What’s the deal with Martin Perez?
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
No, that’s not the start of a Jerry Seinfeld joke. It just might be a legitimate question for your Texas Rangers. Martin Perez started the year red hot minus one minor hiccup in early April; his second start of the season. The Rangers website has Perez’s first 5 starts looking like this:
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Like I said, RED HOT. That’s 0 earned runs in 3 of those 5 starts, and 2 complete games against Oakland and the White Sox mixed in as well. No problems, right?
Well, Perez faced Oakland again last Tuesday and the Rockies last night. Here’s your snapshot of those outings, in case you missed them. (If you did, I’m jealous, because I wish I’d missed them)
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That’s a little something I like to call…”not-so-red-hot”.
So what’s the deal with Martin Perez?
Well, there are a couple of things to consider here:
1. He’s 23 years old. As our Ben Dieter said, young pitchers have ups and downs. Take a look at last year. Even then he had some some 6, 5, and 4 spots mixed in to an otherwise good year.
Granted, there were no 8 runs in less than 5 innings sort of starts, like last week against Oakland; but it should go to prove that Perez is still feeling his way through his early years as a Major League starter.
2. Oakland and Colorado are good teams. Oakland currently has the 2nd best record in the AL at 19-13 (.594) and Colorado is 20-14 (.588), 3rd best record in the NL. I’ll also add that they’re not just good teams, they’re good offenses. The Rockies have scored more runs than anyone else in the Major Leagues by 28 runs. TWENTY EIGHT. And Oakland has scored the 4th most runs in MLB at 157. Only Colorado (194), the White Sox (166), and the Angels (163) have scored more.
Does that mean that Perez threw only great pitches in his last two starts…and Oakland and Colorado just hit them because they are the best hitters in the world? Obviously not. But, it does mean that good offenses capitalize on bad pitches more often and for more damage than averages offenses. That’s what makes them good offenses, right?
Perez obviously threw bad pitches last night and in his last start. But that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t thrown bad pitches at all earlier in the year. Facing the anemic offenses of Boston (133 runs scored), Philadelphia (118 runs scored), and Houston (108 runs scored) undoubtedly helped assure that those bad pitches were singles, ground outs, foul balls, etc and not doubles in the gap or home runs though. If you’d like some perspective on how weak those offenses are, think about this: your Texas Rangers have scored 138 runs. And I think that we all know this isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.
All of that is not to discount the job Perez did against Philly, Houston, and Boston; he still had to execute against them and he did that very well. But in the last two starts, he made bad pitches to good offenses. I really don’t think it’s much more than that. Every young pitcher slumps. And every single pitcher makes the wrong pitch(es) to the wrong hitter/wrong team and some point.
So nobody freak out! Not just yet anyway. If you feel yourself losing it, remember that Marteen threw a complete game shutout against the high-powered White Sox offense in his 4th start of the year. He obviously has it in him. And he’s going to bounce back from these last two starts just fine.
Let that be your “SERENITY NOW!’. Yes…more Seinfeld. I believe we’ve come full circle.
32 down, 130 to go.
Your Texas Rangers are 17-15.