Rangers 3, Rays 0
- Hello, .500.
- Also, this Martin Perez thing is getting out of control. After the Rays started the game with four very hard hit balls in the first inning that resulted in a single and three loud outs — one of them on a stellar diving catch by Adolis Garcia — I figured this was the game when Perez would prove mortal. In the second, when Perez gave up a pair of singles, it just reinforced that belief.
- The second of those second inning singles was by Taylor Walls, with two outs in the inning. That was the last baserunner the Rays had all night. Perez, John King and Joe Barlow combined to set down the final 22 hitters in a row.
- My brain cannot wrap itself around what Martin Perez is doing right now. Perez is now sporting a 1.42 ERA on the year. He has a 0.64 ERA in the month of May. Per Jared Sandler on Twitter, Perez is the first A.L. pitcher with an ERA that low in a month with at least 40 innings in the month since Johan Santana in 2004.
- Once again, Perez didn’t blow batters away — he struck out five in seven innings, with just seven swings and misses in 85 pitches. But he, as he has all season, located his sinker and his change up low and arm side, mixed in some cutters up and glove side, and avoided getting barreled up.
- On a related note, Josh Smith has looked good to my untrained eye with the glove at third base so far.
- But what do I know?
- All the Rangers runs came in the fourth, courtesy of a Corey Seager lead off homer, a Mitch Garver double, and an Adolis Garcia home run. And that was it for the scoring.
- Marcus Semien had a hit and a walk, so that’s good. Josh Smith reached via HBP twice. Which, I guess is good, or at least not bad. Eli White had a pair of hits, one of which was a bunt single, which was fun.
- So, after I wrote this morning about the Rangers stellar base running this season, the Rangers stole three bases. And after I mentioned in that same piece the Rangers frequent, and highly successful, stealing of third base this year, Eli White was thrown out trying to steal third right after he tried to steal second. Marcus Semien was at the plate and ended up doubling, which would have brought White home if he hadn’t try to steal third, unless you assume we don’t know if Semien would have been pitched differently, etc.
- Anyway, it doesn’t matter, the Rangers won anyway because Martin Perez is magical, suddenly.
- Martin Perez reached 95.4 mph on his sinker. John King hit 93.7 mph. Joe Barlow threw two fastballs, one at 94.7 mph, one at 94.3 mph.
- Adolis Garcia’s home run was 111.4 mph off the bat. Corey Seager’s home run had an exit velocity of 105.5 mph. Mitch Garver’s double was 105.0 mph. Marcus Semien’s double had an exit velocity of 101.8 mph.
- The Rangers end May at .500 for the season. Not something I think we were expecting a month ago. Now let’s see if the team can get over .500 Wednesday.