ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 26, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
In his first five starts of this season, Martin Perez was one of the Texas Rangers' best pitchers.
His numbers from those five starts? Try a 3-1 record, a 2.08 ERA and a clip of just more than 14 pitches per inning in just more than 30 innings of work. That's some efficient work, especially for a 22-year-old rookie who isn't afraid to use his change-up and force hitters to swing at strikes to get groundballs.
Those numbers even include his first start, a spot start that came a month before he was permanently called up, when he three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Throw that out, and his numbers since being called up for good on June 22 look even better.
But his past two starts haven't been so hot, giving up nine earned runs in 12 innings to take an 0-2 record against the Orioles and Tigers.
A nice rebound from Perez would be a nice way to start the Cleveland series with Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando and Matt Garza to follow in the next three games. It could help the Rangers start a much-needed win streak.