The Braves' inability to do that consistently this season, especially in late-inning situations -- their 103 walks entering Friday's action were second-most in the National League -- has been a sore point with Gonzalez.
So, when Perez made his Major League debut in Friday night's 9-2 setback against the Nationals, all Gonzalez wanted out of the right-hander was to throw strikes.
Instead, Perez, who was brought in to start the eighth inning, walked leadoff batter Yunel Escobar on four pitches. Perez lasted one-third of an inning, faced five batters, walked two and allowed four runs on two hits, including Bryce Harper's three-run home run that highlighted Washington's five-run inning.
"Was I expecting Perez to go out there and give me a 1-2-3 inning?" Gonzalez said. "His first outing in the Major Leagues under a pretty nice Friday night crowd against the Washington Nationals, it would have been reaching. ... I didn't expect him to walk a couple of guys either. I hope he learns from that inning there. I'll run him back out there in a couple of days and we'll see what we've got."
Perez, 23, saw his trajectory increase last season at Double-A Mississippi, where he went 7-6 with a 2.91 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 39 walks in 133 innings. Perez was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett early in this year's Spring Training, but the thought was, Gonzalez said, Perez was ready for a callup, which came Wednesday.
Perez proved his worth by going 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts in April, when he was Gwinnett's Pitcher of the Month.