Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 15, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The one time Martin Perez started against the Houston Astros this season, things went swimmingly for the 22-year-old left-handed rookie.
On Wednesday night, in his final start of the 2013 regular season, Perez will have a chance to pick up his 10th win of the season and get the Texas Rangers a necessary sweep of the inferior Houston Astros and give them a chance to head into the season-ending series with Los Angeles with a chance to make up a game in the AL Wild Card standings.
Back in that last start, on Aug. 11, Perez tossed his only complete game to date, when he allowed one run on four hits, including a ninth-inning solo home run, with eight strikeouts and two walks. His mound opponent that day? None other than Wednesday's opposing starter, Dallas Keuchel, who worked 8 2/3 innings against the Rangers that day but gave up five earned runs (six runs total) with eight strikeouts of his own and just one walk.
Now, Perez needs to be big again in what could be his last start of the season if the Rangers don't make it past Game 162. Perez's rookie season has been a pleasant surprise as he's shown he's definitely someone the Rangers should have in their rotation plans moving forward. He can further solidify that on Wednesday night with one last big start.
Perez is 0-2 in his last three starts and got a no-decision on Friday night in Kansas City when the Rangers lost 2-1 to the Royals. In that game, Perez only gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings but he allowed seven hits and walked four batters.
Against a team like the Astros, those kind of mistakes and lack of control will cost him against a team he should be able to overmatch with his best stuff.