For Perez, no shame in losing to Price

October, 1, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Martin Perez can take one thing away from Monday night's 5-2 loss in the American League wild-card tiebreaker game.

There's no shame in losing to a former Cy Young Award winner like the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price.

Perez gave up an early run, allowed a two-run home run to Evan Longoria and didn't make it out of the sixth inning. It probably wasn't what the 22-year-old Perez was looking for.

[+] EnlargeMartin Perez
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesGiven the entirety of his season, Martin Perez can be proud of the 5⅓ innings he mustered in Monday's loss to the Rays.
But knowing that Perez fractured his forearm in spring training, didn't get to the big leagues for good until June and ended up winning six straight games in August and September, there's nothing but good things he can take away from this season.

Just listen to veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski when asked about the pitch Perez made to Longoria in the third inning that catapulted the Rays to a 3-0 lead.

Perez got the ball where he wanted it -- down in the strike zone -- and Longoria, with a history of big hits late in the season, beat him.

"It wasn't a bad pitch," Pierzynski said. "[Longoria] just got his barrel on it. Martin made some good pitches in the first inning. The kid should be proud. I thought he pitched really well given the situation and given what he was facing for him being young.

"He's got a bright, bright future, and [I] hope that nobody looks at this game and gets down on him because that kid has a really good future. He's special, and he's only going to get better."

Perez was obviously disappointed after the game, regretting two walks in the early innings, both of which ended up as runs. The first inning was a mess in which he allowed three hits to go with the walk, but he got out of it allowing only the one run on Delmon Young's sacrifice fly.

Perez will also look back on the season proud that he overcame his injury and became a candidate for the American League rookie of the year award after carrying the Rangers' rotation in August with five victories.

"They did give me an opportunity to pitch at this level, and I think I did a great job this year," Perez said. "I want to work hard to be a good pitcher in the future."

Perez needs only to look at Price for what going through a little adversity with a late-season loss can end up producing in future seasons.

Price beat the Rangers for just the second time in 12 starts. This wasn't a postseason game, but it felt like one, and Price's 0-3 record against the Rangers in the playoffs doesn't feel nearly as bad now.

Price was clearly emotional after the game. He took advantage of a pitcher-friendly strike zone and pitched the fifth complete game in the history of the tiebreaker game.

Price adjusted his pitching style by going more with his breaking pitches than his fastball, which was actually up around 96 miles per hour after being around 94 mph in his past few starts. The Rangers managed just six hits.

"He threw a lot of breaking pitches," Elvis Andrus said. "Before, he used to throw a lot of fastballs against us, and that's why we always hit well. Today, he made an adjustment and threw a ton of changeups and breaking balls when we were ahead. He was locating the pitches really good, too."



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Martin Perez
2 2.70 12 20
BAE. Andrus .305
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .776
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23