff ace Ian Snell was uncommonly wild and ineffective.

But it still came down to offense, as always with this team. And, when it comes to what is ailing that offense, unfair as it might seem given so many low averages, the logical place to point is Adam LaRoche.

He was the one who batted .285 with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs for the Atlanta Braves last season, the one added to the middle of the Pirates’ order with such high hopes.

Instead …

His .132 average is the lowest in Major League Baseball among those with enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title.

He has 12 hits, four more han the Pirates’ pitchers. Only their cumulative average is .157, a little better.

He has had one multiple-hit game, none since April 7.

He has struck out 32 times, one fewer than major-league leader Adam Dunn of the Cincinnati Reds.

Any of the few bright spots — three home runs, 11 RBIs, a .280 average with runners in scoring position — are becoming obliterated by the negatives. As is the concept that LaRoche always has been a slow starter.

It is no longer April anymore, and no one is shrugging it off anymore.