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Martín Pérez’s Historical Performance Highlights Rangers May Awards

Photo: Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers

Martín Pérez’s Historical Performance Highlights Rangers May Awards

The Rangers finished the month of May with a 17-10 record and are in the thick hunt for a wild card spot in the American League. Yes, I know it’s early and a lot can happen, but the team is clicking on most cylinders. “That’s not our goal,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s not to stay at .500. We want to continue to push against the league and play well. We’re doing a good job of that right now, but to sustain that is the most important part.” Here’s a look at a memorable month of May as the Rangers had their first winning month in almost three years.

Player of the Month: Martín Pérez

The month that Martín Pérez put together in May is indescribable. “It’s so easy. Anything I put down, he’s going to execute a pitch, and that makes my job so easy,” Jonah Heim said Tuesday. “We can execute the game plan that we set at the beginning of the game and go from there.” Pérez’s accolades for May include being the second pitcher since 2017 to post an ERA of 0.64 or lower in a month (five or more starts). It’s the lowest ERA in a month in the AL since Johan Santana in 2004 with forty or more innings and the second-lowest ERA in a month in Rangers history (Yovani Gallardo in June 2015).

“I don’t even know what else to say about the guy,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s some kind of start to the season.” The execution is what is making Martín successful. Tuesday’s start is a perfect example where the Rays were hitting the outside pitches. Therefore, Pérez adjusts, starts throwing in, and is untouchable. Martín allowed six runs in his first eight innings pitched. Since then, he’s allowed four runs in his last fifty-five and a third innings (0.65 ERA).

Play of the Month: Eli White  (May 30 vs. TB)

I don’t know if the catch sticks at the top play in baseball, but as of May 31, it certainly does. First, Eli had to run 26.1 feet/sec to get to the baseball, then shoot his legs out of a cannon on the backhand and squeeze the glove for the out. “That was the best play I ever made,” White said after his catch. Then to not flip over the wall makes it even more incredible. “I didn’t realize I was leaning over the wall that much. I guess I have some heavy legs,” Eli chuckled.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like it,” Glenn Otto said. “One of the most athletic guys I’ve ever been around. [Eli] runs like a deer, jumps through the roof, great arm, he’s a great athlete overall.” Rangers manager Chris Woodward described Eli as the team’s biggest engine, and did Ji-Man Choi find out the hard way. 

Pitcher: Joe Barlow and Brock Burke

With Martín Pérez winning player of the month, I looked for who else stood out for the Rangers on the mound. Brock Burke didn’t allow a run in seven outings, struck out eleven, and yielded eight hits. Meanwhile, in May, Joe Barlow was a perfect eight for eight in save chances and allowed one run in eleven outings. So, it’s splitting hairs, and sure, you can give the edge to Barlow because the twenty-seventh out is the most difficult. Remember, to have the chance to close the game out; the team needs to have the lead upon the twenty-seventh out, which is made possible because of a Brock Burke.

Game of the Month: (May 17 vs. LAA)

Here’s the recap of an exciting walk-off home run by Nathaniel Lowe.

Quote of the Month: Sam Huff and Kole Calhoun

Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due. On May 10, Sam Huff got the call to come to the big leagues. He was in batting practice at Round Rock. From the moment of the call to the arrival in Arlington, it was insane from packing, driving; you name it. So I asked Sam, “Katie saved the day?” He replied, “Yes.” I don’t know why the Rangers just didn’t tell the highway patrol.

Also, when talking to Kole Calhoun about a previous story about Corey Seager, Kole spoke about how his wife, Jennifer, and Corey’s wife, Madisyn, have become closer now that Kole and Corey are teammates. Well, that’s not all; Kole also said Corey has some competition now with Kole’s son, Knox. It’s fantastic, and I sometimes see Corey and Knox talking in the Rangers clubhouse. Here’s more about the impacts Corey and Kole have on each other.

Cowboy Hat of the Month: Taylor Hearn (May 12 vs. KC)

The Cowboy Hat visuals are slim pickings now, but once in a while, someone will sport out the look either in the tunnel or on the field the next day. Dane Dunning’s look barely missed the cut as it was four hours before May started, and Martín Pérez wore his the next day too. I’m giving it to Taylor because it feels natural. The photo is courtesy of his sister, Robyn, and all that is missing is some rope and cattle. Perhaps, next time.

Heartfelt Moment of the Month: Martín Pérez’s Outing at Houston (May 20)

Tony Beasley is one of the most upbringing and positive people I’ve talked to. He’s also insightful when evaluating each of his guys on the bases. That said, Beasley received terrific news on the last trip to Houston. He reached the six-year cancer-free mark. A few days before Martín’s start, Pérez told Beasley that his Friday’s outing in Houston was for Tony. So naturally, Martín goes out and pitches a complete-game shutout against the Astros. For more on that heartfelt game, check out the recap.

Fashion Statement of the Month: Pink Hats/Gear (May 8 at NYY)

Mother’s Day is becoming the visual staple of beauty. I love the pink gear that sports out, and it’s always for a good cause. The Rangers enjoyed sporting out pink gear twice on the same day with the doubleheader in New York. Mitch Garver had the full pink chest protector for game one while I saw the infielders and outfielders sport out pink wristbands and, of course, the pink bats. I didn’t get to the bottom of it, but I guessed that the Rangers determined who their catcher would be on that Sunday before the doubleheader announced, therefore, why Jonah Heim didn’t have a pink chest protector. Or maybe MLB allowed teams to sport out specific pink gear just for one game.

Whiff of the month: Me (May 8 at NYY)

I still don’t know if I should have attempted a Brad Miller foul ball. On the first pitch of the first game of a doubleheader in New York, a foul ball came straight to the press box. It went in between Jon Heyman and me, and while I paid attention, I was indecisive if I wanted to go after the ball. I didn’t, and Levi Weaver told me I made the right move. After the initial bounce, though, the ball disappeared, and I still don’t know what happened. I’m chalking this one as an “L,” although some may disagree.

Fan Reaction of the Month: Philly fan (May 4 at PHI)

I think this fan is still reeling from the effects of a Matt Bush line drive catch to send a 0-0 game to extra innings. Or maybe because of the struggles the Phillies are having at the moment. 


Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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