When Jeff Banister announced Yovani Gallardo would be starting Game 1 of the ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays, I think most of us assumed that meant Martin Perez would be out of the rotation. Other than Cole Hamels, there were no clear-cut choices to be in the playoff rotation, but Colby Lewis and Derek Holland seemed like safe bets to be in the rotation, and with Toronto being especially deadly against lefthanded pitchers, Perez appeared to be the odd man out.
Well, that's apparently not the case...Martin Perez will be starting Game 3 against the Blue Jays, at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Sunday. Holland and Lewis, meanwhile, will be in the bullpen today -- they, along with Chi Chi Gonzalez, will be multi-inning relief options for Texas.
Perez returned to the majors in July from Tommy John surgery, and has at times been great, and at times been bad -- Perez has allowed 1 earned run (3 total runs) in his last two starts, covering 13 IP, and also had a near no-hitter against San Francisco on August 2. On the other hand, he also had a 8 run, 1 IP outing against the Yankees in his third start back, and went just 4 IP while allowing 5 runs against Oakland on September 22.
That said, Perez has a 3.38 ERA over his last 11 starts since the blowup against the Yankees, and his stuff is amongst the best of any of the Rangers starters. Perez has a history of losing his composure and letting things get to him -- he's going to get the chance on Sunday to show he can handle the pressure of the playoff spotlight.