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.
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Carmona channeling his inner Dave Otto

In the baseball-reference searchable era (1919-present) only 11 Indians starters have yielded 10 or more runs in a game, the most recent, of course, being Fausto Carmona.

Carmona followed up that forgettable performance with seven innings of shutout ball against the Red Sox today. If you think that’s a rare turn of events you would be very much correct.

Of the previous 10 Tribesmen to allow 10 runs in a start, only Dave Otto bounced back with a shutout performance in his next start. On May 9, 1992 Otto was shelled for 10 runs against the Twins. After the game Otto was placed on the DL with tendinitis in his shoulder, but returned just over two weeks later on May 26 to face the A’s.

In that next outing Otto would shutdown the A’s, who would go on the win the AL West, holding them scoreless in six innings of work. And, just as they did against the Red Sox, the Tribe won 1-0 – powered by a solo home run off the bat of Mark Lewis.

More on Carmona from the AP: He’s the first major league pitcher in 106 years to allow 10 or more runs in his first start of a season and then no runs in his next start, without relief appearances between those games. The last pitcher to do that was a guy named Dick Harley for the 1905 Boston Beaneaters. [Fun fact: those were actually the first two starts of Harley’s career, and he made only two more.]

The cautionary tale of Mark Lewis

Through nine career games Carlos Santana is batting .393 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and a .514 OBP. On Sunday he went 3-4 with a HR, collecting his 4th career multi-hit game.

It’s an impressive start, to be sure, but he isn’t the first Tribe rookie to jump out to a hot start. Over the last 25 seasons, he’s the 8th Tribe rookie with at least four multi-hit games through his first nine career games. It’s an odd collection of names, and hopefully the top name on the list give us reason to temper our enthusiasm about Santana.

Here’s a quick history lesson on Mark Lewis, who was our early 90s version of Carlos Santana…

In late April 1991 the Tribe called up Lewis – Baseball America’s 9th-rated prospect entering the season. The former 2nd-overall pick filled in for Felix Fermin and got off to a torrid start, with five multi-hit performances in his first eight career games. By the end of May he was batting .363 and had shifted over to 2nd base, replacing veteran Jerry Browne.

Lewis looked like a future star, but unfortunately that first month was the highlight of his career. As the everyday shortstop in 1992 he hit just .264 and relinquished the job back to Fermin in 1993. After spending the majority of the ’93 season batting .284 in Tripe-A Charlotte, the Tribe essentially gave up on Lewis when they traded Fermin and Reggie Jefferson for Omar Vizquel. Lewis would start the 1994 season in a platoon with Jim Thome at third base, but was sent back down to Charlotte in May after batting .217 through the first two months of the season.

Lewis was traded to the Reds for Tim Costo in December 1994.

So while it’s fun to watch Carlos Santana and imagine him as the next Victor Martinez or Sandy Alomar Jr. Remember, at one time Mark Lewis was the future of our franchise as well.