Think back to last September and what the Texas Rangers were getting from Martin Perez, who they had called up to be their fifth starter down the stretch. The results weren't good. In fact, they were pretty awful.
This year, Perez has been stellar, pushing his name square into the thick of the AL Rookie of the Year talk with an 8-3 record and an ERA in the mid-3.00s.
On Tuesday night, Perez will take the hill at Oakland's O.co. Coliseum with hopes of keeping the Rangers in first place in the AL West as they take on the A's, who tied them for first place with Monday's win, and their ace Bartolo Colon, who is one start removed from coming off the disabled list.
Perez hasn't faced the A's yet this season, but got lit up by Oakland in his final two appearances in 2012. But this is a different A's team, and more importantly it's a different Perez.
The thing you have to like about the 22-year-old lefty is that, yeah, he gets into trouble from time to time but he always seems to get out of it and then forget about it, as evidenced by his occasional big inning and then several lockdown ones after.