Often the best results are the most unexpected. The combination of Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth looked solid, not great on paper. Neither required the lengthiest commitment or an uneconomical dollar value, so “solid” was a good starting spot. It is fair to describe the pair’s performances through 17 appearances as solid, just as it is fair to describe Alexander the Great as a solid conqueror or J.R. Tolkien as a solid foreteller of Sam Fuld’s ascension to fairytale idol.
Peralta entered Wednesday tied for the team lead in appearances (eight) and exited with sole possession. Through 8 1/3 innings, Peralta has fanned nine, walked one, allowed a home run, and also led the team in strikeout percentage (at 29 percent). Although Peralta’s splitter is the wipeout pitch in his arsenal, pitch-f/x data suggests the four-seam fastball has had the most success in avoiding lumber with a contact rate of 73.7 percent (the splitter checks in at 78.6 percent and the curve at 80 percent).
Farnsworth, the Rays de factor harbinger of finality, saved his fourth game of the season on Wednesday night and ran his seasonal totals to 6 1/3 innings, five strikeouts, and no walks or home runs allowed. Farnsworth did not record a strikeout, meaning he moved from the second highest strikeout percent to third (with a K-rate of 20.8 percent) as Cesar Ramos now serves as a wedge between the Rays late-inning combo.
The pair is not without personality quirks either. Peralta’s rolled up sleeve on his throwing arm is only common once noticed. Meanwhile, Farnsworth’s sophisticated bifocals and enlightened gray hairs are only defrauded by the tribal tattoos covering his arms. Oddly, there are no signs of ghosts or skeletons hanging around Farnsworth—not yet, at least.