Red Sox starter Martin Perez shows promise in strong start against Mets

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Martin Perez #54 of the Boston Red Sox throws during a team workout on February 15, 2020 at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Martin Perez #54 of the Boston Red Sox throws during a team workout on February 15, 2020 at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox starter Martin Perez bounces back against Mets

It hasn’t been the most fun for Red Sox Nation to see Martin Perez on the mound. The lefty has been anything but consistent since joining Boston during the offseason. He showed some glimmers of his potential during spring training and summer camp but he would soon be brought back to reality in his first start of 2020.

Perez got absolutely shelled in his first outing of the year against the Orioles to the tune of 5.0IP/6H/5R/2BB/2K, mounting to a 7.20 ERA. Not exactly what the Red Sox are looking for in their number two starter in the rotation. Granted, that’s not the role he was signed to fill but 2020 has been one hell of a wild ride and we’re all just doing our best.

I’ll admit that I didn’t have the highest of hopes for Perez going into this season. At one point I was behind him but that’s back when I thought he was going to be in the three or possibly four slots of the rotation. As a number two, though, this just isn’t it ya’ll. But, that’s right, there’s a but, he went out and did the damn thing tonight.

It wasn’t a perfect night but it also wasn’t complete destruction as it was in his first start of the campaign. I tweeted tonight on the BSI account that his start wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful, and that may just be the lane that Martin is going to be venturing down this year. He needed to go out there tonight and have a strong showing against the Mets and he did exactly that.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were a few times during his start where I couldn’t understand what he was doing, but the baseball gods were smiling on him tonight. In tonight’s start, he tossed 5.2 innings of two-hit baseball while giving up a pair of runs on four walks and five strikeouts. Those may not be some Walker Buehler numbers, but for the Red Sox, Perez may as well have been Cy Young.

This season is going to be a slog for the Red Sox if they can’t get their pitching going. We’re only four full games into the season, I’m not counting tonight’s game since it’s still in progress, and their run differential is trash. After scoring 13 runs on Opening Day the Red Sox have been anemic at the plate with runs scoring feeling like a miracle.

Boston has been known for their offense the last few seasons but with the hitters constantly needing to come from behind, they can’t be as selective with their at-bats. This brings me back to the original topic of the article, Martin Perez.

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He needed to take the mound tonight and give his batters a chance to get the “W,” for the Red Sox. Perez may not have gone deep into the game or lit of the stat-sheet, but he did what his teammates needed him to do.

This is going to be a big year for Perez as far as his career is concerned. He’s in his ninth year in the Majors and is heading for that dreaded age of 30. He’s had glimpses of his promise come through during his time with Texas and Minnesota but he’s never really put the entire puzzle together. If the lefty can string together some solid starts, it may do wonders to secure his future at least for next year.

What I mean by that is that the Red Sox have a team option with Perez for the 2021 season. Considering we have no idea what Chris Sale will look like coming off of Tommy John or what the long-lasting effects of COVID will be on Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston may not have a choice but to activate the option. Next year’s free-agent pitching class is huge but it isn’t a murderer’s row of quality arms. Another factor that could benefit Perez in getting another year in Boston.

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Martin Perez needed to give the Red Sox a strong outing tonight and he delivered for his squad. What we saw tonight may not be the Martin that we get every single night he’s on the mound but it very well could be. For Boston, tonight was a start that the team desperately had to have in order to get out of the AL East basement. If this is what we are to expect from Perez going forward, I’ll take it each and every night.