His Maddux must wait. Pérez put two runners on base within the eighth inning and with the harmful Alex Bregman developing, Adam Ottavino was known as in.
Strategically, it was comprehensible. The Sox had misplaced the primary three video games of the sequence and Pérez was their first starter to work into the eighth inning this season.
With the primary sequence of the season in opposition to the Yankees beginning on Friday within the Bronx, securing the win needed to be the precedence, not chasing a shutout.
But it surely was nonetheless disappointing as a result of Pérez was really pitching to contact, altering speeds and utilizing all of the instruments on his belt. It was satisfying to observe some mound artistry at a time when most pitchers pursue strikeouts above all else.
Pérez didn’t report a strikeout till the fifth inning and had solely 4 within the recreation with one stroll. By seven innings his pitch depend was 67, one thing even Maddux himself would have taken satisfaction in.
“He had fastball, good breaking ball, good changeup. Throwing strikes, underneath management,” supervisor Alex Cora mentioned. “That was superb as we speak.”
The Maddux was in sight till Garrett Stubbs singled and Aledmys Diaz drew a stroll.
Diaz had already had two hits and Pérez tried to get him to chase a cutter off the plate. At 82 pitches that was sufficient, not that Pérez wished to come back out.
“I can go 9 or 10. It doesn’t matter,” he mentioned. “They determined it was over for me.”
After Pérez was saluted by his grateful teammates, Ottavino retired Bregman on a fly ball.
Pérez was the No. 5 starter to open the season however has arguably been the Purple Sox’ most dependable starter. He’s 4-2 with a 3.09 earned run common and labored a minimum of 5 innings in 9 of his 11 begins.
He additionally has dropped his stroll fee from 4.1 per 9 innings to 2.7, one thing the Purple Sox have labored with him on. They felt Pérez didn’t belief his pitches sufficient final season.
The Sox even have tended to cap him at 5 innings as a result of Pérez doesn’t have the type of stuff that usually stays efficient deep into video games. However 5 innings is ok whenever you carry 9 aid pitchers because the Sox normally do.
“We all know who he’s,” Cora mentioned. “There’s sure days that we really feel it’s a brief outing, 5 innings. Others we are able to let him go.”
After watching the Sox lose the primary three video games at Minute Maid Park, Pérez knew he wanted to be sharp on Thursday.
“I wanted to go deep, and I wanted to assault these guys as a result of they have been swinging the bat good,” he mentioned. “Pitch my recreation, do my job. I simply wished to win.”
The Sox let Pérez go in November, declining to select up his $6.25 million contract choice after he was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 begins.
Eleven weeks later, the beginning pitching market had not developed as both facet anticipated, and Pérez returned to the Sox on a deal that assured him $5 million.
The peripheral statistics, particularly the weak contact Pérez induced, urged he was price a modest funding. Now he’s among the best bargains within the recreation.
Pérez had different presents, however he advised his agent to maintain negotiating with the Purple Sox. He loved the 2020 season, even with out followers at Fenway Park.
“That is type of like dwelling for me,” he mentioned. “The best way that I benefit from the recreation right here, it’s completely completely different. I need to win, man. That’s my objective. I got here right here to do my greatest for the crew. The time that I’ve the ball in my arms I simply imagine in myself and belief myself.”