Eight shutout innings vs Yankees

Justin Masterson was brilliant on Wednesday night – hopefully locking up a spot on the All-Star team once the replacements are announced. His gem was just the 7th time a Tribe pitcher tossed eight shutout innings against the Yankees since 1990, and the first since Billy Traber‘s one-hitter in 2003.

Unfortunately his high pitch count – a recurring problem with Masterson – ruined any chance at a complete game.

Player Date Rslt App,Dec IP H R BB SO Pit
Justin Masterson 2011-07-06 W 5-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 2 6 112
Billy Traber 2003-07-08 W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 5 102
Bartolo Colon 2000-09-18 W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 1 13 114
Dave Burba 2000-09-15 W 11-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 3 7 102
Bartolo Colon 1998-06-21 W 11-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 5 10 139
Charles Nagy 1995-09-13 W 5-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 2 5 115
Charles Nagy 1992-06-12 W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 5 0 0 5 90

Rare feat by Red Sox at The Jake

The Red Sox collected 20 hits on Wednesday, a feat which isn’t too uncommon. However, all 20 hits came from just eight players, who each had at least two (Carl Crawford led the way with four).

It’s just the second time in Jacobs Field history that at least eight players from a visiting team had at least two hits apiece.

The other pounding came at the hands of the Brewers on June 14, 2001. Of the eight players that night, four were former Indians – (Richie Sexson, Jeromy Burnitz, Jose Hernandez, Tyler Houston) and another (Ronnie Belliard) would later join the Tribe. Charles Nagy received the brunt of the beatdown that day, allowing 10 hits and six runs in 5 innings of work.

Indians/Royals in a meaningful series?

Alright, so it’s probably too early to really, truly call this a meaningful series. But when it comes to Indians-Royals, this is about as big as it gets.

The Indians and Royals haven’t played a somewhat meaningful game since May, 1997.

On May 20 the Royals came to town tied for 1st with Tribe at 20-20. The Tribe trailed 3-2 entering the 8th when Manny Ramirez belted a two-run shot off of Jamie Walker to give the Indians the lead. The Indians would go one to sweep the series and the Royals stumbled to a 67-94 finish.

But this year feels a little bigger than that, perhaps because both teams are actually over .500, unlike in ’97.

The last time these two teams faced each other when both were at least five games over .500 was on June 28, 1995. The Indians entered the day 38-17, while the Royals were in 2nd place at 30-24. Charles Nagy would out-duel Kevin Appier that day, leading the Tribe to a 5-2 win. The Royals would finish that year in 2nd place with 70-74 record – a full 30 games behind the Tribe.

Quality starts leading Indians to victory

The Indians have had 11 quality starts through their first 14 games this season, tied for the second most over the past 20 seasons. The only teams with more were the 2002 Giants and the 1997 Padres.

The last American League team with more? The 1991 Cleveland Indians.

Of course, the Tribe went 57-105 that season, so… yeah, there’s that.

Here were the 12 quality starts from the first 14 games in ’91.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO
1 Greg Swindell 1991-04-08 CLE KCR L 2-4 GS-6 ,L 6.0 8 4 3 1 2
2 Tom Candiotti 1991-04-09 CLE KCR W 2-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 1 1 1 5
3 Charles Nagy 1991-04-10 CLE KCR L 0-1 CG 8 ,L 8.0 7 1 1 1 6
4 Eric King 1991-04-11 CLE BOS W 6-4 GS-7 ,W 6.2 6 3 3 0 3
5 Greg Swindell 1991-04-13 CLE BOS L 0-4 GS-7 ,L 6.2 7 3 2 3 3
6 Tom Candiotti 1991-04-14 CLE BOS W 6-0 GS-7 ,W 7.0 4 0 0 3 9
7 Charles Nagy 1991-04-15 CLE BOS W 1-0 GS-9 8.1 4 0 0 5 4
8 Eric King 1991-04-16 CLE TEX L 1-3 GS-9 ,L 8.1 8 3 3 1 5
9 Tom Candiotti 1991-04-20 CLE BOS L 1-2 GS-7 ,L 7.0 7 2 2 3 3
10 Charles Nagy 1991-04-22 CLE KCR W 10-4 GS-7 ,W 6.1 2 4 3 1 3
11 Greg Swindell 1991-04-24 CLE KCR L 2-4 GS-8 8.0 4 1 1 0 12
12 Tom Candiotti 1991-04-26 CLE TEX W 5-2 GS-7 7.0 5 2 1 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/17/2011.

Recapping the season through 10 games

A few notes on the first 1/16th of the season…

  • Asdrubal Cabrera is the 11th Indian in the Jacobs Field era with four homers through 10 games (Travis Hafner is the only one to have done it twice). The others are a fairly predictable crew, but one name did stand out: Kevin Mitchell. While he only hit four homers in his 20-game Indians career, all four of them came in the first 10 games of the 1997 season.
  • Cabrera is also the first shortstop with four homers through 10 games since Woodie Held hit five back in 1960.
  • The Tribe pitching staff has tossed two shutouts through 10 games for the first time since 1991. That year they blanked Boston in consecutive games (once by a 1-0 score, just like this year). Tom Candioitti and Charles Nagy were the starters, yet neither tossed a complete game. The 1-0 victory was a 13-inning affair in which Steve Olin picked up the win while tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless/hitless ball in relief.
  • The Plain Dealer erroneously reported today (shocker) that Chris Perez and Tony Sipp are the first Indians relievers to toss at least one inning of scoreless ball in each of their first five appearances of the season since Paul Shuey in 2000. In reality Fernando Cabrera (2007) and Bob Wickman (2001) have each accomplished the feat more recently than Shuey.
  • Perez and Sipp are, however, the first pair of Indians to accomplish that feat in the same season since Clint Brown and Joe Heving in 1941.

Josh Tomlin is Indians ace?

Is Josh Tomlin the Indians new ace?

Well, seven different pitchers have made at least 10 starts for the Tribe this season. Six of them have a losing record. Only Tomlin, who improved to 5-4 with a win tonight, is at .500 or better.

This will be the first time since 2003 that the only one Indian with at least 10 starts has a winning record (CC Sabathia). Before 2003, you have to go back 1992 (Charles Nagy) and 1991 (Tom Candiotti). The Tribe hasn’t been without a winning starter since the infamous 1987 season.

Why is Charles Nagy in the Indians Hall of Fame?

That’s a question that was posed to me by a friend of mine (a Mets fan) who visited The Jake this week. He called me shortly after walking through Heritage Park and said that Charles Nagy was the only player whose name seemed to be out of place.

At first I was somewhat taken aback. For Indians fans, Nagy is an obvious Hall of Famer. But I realized that when mixed in with the likes of Bob Feller, Early Wynn and Nap Lajoie, he could look misplaced.

Here are the reasons I gave for why Nagy belongs in our Hall of Fame:

1. He pitched for the team for 12 seasons
Longtime members of the organization are certainly going to be viewed in a different light, and rightfully so. Take any five year stretch of Nagy’s career and he blends in with Dave Burba and Greg Swindell and other decent but unspectacular pitchers to wear the Tribe’s uniform. But as a whole, his career puts him among the Indians all-time greats.

Nagy made 297 starts in a Tribe uniform, more than all but five pitchers in team history. The most recent to reach 300 was Bob Lemon, who last pitched in Cleveland in 1958. He was essentially the first starter to wear a Tribe uniform for a decade or longer since Sam McDowell.

He also ranks 10th in team history in wins and 6th in strikeouts (finished his career 5th, but has since been passed by CC Sabathia).

Statistically speaking, Nagy was our best pitcher over and extended period of time since McDowell. And while any one of his seasons may not have ranked among the seasons of Feller, Wynn or even McDowell, he deserves credit for his body of work.

2. He actually was very good at times
The Indians never really had an ace throughout most of the 1990s, but Nagy made his case for the job multiple times.

As a 25-year-old player in 1992 Nagy went 17-10 with 2.96 ERA for a team that won just 76 games. He was the ace of the staff that year and arguably the ace throughout the 90s.

After an injury-shortened 1993 season, Nagy returned to form in ’94 and helped anchor the staff through their first few years in Jacobs Field. He even started the All-Star Game in 1996 and led the AL in winning percentage with a 17-5 record.

3. He was part of the core group of home-grown talent that anchored our mid-90s teams
Lots of players suffered through the bad years, but Nagy was part of a core group of primarily home-grown talent that led the Indians to greatness in the mid-to-late 90s. Along with Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar Jr, Nagy joined the club at old Cleveland Stadium and suffered through the losing season before leading the Tribe into the glory years of the 1990s. For this reason, he was always a fan favorite.

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Nagy certainly doesn’t belong in baseball’s Hall of Fame (he wasn’t even on the ballot in his first year of eligibility in 2009). He was an average pitcher who had a few good seasons. But the Indians Hall of Fame isn’t just about greatness. Its purpose is to honor fan favorites and players who represented the organization for an extended period of time. Nagy was one of the faces of our franchise for over a decade and his induction into our Hall of Fame was well deserved.