Tomlin ties MLB record

Josh Tomlin allowed two runs in seven innings of work on Tuesday night.

By going seven innings, Tomlin extended his streak of five-inning outings to 28 – tying Daisuke Matsuzaka for the longest streak to begin a career in MLB history.

Tomlin eclipsed the Indians team record long ago, which was 12, originally set by Steve Dunning in 1970.

It’s sort of an odd record, because it requires a pitcher to have made each of his first 28 appearances as a starter – which is rare. John Farrell, for example, holds the Tribe record for most consecutive five-inning starts to begin a career with 37. However, his debut came in a relief appearance, thus eliminating any chance he had of setting this particular record.

Don’t think this isn’t an impressive streak though. Over the past 20 seasons only four other Indians pitchers have made 28 consecutive starts without being knocked out before the 5th inning. The team record in that category is, of course, held by Bob Feller (76). And in the baseball-reference era, only 14 different Tribe pitchers have put together a longer streak than Tomlin.

2 hits in MLB debut

Lonnie Chisenhall was called up before Monday’s game in Arizona to make his major league debut and responded with a 2-4 performance. He’s the 7th Indian to collect two hits in his debut since 1990 and the first with two hits and an RBI since Josh Bard in 2002.

And not to put too much pressure on the kid, but the last Tribe third baseman with two hits in his debut: future Hall of Fame Jim Thome

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt AB R H 2B HR RBI Pos.
Lonnie Chisenhall 2011-06-27 CLE ARI W 5-4 4 0 2 1 0 1 3B
Jason Donald 2010-05-18 CLE TBR L 2-6 3 1 2 0 0 0 SS
Michael Brantley 2009-09-01 CLE DET L 5-8 4 1 2 0 0 0 LF
Josh Bard 2002-08-23 CLE SEA W 4-2 4 1 2 0 1 3 C
Dave Roberts 1999-08-07 CLE TBD W 15-10 5 3 3 1 0 0 CF
Jim Thome 1991-09-04 CLE MIN W 8-4 4 1 2 0 0 1 3B
Mark Lewis 1991-04-26 CLE TEX W 5-2 3 0 2 1 0 2 SS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/28/2011.

Sizemore is incredibly easy to strike out

Grady Sizemore has never shied away from the strikeout. In each of his four full seasons he’s struck out at least 130 times. This year has been particularly rough for Sizemore in the strikeout department, however, mainly due to the fact that once he gets two strikes on him, he’s done.

Sizemore has worked his way into a two-strike count 73 times this season, 45 of which have resulted in a strikeout.

The reason for his lack of success with two strikes? He’s a free swinger.

Of the pitches Sizemore has offered at with two strikes this season, he’s whiffed on nearly half (48%) – easily the worst percentage in the majors. That number has risen steadily over the past few seasons – from 35% in 2008 to 38% in 2009 to 40% last season.

To better understand just how bad he’s been, consider this: the major league average is just 21% – less than half of Sizemore’s current rate.

The issue for Sizemore isn’t just that he struggles to make contact, but also that he’s chasing pitches out of the zone. With two strikes Sizemore swings at 45% of the pitches he sees out of the strike zone – well above the MLB average of 36%.

So while Manny Acta tries continues to juggle the lineup to find the best spot for Sizemore, the fact remains that he isn’t going to hit anywhere until he learns to shorten his swing and remain patient with two strikes.

Verlander dominates Tribe

The Tribe bats were silent (again) on Tuesday, but this time through no fault of their own. Justin Verlander was simply dominant, holding the Tribe hitless through 7 1/3.

Orlando Cabrera finally broke up the no-hitter in the 8th and Carlos Santana added another hit in the 9th, but Verlander still finished with a 12 K, 2-hit shutout.

Verlander joings three former Cy Young winners and a first-ballot Hall of Famer as the only five pitchers in the last 90 seasons to allow two or fewer hits while striking out at least 12 in a shutout against the Indians. And only Verlander and Gaylord Perry did so while walking just one batter.

It was also Verlander’s 5th career 10-strikeout game against the Tribe, tied for the 7th most in the baseball-reference era (since 1919). Roger Clemens leads the way with 11, followed by Pedro Martinez and Camilo Pascual, who later finished his career in Cleveland in 1971, with eight 10-strikeout games.

Tribe wins 1-0…. again

The Indians defeated the Yankees 1-0 on Monday night, their 3rd 1-0 victory of the season and the most they’ve had since 1989 when they had seven.

A few other notes from the game….

  • It was the Indians first 1-0 victory in New York since 1988 when Greg Swindell tossed a three-hit shutout, out-dueling Al Leiter for the win.
  • Carlos Carrasco is the first Tribe starter with two 1-0 victories in a season since Tom Candiotti, Bud Black and Swindell each had two in 1989.
  • Carrasco is also the first Tribe pitcher to win consecutive starts by a score of 1-0 since Dick Tidrow on July 31 and August 4, 1972. Carrasco’s wins came in the 23rd and 24th starts of his career, Tidrow’s came in his 25th and 26th starts (and, unlike Carrasco, in his rookie year.)

2,000 hits, no All-Star games – an exclusive club

Orlando Cabrera collected his 2,000th career hit on Sunday afternoon. He is the 231st member of the 2,000 hit club, but just the 3rd member to never be selected to an All-Star Game (since the inception of the All-Star Game in 1933).

If Cabrera remains an everyday player (a big if now that Cord Phelps has been called up) he’ll surpass Tony Phillips before the season is over for the most hits without making an All-Star appearance.

If you’re curious, the player with the most hits as an Indian to never make an All-Star Game is Hal Trosky – arguably the best player in baseball history (post 1933) to fail to make an All-Star appearance.

Tomlin’s 6-inning start streak ends

Things have been going downhill for Josh Tomlin for the past two weeks, but it wasn’t until Sunday that his streak of six-inning starts came to a halt.

Prior to his start against the Yankees Tomlin had gone at least six innings in each of his 12 starts – the longest streak to open a season since Greg Swindell in 1988. Over the past 50 seasons, only four different pitchers had opened the season with a streak longer than Tomlin’s.

But now Tomlin has another streak to worry about.

In each of his last three starts he’s allowed six earned runs – the Tribe’s longest streak since Cliff Lee in August, 2007.

No Indians pitcher has allowed six earned runs in four consecutive games since Wes Ferrell in 1933.