“I’m tired of getting booed at home,” Indians reliever Chris Perez said after earning a save in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Miami . “I figured I’d throw some strikes today. You can quote that,” Perez said in the presence of MLB Blogs’ Jordan Bastian (and probably a few other reporters), and the latter attempts to provide background for the Cleveland closer’s uneasy relationship with Tribe fans.
Perez, who has gone 13-for-13 in save chances with a 1.72 ERA since an Opening Day blown save, entered Thursday’s 6-5 win over Seattle with the game caught in a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning. With one out, Perez allowed a single to Justin Smoak and then issued a walk to Casper Wells.
That is when fans sent a chorus of cat calls in Perez’s direction.
“They booed me against the Mariners when I had two guys on,” Perez said. “It feels like I can’t even give up a baserunner without people booing me. It’s even worse when there’s only 5,000 in the stands, because then you can hear it. It [ticks] me off.”
“I got two guys on,” he added later. “Yeah, my release point was all over the place, but really? I’ve got two guys on. They haven’t even scored yet and you’re booing me? You’re saying, ‘Get this bum off the mound.’ Come on.”
In that outing, Perez retired the next two hitters he faced to escape unscathed. After he struck out Seattle’s Jesus Montero to end the inning, Perez did not enjoy the crowd’s reaction.
“The mock standing applause just adds to it,” Perez said. “You see their true colors.”