Martin Perez's changeup a key tonight?

The good folks over at ESPN Stats & Information put together some tidbits for tonight's game between the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's, which can be seen on ESPN (FSSW locally) and heard on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. One thing to watch is Martin Perez's changeup. Here's what John Fisher had to say about it:

The A’s will be facing rookie southpaw Martin Perez, whose first major league start was against Oakland in June. In that game, he allowed two runs in 5⅓ innings to earn the win.

Perez had more success with his changeup than his fastball in that game. Oakland hitters were 4-for-12 with three extra-base hits against his fastball and 2-for-9 with four strikeouts against his changeup.

The success with his slower pitches has continued since that start. Hitters miss on 28 percent of their swings against Perez’s offspeed pitches, and 21 percent of at-bats that end with an offspeed pitch against him result in a strikeout.

Several A’s hitters have struggled against changeups this season. Yeonis Cespedes, Brandon Moss and Cliff Pennington all hit below .200 while striking out at least 20 percent of the time against the pitch.

Oakland hitters have struck out 1,322 times this season, just two shy of the American League record. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays struck out 1,324 times in 2007.

For more information about the game, I recommend you check out this post on the Stats & Info blog.