The Texas Rangers, a team known for their respectable offense and lack of starting pitching, shutout the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday. LHP Martin Perez spun the shutout for Texas in a truly impressive performance against one of baseball’s best lineups.
Perez surrendered 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 over 9 quality innings. The middle of Houston’s order gave Perez the most trouble, as both Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker posted 2 hits. But Perez stranded a number of runners on base and ultimately finished off the shutout for the Rangers.
Martin Perez revealed his confident message to manager Chris Woodward following his electric performance.
“No, I wasn’t [worried Woodward would take me out]. I told him, ‘I got it. I’ll win the game.’”
Perez surrendered 2 hits in the 9th inning inning and was at the 100 pitch mark. In today’s game, the majority of managers would have removed him from the contest.
Chris Woodward explained his reasoning for leaving Perez in to finish the job for the Rangers.
“He deserved that opportunity. Those things don’t happen very often, a complete-game shutout. Maybe all the analytics will tell you to take him out right there, but he’s been so good for us. He’s built up a ton of trust in a short amount of time with me. So I felt like I owed it to him. In an age of ‘Follow the numbers,’ I felt like you follow your gut on that one. It could be special, and he did it.”
The Rangers’ manager has developed a negative reputation around MLB for some of his antics. He referred to Yankee Stadium as a “little league ballpark” earlier this season. But his willingness to let Martin Perez finish what he started should help improve his reputation around the league.