Home runs are plaguing Cleveland Indians starter Mike Clevinger early on.
For the second straight game, Cleveland Indians starter Mike Clevinger served up two long balls to the opposing lineup.
It wasn’t back-to-back jacks in the first innings, like he surrendered against the Royals during the second game of the season, rather Clevinger spread the moonshots out over the first two innings.
Clevinger rebounded in his first start after surrounding those home runs and didn’t allow another run in his seven innings of work. He only lasted 4.0 innings against the Twins, tossing 88 pitches (47 for stokes) in the process.
Add it up, and that’s four bombs surrounded in 11 innings. It’s a littler concerning, as Clevinger was was the Spring Training 1.0 favorite to assume the role of ace before he got injured.
The four home runs Clevinger allowed is tied for the MLB lead with three other pitchers (Joe Musgrove, Pittsburgh; Anibal Sanchez, Washington; Ryan Weber, Boston; Nester Cortes, Seattle).
Now, the Cy Young is Bieber’s to lose while Clevinger has put his team behind the 8-ball in his first two outings. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, except each game in this 60-game season carries a higher sense of urgency never known before in baseball.
1. Speaking of Bieber, the right-hander tied Karl Spooner for the most strikeouts in one’s first two starts to open a season. Spooner accomplished the fete in 1954, and interestingly enough, those two contests were the only games he appeared in all season.
Spooner hurt his arm during Spring Training in 1955, and was never the same. He went 8-6 with a 3.65 ERA, but he fanned just 78 in 98.2 innings.
Spooner picked up a ring with the Brooklyn Dodgers that season, and even started Game 6 of the World Series. He gave up five runs in 3.1. That was the last time he’d appear in a Major League Game.