The Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays AL tiebreaker game will see the Rays trot out their ace pitcher to try to send his team to the postseason. According to MLB.com on Sept. 29, the Rangers will send out rookie Martin Perez to try to win the game for the Rangers.
For the past two seasons, Martin Perez was one of the Rangers' top prospects and the best pitcher in their farm system. This year, he finally got a chance to play in the majors thanks to injuries to Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando.
Perez responded by starting 19 games and finishing with a 10-5 record. His ERA was 3.55 and he finished with a nice 79-35 strike out-walk ratio. He also took home the AL Rookie of the Month honors in August. In September, when the Rangers were fighting for their postseason lives, he finished 202 with a 3.48 ERA in five starts.
This is a chance for the Rays to exact revenge against the Texas Rangers, who eliminated them in both 2010 and 2011 when the Rangers made it to back-to-back World Series appearances. The best the Rays did was take it to seven in 2010, but it was David Price who fell in that game to Cliff Lee.
This year, Price has a chance to redeem himself and will face off with a rookie to do so. Luckily, Perez doesn't talk like a rookie, explaining that this is not Martin Perez vs. David Price, because Price doesn't bat so that can't face each other. Perez said his job is just to face the Rays hitters.
Perez has a lot of backup as well. If things get shaky for the rookie, both Alexi Ogando and Matt Garza are there to cover for him from the bullpen.
The Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays game starts at 7:07 p.m. CST tonight.