One of the two starters in the Rangers rotation named Martin Perez gets the start tonight.
Which one it is will remain to be seen.
Hopefully it will be the Martin Perez who has won six decisions in a row, with a 3.15 ERA, averaging seven innings per start, and not the Martin Perez who lost five of six starts before that, with a 7.53 ERA.
While winning six in a row is great, this is Perez’s career MO. Has shows sustained flashes of brilliance, then loses it and flounders in head-scratching misery.
Last season, the Rangers won eight of his starts in a row. In 2013, they won seven Martin Perez starts in a row. And five in a row on 2014. But every long winning streak is invariably followed by a lot of losing. Thus, his career 39-40 record.
What Perez has struggled with most in his career is avoiding that big meltdown inning like Hamels had in the second game of Wednesday’s double header. That was more like a Meldown Marty inning. One or two things happen, a play doesn’t get made, and the next thing you know, it’s an avalanche of runs.
Perez has always been at or near the top of the league in coaxing double plays. Which suggests not only that he can get himself out of jams, but that he gets himself into too many to begin with. And those times when he doesn’t get the ground ball for two outs, he often gives up a base hit for two runs.
But during his nice six-game run of wins (five of them coming after Rangers losses), Perez has avoided the Meldown Marty inning for the most part.
His last start, against the Angels, it looked like it was going to happen in the first inning. But he got out of a jam with a double play, giving up just two runs, and when he left, he’d given up just three total. He had a two-run inning in the third against the Astros, and got out of further damage with a bases-loaded double play, giving up just two runs total that game in seven innings.
He did have a five-run first against the dreadful White Sox, but fortunately for him they were facing a struggling Derek Holland, and the Rangers were able to overcome that Meldown Marty by scoring seventeen runs.
Seventeen runs usually does the trick.
Masahiro Tanaka (11-10, 4.54) vs. Martin Perez (11-10, 4.87)
Game time: 7:05