Rangers 5, A's 2
- I was rather bullish on Martin Perez coming into this season. I felt, after finishing the season strong last year in his return from Tommy John surgery, he was ready to take the next step and establish himself as a legit #3 starter.
- That hasn't happened, as he has struggled to miss bats much of the season, and had a disastrous three start sequence in July where he gave up 24 runs and appeared to be going backwards. It was not a good time to be a Martin Perez supporter.
- Then, on July 25, a game where he allowed five runs, Perez seemed to start turning things around. He mixed in an effective curve, throwing it extensively for the first time in that start, and then the next two starts as well. In his last start, he went back to throwing his change up -- the pitch that first put him on the map as an elite pitching prospect as a teenager -- throwing it more often than at any other time this year.
- And then today, out of 91 pitches, Perez threw 40 change ups. He also induced 11 swings and misses, the fifth straight game where he has induced double-digits in that category, after doing that just three times in his first twenty starts. That's significant...if he can induce that sort of swinging strike rate while continuing to induce ground balls at the rate he has the year, hes a more effective pitcher.
- Two runs were allowed by Perez today, one in the first on an error, a walk and a two out single, one in the second on a home run. He faced the minimum over his final five innings, allowing a pair of singles but erasing both on GIDPs, and lowering his ERA on the season to 4.09.
- Matt Bush came in and shut the A's down in the 8th, and Sam Dyson got the save in the 9th, and thus Perez got his first win in a month or so.
- Of course, there was much unproducitivity early on from the Rangers bats, as they struggled against former Ranger Ross Detwiler. Elvis Andrus singled in a run in the fourth to make it a 2-1 game, and then Adrian Beltre homered in the fifth -- not just homered, but hit a grand slam -- and everyone went home happy as a result.
- Well, not everyone...Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a Detwiler pitch and suffered a broken arm, sending him to the d.l. for the fourth time this season. Ryan Rua is coming up, and in the meantime, Choo is likely done for the year.