With his win yesterday, Martin Perez is now 11-6 this season. They’ve won eighteen of the twenty-eight games he’s started. Most of those ten losses have been due to lack of offense.
It’s hard to imagine where this team would be without him. The Rangers won their sixtieth game of the season yesterday, the exact same amount they won last year. It’s fair to say of the eighteen games they’ve won in which Perez started, they would have won six of those. After all, the remaining pitchers in the rotation are just godawful.
But it’s fair to say the Rangers would probably be as bad as they were in 2021.
Now, take the opposite viewpoint. How good would this team have been had they invested in any kind of starting pitching. Perez was a total one-hundred-percent fluke. Nobody in the entire free world saw this coming. Had they, especially had he and his agent seen it coming, they would have never gotten Martin Perez for $4 million. If they can acquire three more starters, along with Perez, for 2023, all of whom are expected to pitch as well as Perez did this year, then this team takes dramatic leaps and bounds forward.
Yes, there are times when the offense seems dead. But, in all fairness, a team cannot win every game. Even a great team loses sixty games. And a lot of those loses aren’t pretty.
In this season’s losses, factor in how being down so often so early can erode the confidence of your offense, and it’s easy to forgive the bats for not being there as much as one would like.
When you have a guy on the mound and he’s dealing, it takes all the pressure off everyone to have to hit a three-run homer in every at-bat. In this string of twelve losses in fourteen games, the Rangers score three or more runs nine times. They won two of those games. Three runs should be enough to win a good portion of your games.
But now when they are giving up nine runs per game as they have four times in this stretch. Or eleven as they did Saturday night and the first game in Detroit that started this long slide.
Yes, the Rangers need to add to their offense. They need to improve where they can. But they have to totally rebuild their pitching department, from scratch, with a very mediocre Jon Gray as the only starter worth saving, and the Martin Perez of 2022 as the kind of starter they need to re-sign three of.