Rangers 3, Astros 0
- Congratulations to Martin Perez, the major league leader in shutouts this season.
- It looked like he was going to come just short of getting the CGSO. He was only at 85 pitches going into the ninth, and retired Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley for the first two outs. But singles from Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker brought Yuli Gurriel to the plate as the tying run, leading Chris Woodward to come out to the mound, presumably to get Perez.
- But he didn’t. Woodward told Perez, “You got this,” and let Perez face Gurriel.
- It was a difficult at bat, as Gurriel worked the count full, then fouled off a couple of pitches. Finally, in the eighth pitch of the at bat, Perez threw a changeup that Gurriel skied into shallow left-center for an easy out to end the game.
- There were no extra base hits for the Astros. They logged eight hits, but hit into three double plays, and also had a runner gunned down at second with two outs in the eighth on a nice throw by Eli White. Perez issued just one walk against five Ks, and has lowered his ERA on the year to 1.64. And he’s sporting a 2.46 xERA to go with it.
- Perez’s changeup has been great this year, and he leaned on it heavily against the Astros, throwing it more often than even his sinker, and generating eight swings and misses on it. Perez used his sinker, changeup and cutter with roughly equal frequency, locating them well and continuing to generate a ton of ground balls.
- Over his last six outings, Perez has allowed opponents a .182/.225/.224 slash line and has put up a 0.65 ERA in 41.1 IP. Things are working for him right now.
- The Rangers offense didn’t do much, but then, they didn’t have to. A Kole Calhoun home run in the fourth gave the Rangers the lead. The two insurance runs came off former Ranger Rafael Montero in the eighth, when a Mitch Garver single and a Nathaniel Lowe walk brought up Eli White. White bunted, Montero fielded it and went to third, but threw wide, allowing Garver to come around to score. Marcus Semien then singled home Lowe, though White was thrown out trying to score.
- In the Slumping Rangers Watch, Semien and Lowe each had a hit and a walk, so that’s good.
- Martin Perez topped out at 95.3 mph on his sinker, averaging 92.4 mph.
- The hardest hit ball of the day for the Rangers was a line out by Adolis Garcia, which was 106.7 mph off the bat. Mitch Garver had a 103.4 mph single and a 103.1 mph line out. Corey Seager had a ground out at 101.1 mph and a GIDP at 99.2 mph. Kole Calhoun’s home run was 100.4 mph.
- Can the Rangers keep it going against Justin Verlander on Saturday? Tune in and see...