Three-pitch save

Chris Perez needed just three pitches to pick up his 6th save of the season on Wednesday night against the Royals. It was the Indians first three-pitch save since Danys Baez had one, also against the Royals, in 2002.

Baseball-reference has pitch count data back through 80s and some data here and there before that. Their Play Index turns up 21 other three-pitch saves for the Indians, but only two three-out, three-pitch saves.

The first belongs to Doug Jones, who retired needed just three pitchers to retire – who else- the Royals on May 4, 1989. However, that one is a little quirky because Jones only faced two batters. John Farrell came out to pitch the 9th, looking for a shutout, but the first two batters reached base. Jones then entered the game and induced a double-play off the bat of Jim Eisenreich and then got Danny Tartabull to ground out to short.

A very similar situation arose for Bob Wickman in 2001 against the Tigers. He entered the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, and picked up the first out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dean Palmer. The next batter, Deivi Cruz, then hit into a game-ending double play.

Those are the only two three-pitch saves the Play Index turns up in which the closer faced more than one batter.

Chris Perez remains perfect

Dating back to last season, Chris Perez has now converted 15 consecutive save opportunities, tied for the 10th longest streak in team history (Jose Mesa holds the record at 38, and 2nd place with 28).

I was all set to write up a short post about that when I noticed that Perez hadn’t allowed a run in any of those 15 saves.

His 15 consecutive scoreless saves ties Jose Mesa (from 1995) for the 2nd longest streak in team history. The record belongs to Mike Jackson, who converted 19 straight saves without allowing a run during the 1998 and ’99 seasons.

While Perez’s streak stands out in the Indians record book, it actually isn’t all that special in the grand scheme of things. In the past five seasons alone, 13 closers have posted a longer streak. The all-time record (since saves became an official stat in 1969) belongs to Eric Gagne (28, spanning the 2003 and 2004 seasons).

Tony Sipp is on fire

Tony Sipp recorded his 6th hold of the season today, and has yet to allow a run in eight appearances.

He is just the 7th pitcher in baseball history (according to baseball-reference) with six holds through his team’s first 15 games (list below). Of course, holds are an unofficial statistic and the definition varies slightly from source to source, but nonetheless, its an impressive early-season streak for Sipp. He also joins Scott Linebrink as the only pitcher on this list not to allow a run in the process.

Rk Player Year ▾ Gms Link to Gms ERA
2 Kevin Jepsen 2010 6 Ind. Games 1.80
3 Kyle McClellan 2008 6 Ind. Games 1.12
4 Scott Linebrink 2008 6 Ind. Games 0.00
5 Ryan Franklin 2008 6 Ind. Games 1.59
6 David Weathers 2003 6 Ind. Games 1.00
7 Mike Remlinger 2001 6 Ind. Games 1.08
Generated 4/17/2011.

Additionally, Sipp extends his own team record by making his 8th straight appearance of at least one inning without allowing a run to being the season. The previous record of six, was shared by five pitchers – most recently Paul Shuey in 2000. Chris Perez has also eclipsed that mark, by making his 7th straight such appearance this afternoon against the Orioles.

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.