Danny Salazar’s modern-day first in start vs. Sox
At the end of Thursday night’s 7-3 loss to the White Sox, Indians manager Terry Francona called Danny Salazar’s linescore "interesting." That might be the understatement of the season.
Salazar tied his career high for strikeouts with 10 and did it in 3 2/3 innings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the right-hander is the first pitcher from the modern era (since 1900) to have 10 or more strikeouts in less than four innings pitched. But also during that span he allowed five runs, a pair of home runs and threw 93 pitches.
Here’s a further look inside Salazar’s linescore:
Innings pitched — It is only the second time in 13 major-league starts (including the playoffs) that Salazar has gone less than four innings. Coincidentally, the other time was Sept. 13 of last season against the White Sox when Salazar went 3 2/3 innings but left with a 1-0 lead. In that game, Salazar had nine strikeouts.
Hits — Six. Of the balls put in play by the White Sox, Salazar didn’t get any outs on grounders or fly balls. The only non-strikeout out that the Indians recorded was during the third inning when Adam Eaton got greedy and tried to extend a single into a double as he was thrown out by David Murphy. Of the six hits, three were for extra bases. Alexei Ramirez had a home run and double off Salazar.
Most of the hits that Salazar gave up were on sliders or offspeed pitches.
Said Salazar to reporters after the game: "I wasn’t too smart out there. Sometimes I was trying to be too aggressive. I should have figured it out early."
Runs — Five and all earned, which is the most Salazar has given up in the majors. Salazar’s ERA for the season is now 6.75.
Walks — Two, which is right around his average. Both came after the second inning.
Strikeouts — Ten. Salazar now has a strikeout rate of 11.59 per nine innings, which still ranks among the highest in team history for a pitcher with at least seven starts and 50 innings pitched. He now has 79 strikeouts in 12 major-league starts.
Pitch count — 93 with 57 strikes. Of the 18 batters he faced, 11 had at-bats of six pitches or more. Salazar had first-pitch strikes to nine along with three fouling the first pitch. Only one put the ball in play, which was a double by Ramirez. Of the 9 1/3 innings that Salazar has pitched this season, seven have gone 19 pitches or more.
According to the Pitch Fx tool on Brooks Baseball, Salazar threw 62 fastballs, six sliders and 25 splitters.
"He had good stuff with that many strikeouts. When he made mistakes it because he was deep in counts," Francona said. "He’s young. There’s some learning to do."