It’s become cliched to say about a young athlete that he or she “made a statement” during a game or event. But the thing about cliches is that they always have a note of truth to them. Danny Salazar made his major league debut for the Indians today, and if his six innings, 7 strikeouts, 2 hits, 1 earned run, and 1 walk could talk, they would say “I’m not Trevor Baeur or Carlos Carrasco” or “I don’t really like Columbus.” It was the 4th most strikeouts by an Indians starter in a major league debut (behind Luis Tiant, Herb Score and Floyd Weaver, so not bad company).
Some thoughts on today’s 4-2 win:
1. The Indians ostensibly brought Salazar up for this one start with the intention of sending back to the AAA Columbus Cilppers afterwards, the same way they’ve done a couple of times this season with Trevor Bauer. Given the Salazar’s composure on the mound, I hope the Indians keep him on the active roster at least until Zach McAllister is ready to come back.
2. R.A. Dickey, he of the knuckleball, always reminds of Cleveland’s own knuckleball, Chris Perez. Speaking of Perez, this giving up hits and runs with two outs in the 9th thing is getting old. I like suspense and drama as much as the next person, but come on already.
3. In the top of the 6th, Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole spoiled Salazar’s no hitter with a single to left, except that Salazar had already struck him out. With an 0-2 count, the umpire called a beautiful pitch at the knees and right down the middle as ball 1. In an alternate universe, Thole never got that hit. In an alternate universe, Josh Thole is this guy from Ni Hao, Kai Lan.
4. Also on the subject of Toronto Blue Jays player names, I’m glad Emilio Bonifacio didn’t play today or I would have constantly been thinking of Joey Buttafuoco.
5. Have I mentioned how awesome Salazar’s start was?