That’s the only word you can use to describe what the Rangers did in May and what Martin Perez did in May.
After starting the season 6-14, the thought of the Texas Rangers getting to .500 seemed like a pipe dream.
That was April 29. The Rangers had just lost to the Atlanta Braves, the reigning World Champions.
It was a team coming off a 102-loss season. It was looking bleak.
Then May happened. Then Martin Perez happened.
After a .333 April, the Rangers turned things around in a big way, going 17-10 in May, a .630 winning percentage. That’s playoff level baseball there.
Nobody exemplifies the unbelievable quite like Martin Perez. When the Rangers signed the veteran lefty over the offseason, he was depth. He was, literally, the fifth starter. He signed a one-year deal for four million dollars.
That means not only did the Rangers not expect this, neither did Perez or his agent or the rest of the entire baseball world.
What they did expect was what happened to begin the season. Perez lost his first two starts. Both lasted four innings, giving up three earned in both. After two starts his ERA was a very Martin Perez-like 6.75.
Then, the switched flipped. His final two starts of April, he gave up one earned run total in thirteen innings.
In May, he got even better. He pitched 42.1 innings, giving up just three earned runs. His ERA in May was 0.64.
After getting drilled in the shin by a line drive yesterday in the top of the second, Perez kicked it into another gear. He retired the final out of that inning, then the next fifteen hitters. It was his third start of May in which he went at least seven innings without giving up a run.
Perez was 4-0 in May, and the Rangers won all six of his starts. You cannot do better than that. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 2004 to find a pitcher who had a better month than Perez’s May. Johan Santana’s September of 2004. His ERA that month was 0.45.
The Rangers didn’t have a winning month at all in 2021. Or 2020. You have to go back to June of 2019 to find the last time the Rangers played over .500 for a month. In fact, on June 28 of that year, they were ten games over. They ended up 78-84.
24-24. It’s been a long time since the Texas Rangers were .500. It’s been a long time since they were relevant.
But it’s about time.
It’s been a long time that you could say this team was unbelievable.
It’s so much more fun this way.