Game 87: Twins at Rangers

Television: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN

Old friend, why are are you so shy?

Well, Martin Perez hasn’t held back or hid from the spotlight this season, which will likely lead to his first-ever All-Star selection. The former Twin has a 165+ ERA in exactly 100 innings so far this season, where he has limited homers and walks at his career-best pace. That’s a bit off from his 2019 season with the Bomba Squad, in which he posted a 5.12 ERA in 29 starts.

Rangers were Perez’s original team, of course; he made his debut as a 21-year-old swingman in 2012, having been signed as an international free agent since 2007. Seven-year stints with Rangers led to a one-year contract with Minnesota, which led to a pair of campaigns – one shortened, one full-sized – with the Boston Red Sox, the latter of which provided Perez with his first playoff action since 2015 against the Blue Jays. (Perez has a 9.00 career playoff ERA over eight innings.)

Now he’s back and better than ever with his original team, who might just end up trading him anyway; Perez is on an expiring deal and there are still playoff contenders interested in pitching. The real question is, are we looking at the new Martin Perez? Or is he just getting all the right breaks en route to the season of his life?

The formation of the Twins will try to upset their solid season. Meanwhile, they’ll try to keep pulling some magic out of Devin Smeltzer, who hit double-digit starts after his last outing for the first time in his major league career. In fact, this afternoon will mark his 30th appearance on a major league mound.

Smeltz has had three straight quality starts; six shutout innings against Cleveland, six innings and nine strikeouts at Progressive Field days later, and six three-run innings in a loss to Baltimore on July 3. He’s only had one miss this season — against Arizona — so hopefully the Texas heat doesn’t cause flashbacks.

And speaking of looking back, hey, Cleveland! How’s it going there?

COURTESY: Google

The Twins remain the only Central team with a winning record; the Guardians slipped to 40-41 and again have nearly five games back. The White socks can’t seem to win at home, and they remain within 0.500 percentage points. I would like nothing more for them to slip behind the Detroit Tigers.

All in due time. So far, the Twins have a tied streak. You’ll be happy to know that Byron Buxton is back in the lineup, even after his aggressive take to deep center last night.

He gets the DH duty and Kyle Garlick gets the 3 hole against Perez. GO TWINS GO!

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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