I’d like to buy a W
Over the past two seasons Justin Masterson has made 42 starts. In 13 of those starts he’s allowed two or fewer runs while pitching at least seven innings. Normally such a performance would lead to an easy win, but Masterson is just 4-2 on those 13 games. Of the 24 other pitchers with at least 13 such starts, no one else has fewer than seven victories.
Lowe feels right at home
In each of his first five starts at Progressive Field, Derek Lowe has allowed no more than two earned runs. That’s the longest such streak to begin a career in Cleveland since Jason Stanford also put together a five game stretch which spanned the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Dating back to 1918, only one pitcher has started his Tribe career with longer streak. In 1920 and 1921, the legendary Duster Mails allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his first six starts in League Park. But if we include the postseason, Mails streak gets stretched to seven. While Mails took the hill just nine times during the 1920 regular season, he started Game 6 of the 1920 World Series, pitching a three-hit shutout, leading the Tribe to a 1-0 victory.
If you’re like me and had never heard of Mails before, check out this article from the New York Times recapping his Game 6 victory. It features an entertaining story about Mails painting the outfield fence at Ebbets Field while he played for Brooklyn (the same team the Tribe defeated in the World Series) only to have Mr. Ebbets refuse to pay him for his efforts, and later release him from the team.
Walk this way
Indians starting pitchers have put together nine games in which they’ve walked at least five batters. Ubaldo Jimenez (4), Masterson (3), Lowe (1) and Zach McAllister (1) have been the culprits. Jimenez’s four such games are more than any other entire pitching staff with the exception of the Blue Jays and Padres, who each have four as well. Four teams have yet to have a single starting pitcher walk five in a game.
The Indians nine five-walk starts are already more than their total from 2011 (six) and are more than all but five teams’ totals from last season.
The Return of the Lopez
Jose Lopez started the Indians comeback on Thursday afternoon with a game-tying three-run homer. It was the Indians first game-tying home run in the 8th inning or later by the No. 9 hitter since Jhonny Peralta hit one in the bottom of the 9th against the Rockies on June 15, 2005.
The home run was Lopez’s only hit of the game, but he also reached on a walk to leadoff the 11th inning and scored the tying run. Overall, his performance netted him a win probability added of .502. Over the past 25 seasons, only three Indians No. 9 hitters have posted a higher WPA.
Andy Marte‘s .787 is the highest WPA by an Indians No. 9 hitter dating back to 1918, and will be very tough to top. With the Indians trailing the Orioles 4-3 with two outs in the 9th, Marte belted a home run on a 3-2 pitch to give the Indians the lead. That home run alone was worth a WPA of .711.
Travis Hafner hit his 193rd home run as a member of the Indians on Wednesday, vaulting him past Al Rosen and into sole possession of 8th place on the Tribe’s all-time home runs list. Next up for Hafner is Andre Thornton‘s 214, a number which, hopefully, will be reached later this season.
Save the fish
When Chris Perez closed the door on Friday’s 2-0 victory, he became just the second pitcher to record a save in Progressive Field against the Marlins, joining a very unlikely former Tribesman. The other save belongs to Brian Anderson, who picked up his only save as a member of the Indians in Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. The Indians won the game 10-3, but Anderson pitched the final three innings in relief to record the save.
Shades of ’97? Not so much.
The Indians and Marlins combined for 15 runs during their three-game interleague series, falling 38 runs shy of the total posted in Cleveland during the ’97 World Series. The two teams combined for 25, 13 and 15 runs in Games 3, 4 and 5 respectively.