Triston McKenzie threatened to end Cleveland’s four-decade no-hitter and perfect game drought on Sunday. While the streaks remain unspanned, McKenzie earned his second win of the season in an 11-0 Cleveland rout of the Tigers.
It wasn’t until pitch 100 of this afternoon’s game that he finally allowed a baserunner. Harold Castro roped a fastball into right field for a single to end the perfect game and no-hit bid. Unfazed, McKenzie struck out Willi Castro to tie up the eighth inning. He recorded eleven strikeouts on the day — a career-high to headline a masterpiece.
His game score of 91 is the highest of any non-complete game pitched this season and ties Shane Bieber’s April 13 start as the best by any Cleveland starter in 2021.
He dominated by earning advantageous counts. 17 of 25 batters he faced saw a first-pitch strike this afternoon. Hitters stayed behind from there; McKenzie earned 21 swing-and-miss strikes and 15 called strikes.
If that weren’t exciting enough on its own, then know that the offense dropped eleven runs on Detroit in the second and third innings. Eleven.
José Ramírez, Amed Rosario, and Austin Hedges provided eight of the team’s nine RBIs. The extra two runs came due to a run that scored on a double play and a fielder’s choice during which Bradley Zimmer sheepishly scored because the catcher dropped the ball.
Everything broke Cleveland’s way for once. It may be that things are beginning to break McKenzie’s way, as well.
- José Ramírez fired a laser beam 376 feet to right field in the second. Tom Hamilton started one of his usual home run calls but then stopped halfway through to yell that the ball was already gone. He also did it on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
- What if Austin Hedges is the oft-foretold Mauer with Power for whom we have all waited? Kidding, but it makes such a difference to this team when the ninth spot in the lineup isn’t a near-certain out. He doubled twice and even fist-pumped after the first.
- Emmanuel Clase has not allowed a run in ten appearances since July 16th.
- Just a reminder — our old friend Carlos Carrasco pitches for the Mets in primetime tonight. I’m not the biggest fan of the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast anymore, but I don’t want to miss this one.
Nineteen men batted in the second and third innings for Cleveland. Nineteen.
The Guardians travel to Minnesota for a series against the Twins. The Guardians are 9.5 games back in the Wild Card race and 10.5 games behind the White Sox at publication time.