Last night was the most special night of their careers for three people.
Martin Perez. Chris Woodward. And Tony Beasley.
For Perez, it was a complete game shutout over the Houston Astros, a team he had dominated a few starts earlier with a seven-inning, one-earned-run performance in a 3-2 loss.
Last night, Perez was dominating. He started to run out of gas in the end.
The veteran left-hander was perfect through three innings, allowing a one-out single in the fourth that was quickly erased by a double play. From then on, all the Astros could muster were a trickle of harmless singles.
When he came out into the ninth inning, it was as much a statement about Perez’s career as it was about Rangers manager Chris Woodward’s. Finally, he went with his gut. Finally, he tossed analytics to the side and trusted his player. Finally, he managed the game instead of letting the numbers manage him.
After the game, Woodward admitted, “Maybe all the analytics will tell you to take him out right there.” He added, “I felt like I owed it to him.”
Perez rewarded his manager’s newfound spine by shutting down a two-single rally in the ninth to seal the 3-0 complete game shutout. It was Perez’s first one of those since 2014.
But all this happened over the backdrop of Rangers coach, legend, and emotional leader Tony Beasley’s news.
Beasley had missed the entire 2016 season, the last great Rangers season, with rectal cancer. Before the game he went in for his final scans and was declared cancer free. He was released from any further checkups and scans.
Tony Beasley has beaten cancer.
Martin Perez game Beasley the game ball.
The win snapped the Rangers eleven-game losing streak at Minute Maid Park. The last time Texas had won in Houston was the last time a Ranger was allowed to throw a complete game. Kyle Gibson on September 16, 2020.
Yesterday, we discovered Tony Beasley is officially cancer free. Martin Perez is the best pitcher in baseball right now. And Chris Woodward has a gut.
What a night.