The Rangers dropped the first game of their series in Arlington against the Angels 2-0, despite a very strong start from Derek Holland. They rebounded in the second game behind Martin Perez’s six shutout innings and three-hits each from Ian Desmond and Nomar Mazara, for their twenty-sixth win of the season. This was the beginning of their winning eleven of their next thirteen.
Originally published May 25, 2016
Back in the black and white days, there was a slogan for the old Boston Braves that went, “Spahn then Sain then pray for rain.” The Braves had two great starting pitchers; their other two, not so great. Fans prayed those games would get rained out.
The Angels have something like that, too, but for their offense: “Pujols and Trout and then seven out.” Pujols won Monday’s game with a home run with Trout on base. That was all the offense either team generated that night.
Not to be outdone, the Rangers have their own slogan: “Desmond and Mazara and then sayonara.”
Last night, as with most nights lately, Desmond and Mazara were the Rangers offense in the 4-1 win over the Angels (with, of course, Trout responsible for the lone Angels run).
Both teams are offensively challenged. Luckily, the Rangers starting pitching is better. And last night, Martin Perez was more than better, he was pretty darn brilliant. Six shutout innings with six strikeouts. Even more noteworthy, he got into a major jam in the sixth and did something he normally can’t do. He got out of it.
Truth be told, though, Perez has been pretty darn good the entire month of May. His 0–2 May record, before earning a win last night, belies how well he has pitched.
Trouble is, Perez has gotten zero run support. In fact, until the fourth inning last night, Martin Perez had not pitched with a lead since May 3.
His ERA in May is 2.08. So it’s not like Perez is giving away games in that span. It’s just that the few runs he gives up are more than the even fewer runs the Rangers are scoring behind him.
For the second game in a row, the Rangers went hitless with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-5 once again in that situation.
Luckily Desmond and Mazara provided just enough offense this time around, each getting three hits. Only one other Ranger, Elvis Andrus, was able to muster a hit.
The other hitters in the Rangers lineup? Sayonara.