Young starting pitcher Danny Salazar took the mound Thursday night for the Cleveland Indians as they took on the Chicago White Sox. His start was truly a unique combination of success and failure.
On the one hand Salazar was able to miss bats, as he struck out 10 White Sox hitters in the first four innings.
On the other hand Salazar found Chicago’s bats, giving up six hits and five earned runs in those same first four innings of the game.
With that odd up-and-down evening, Salazar appears to have penciled his name into baseball’s record books.
Salazar recorded 11 outs Thursday night vs. White Sox. Ten of them by strikeouts. It took him 93 pitches. #Indians.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) April 11, 2014
If my Play Index skills are correct, Danny Salazar is 1st guy ever with < 4 IP, > 10 K in a start. http://t.co/L5TeJBvW8U
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) April 11, 2014
With a hat tip to Bryan Kilpatrick of SB Nation, this was the first time a pitcher did this since 1914.
Part of this occurrence is the distinctiveness of Salazar’s moment as a professional pitcher, specifically as a young pitcher (24 years old). Teams are trying more than ever to manage work loads and preserve their young starting pitchers, so there was no way that Salazar was going to be given the chance to work out of further trouble or stay on the mound longer once he got up around 90-100 pitches.
So there you have it. For all of the strange things that have happened in baseball’s long, long history, it appears that Salazar made a little bit of history.