Interestingly enough, Pestano’s performance came in the exact same number of innings pitcher (62) as Feller, who was used as both a starter a reliever, back in 1936. Feller recorded 76 strikeouts (and 47 walks), while Pestano struck out 84 (with just 24 walks).
Vinnie Pestano has been arguably the Tribe’s most dominant pitcher out of the bullpen this season. And a big reason why is his dominance vs right handers. Righties are batting just .132 against Pestano (lefties are at .245).
The key to Pestano’s success has been his ability to slam door once he gets two strikes on the hitter.
Pestano has forced a two-strike count on 58 right-handed batters this season. In those 58 plate appearances, 44 have resulted in strike outs (75.9%), nine have recorded an out in the field, four have walked and just one (Scott Rolen) recorded a hit.
For those keeping score at home, that’s a .019 BA for righties in two-strike counts.
Sipp, who recorded the final out of the 7th inning last night against the Royals, returned for the 8th only load the bases without recording an out.
Enter Vinnie Pestano.
With the bases juiced and no ones, Pestano got Billy Butler to pop out to short, the struck out Jeff Francoer and retired the side by getting Kile Ka’aihue to fly out to left.
Pestano was the first Tribe reliever to inherit a bases-loaded no-outs situation without allowing a run to score since Greg Aquino in 2009 against the Yankees. Aquino retired Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano in order after Jeremy Sowers had walked the bases loaded.
Of course, Aquino would return the next inning and allow four runs to pick up the loss, but hey, at least he had his one shining moment in a Tribe uniform.
Hopefully for Pestano this outing serves as a confidence booster as he develops into a reliable back-end-of-the bullpen pitcher. Unlike Aquino, who has yet to appear in the majors since his brief 2009 stint with the Tribe.