Wednesday was about Jamie and Kari and Antoine and Cody and Vernon and Shawn and absolutely Alex.
And about Devin and Shawn and Monta and Jose and DeJuan.
And underdogs and stepping up and big games between hated opponents and, on one day, it all coming together for all three of your teams, if that fits your profile like it does mine.
Sports days like that don’t come along very often, and neither do 23-year-old pitchers like Martin Perez, whose image occupied the header of these emails for years, before his graduation to Arlington ceded the spot to Jorge Alfaro, and now my sports morning is even better thinking about the idea of Alfaro catching Perez for most of the seven years that the Rangers control the lefthander.
Maybe Joey Gallo is next for the email header, though for various reasons I’m not so sure Alfaro beats him to Arlington, and now my thought bubble has Gallo holding down one of the infield corners while Perez is on the mound, with Alfaro behind the plate.
Gallo hit three more home runs last night for Myrtle Beach, raising his Pelicans slash line to .359/.458/.891, and that’s all very cool and everything, but as you read Scott’s daily deliveries, keep paying attention to that significantly improved strikeout rate.
Gallo was born in 1993, like his Class A teammate Alfaro.
Which is a good opportunity to remind myself that Martin Perez was born in 1991.
And right in between them is Tyler Seguin (1992).
That’s two straight complete-game shutouts for Perez, in a season that has included only one other complete game by an American League pitcher — and David Price allowed three Minnesota runs in his.
Two straight complete-game shutouts in which Perez has allowed three hits (two singles and a double) on 109 pitches, and while he missed more bats in his blanking of the White Sox on Friday, not a single Athletic reached third base yesterday, and that’s just sick.
Perez’s 26 straight scoreless innings is baseball’s best in 2014, and his 11 wins since August 1, Fox Sports Southwest’s Anthony Andro notes, lead baseball as well. ESPN points out that, over these last 26 innings, Perez’s opponents are 1 for 36 with two strikes, 1 for 20 in at-bats ending in a changeup, and 0 for 23 with runners on base. He leads baseball in ground ball percentage, and hasn’t surrendered a home run.
But this morning, those video game numbers are secondary — to Texas 3, Oakland 0, and Dallas 4, Anaheim 2, and Dallas 113, San Antonio 92.
The Rangers now have the best record in the American League, and the most heavily populated disabled list in baseball — though I’m not sure whether that lead gets surrendered this weekend when Adrian Beltre and Matt Harrison return to active duty.
There won’t be another sports day around here like Wednesday for a while. Stars tomorrow, Mavericks Saturday, Stars Sunday, Mavericks Monday, Stars Tuesday, Mavericks Wednesday.
But they won’t overlap again like they did last night in these first-round series, in both of which the 8 seed is fairly clearly outplaying the 1 seed, despite the knotted game count.
On every one of those days, though, they’ll share the sports page with the Rangers, underdogs in their own right but current occupants of the first-place slot in the AL West standings, thanks to an improbable sweep of the A’s in Oakland, with an exclamation point planted by a pitcher whose work assignments have become appointment television and radio (if not attendance) for me.
And while the juggling act can be tough and exhausting when you have another team concurrently engaged in playoff battle, if not two, this is why. It’s days like yesterday and months like this one when the sports investment feels the least wacky, and the ROI feels like three homers in one game.