October baseball.

Martín Pérez finished 2022 with a 12-8 record and a sparkling 2.90 ERA.

Finally, there is meaningful October baseball in Arlington. The Rangers got really lucky that the Yankees are in town to close out the season and that Aaron Judge is trying to set the all-time non-PED home run record.

Imagine if they were playing the Tigers or Athletics or some other team as equally inept as the Rangers. No way would there have been 35,906 bodies crammed into The Shed. The season would have ended with the whimper it deserved.

Instead, last night’s game was worth something. As the game unfolded, there was a lot of drama and possibilities for history.

Of course, there was the possibility of home run sixty-two from Aaron Judge with all four of his at-bats. The Yankee home-town crowd hung on every pitch, booed every pitch that was out of the strike zone, oohed with every swing, and treated it with the reverence the moment deserved.

But, as the game went along, a no-hitter was happening. The Rangers were held hitless through seven innings by Yankees starter Luis Severino. But he was forced to come out of the game after seven innings because he had thrown ninety-four pitches and the Federally-mandated maximum number of pitches any human is allowed to throw is ninety. He was already over the legal threshold. 

Of course, once Severino left the game, Josh Jung hit a one-out single in the eighth to break up the no-hitter. 

The Rangers also had the chance to set a record for double plays in a game, having gotten one in the second, third, fourth, fifth, six, and seventh innings. It was vintage Martin Perez. Even back when Perez was Meltdown Marty and would just fall apart in games after game, he had the ability to induce double plays.

Last night, he ended his brilliant rebirth of a season in double play form, allowing one earned run in six innings.

In the end, there was no number sixty-two. No no-hitter. No double play record. And no Rangers win. 

But there was meaningful October baseball in Arlington. That hasn’t happened since 2016.