Don’t look now but that’s four good games in a row from Martin Perez. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for him.
The Rangers are trying to figure out their playoff rotation. One and two are easy. Hamels and Darvish. Actually, three should be a lock, too. Colby Lewis has been a beast in the post-season. But that is only when he has been allowed to participate. It is not known whether he will be given off this post-season like he was last post-season.
What the Rangers desperately need to identify is who that fourth starter would be. That was critical last year in the best-of-five series against the Blue Jays.
Once Banister made the curious call not to start his seventeen-game winner, it was up to Gallardo and Hamels in Games One and Two. Then it got dicey. And the dice came up snake eyes.
Martin Perez started Game Three and was wobbly. He got through the first six Toronto hitters with ease. Then the wheels fell off. He gave up four runs before leaving in the sixth without retiring a batter.
Banister started Derek Holland in Game Four. All Holland did was give up runs early and often. He surrendered five runs while warming up in the bullpen before the game. He surrendered ten more walking in from the bullpen. Then he pitched to the Toronto lineup and it got really ugly.
That fourth starter is huge. It seems to be a two-horse race between Perez and Griffin. And Perez is storming ahead from the outside to take the lead.
But Perez has been streakier than a naked guy running on the field.
He opened the season losing four of five decisions.
Then he won six consecutive decisions.
Then lost six of seven.
Now he is on another run of four very impressive starts in a row, winning two of the last four with two no-decisions, both games the Rangers ended up winning.
What’s even more encouraging is that two of those were on the road, where Perez bombs like a bad comic.
It would appear Perez now has the upper hand for the fourth starter role.
Let’s just hope the Martin Perez who showed up last night can show up in October.
Daniel Wright (0-3, 7.04) vs. A.J. Griffin (7-4, 4.78)
Game time: 7:05
RANGERS MAGIC NUMBER: 3