The Mets, and their relationship to pitcher Oliver Perez (whom, we remind you, is the fourth highest-paid player on the team, just behind Francisco Rodriguez, another efficient use of funds), have devolved to the point that Perez has turned into Nick Swisher: the guy who you only pitch in blowouts, to make sure the arms of your actual pitchers are rested. The Mets lost 13-3 to the Nationals yesterday, and that big of a margin allowed Perez to pitch. And he only gave up one run! He threw two innings, giving up three hits and a run, with three strikeouts and no walks, lowering his season ERA to 6.65. Clearly: He’s back. It was his third appearance, all in relief, since August 1; he has given up at least a run each time. The Mets are now four games under .500, and their magic number to be eliminated in the N.L. East is thirteen. Tonight, in place of gimpy Johan Santana — whom the Mets should probably just shut down already — “prospect” Dillon Gee will make his MLB debut. If you leave in the next hour or so, you can get to Nationals Park in time.