Brett Myers allowed two runs in six innings on Sunday afternoon, and yet he still might be off to the worst start in franchise history.
Dating back to 1916 (as far back as the baseball-reference box score data goes), no Indians pitcher has thrown at least 15 innings through the team’s first 11 games and posted a worse ERA than Myers’ 8.82.
In fact, during that near-100-year span, only Charles Nagy (7.36 in 1998), Tom Candiotti (8.27 in 1987) and Luis Tiant (7.78 in 1969) were over the seven-run mark.
And speaking of Nagy…he is the only pitcher in baseball history to allow more home runs (nine) through his team’s first 11 games than Myers (eight).
So what do we make of Myers now?
Do we dread his next outing due to his historically horrific first 16 1/3 innings of the season? Or do we eagerly anticipate a turnaround based on the fact that he held the White Sox in check for the majority of Sunday’s game?
Given the uncertainty surrounding Carlos Carrasco and his suspension and Scott Kazmir‘s injury, Myers is crucial to the Indians success right now. They can’t afford to demote him or move him into the pen because there simply isn’t anyone else to step up right now.
The best case scenario with Myers might be to get a Derek Lowe-like season from him—a few reasonably strong outings through the end of May, before he runs out of gas. If Myers can at least give the Tribe two solid months, they might be able to fill his spot in the rotation later this summer.
A few other notes on the game…
- Paul Konerko hit his 16th career home run at Progressive Field. He trails only Jermaine Day (17) for the all-time lead by a visitor.
- Michael Bourn became the first Indian to homer on the first pitch in the first inning since Grady Sizemore went deep off Chien-Ming Wang in 2005.
- Bourn collected his sixth multi-hit game of the season. He’s the fastest Indian to six multi-hit games since Victor Martinez in 2009, and the fastest from the leadoff spot since Kenny Lofton in 1999.