The Los Angeles Dodgers were tasked with a challenge in the first game of their doubleheader against the Miami Marlins as they had to face rookie starter Eury Pérez.
The right-hander entered the outing with a 3.19 ERA across 62 innings while striking out nearly 11 hitters per nine. And in his start against one of the best lineups in baseball, Pérez was nearly un-hittable.
Pérez finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts over six scoreless innings while giving just two hits.
“We did absolutely nothing against Pérez,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “C.T. with the double but we couldn’t figure him out. He’s got good stuff.”
At just 20 years old, Pérez has impressed players, coaches and fans across the league, also catching the attention of Roberts.
“I had to check the bio to make sure he was 20 years old,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t believe it. He’s (Sandy) Alcántara lite and he’s got a good person to follow. He’s got a bright future. He’s special.”
Austin Barnes, who went 1-for-3 in the game and got a close up look of Pérez’ stuff from the batter’s box, shared a similar sentiment as Roberts.
“I thought he was really good,” Barnes said. “That was the first time I faced him. He pitched off his slider more than I thought for throwing 100 (mph). He spun the ball more than I anticipated in some situations. He threw the ball really well. He’s obviously got some great stuff.”
Pérez came out of the game in the seventh inning, which gave the Dodgers some momentum as they trailed 1-0. “I did exhale,” Roberts admitted.
That ended up being enough as they scored three runs in the eighth inning against David Robertson to win the game 3-1. The rally was sparked by a walk from James Outman and Kiké Hernández single.
Barnes dropped down a safety squeeze to tie the game and Mookie Betts followed with a two-run base hit to give the Dodgers their decided lead.
Eury Pérez ranks among MLB rookies
Among MLB rookie pitchers, Pérez’ 2.91 ERA ranks fourth behind Tyler Holton, J.P. France, Tanner Bibee and Andrew Abbott. Bobby Miller’s 3.70 ERA is 12th among rookies, but over his last seven starts he’s pitched to a 3.16 ERA.
Pérez owns a 4.09 ERA over his last seven starts.
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