Wednesday newsletter time: Martin Perez does what he does best in first career All-Star Game
(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Martin Perez can do a lot of things on the mound, but his calling card throughout his career has been inducing ground balls.
Whether it be his two-seam fastball or changeup, hitters have trouble getting the ball in the air and past infielders.
That was the case Tuesday night as Perez appeared in his first All-Star Game.
Facing Jeff McNeil, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto, Perez retired the side on a grounder to second base, one to shortstop and another that was fielded by third baseman Jose Ramirez behind second base.
In the process, Perez became the fifth straight Rangers pitcher to toss a scoreless inning, joining Joe Nathan (2013), Yu Darvish (2014), Cole Hamels (2016) and Kyle Gibson (2021).
Perez is one of eight Rangers pitchers to throw a perfect inning in the All-Star Game. The others? Charlie Hough (1986), Nolan Ryan (1989), Kevin Brown (1992), John Wetteland (1998), Cliff Lee (2010), Nathan (2012) and Darvish (2016).
Rangers shortstop Corey Seager played the final few innings, making a nice play in the field before grounding out in his only at-bat. His big moment Tuesday came during pregame introductions, when the Dodger Stadium crowd gave him a long ovation.
He played there his entire career before signing a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Rangers in the offseason.
The American League beat the National League 3-2. The AL has won nine straight.
Well-suited for festivities
The All-Star Game is preceded by the All-Star parade, when players and their families are driven through a group of adoring fans over the course of a few blocks.
The players don’t wear their uniforms. Oh, no. They wear their finest duds.
No one dressed any finer than Perez, who donned a suit with a white-rose pattern.
Main character energy 🔥
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 19, 2022
That is king stuff right there.
Not to be outdone was his daughter, whose dress was also a floral arrangement. Perez’s son was dress like a cross between Arthur Fonzarelli and the Terminator.
It’s safe to say the Perez family enjoyed themselves.
Former Rangers catcher Jose Trevino was one of the stars of the game, not for what he did on the field but what he did while on the telecast.
The first-time All-Star was mic’d up for bottom of the sixth and his at-bat in the seventh, which ended with a single. He was pretty funny in the batter’s box and at first base.
He was more businesslike while catching Yankees teammate Nestor Cortes. Trevino was gracious to hitters as they entered the box, congratulating them, and expressing concern when a line drive went whistling into the AL dugout.
He allowed Cortes to call his own pitches through the microphones and ear pieces. Trevino caught Perez in the fifth.
Cortes wasn’t quite as good as on the mike as Toronto right-hander Alex Manoah was in the second inning.
He was great, telling the broadcast team of Joe Davis and John Smoltz what he was thinking and what he was throwing. Manoah even let Smoltz call a pitch, and his front-foot slider hit McNeil on the foot.
It would have been great if Manoah had given Smoltz the business, like, “Great call, John.”
"Right down the middle, but we'll take it! Three punchies! LET'S GOOOOOOO!!!"
Alek Manoah was HYPED 😆 pic.twitter.com/X4K98XOvIO
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 20, 2022
I was hoping Perez would have been given a microphone. He’s a pretty good smack-talker.
Maybe the FCC got involved.
A short one, but it’s a knockout. Enjoy. See you Thursday.
I don’t have a pillow dude…
— Fred Schultz (@FredSchultz35) July 14, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org