MLB: He savored it! Triston McKenzie throws near-perfect gem with Cleveland

MLB He savored it Triston McKenzie throws near perfect gem with

The right-hander novice Triston McKenzie he came within four outs of perfection Sunday afternoon for Cleveland. I had retired the first 23 Detroit Tigers that he faced while plunging into personally unknown waters in the Comerica Park.

McKenzie had never completed more than seven innings in a game. He had never thrown more than 93 pitches in one start. Yet there he was, looking the story in the eye with two outs in the eighth inning:

However, Tigers shortstop Harold Castro had something to say about it. He singled to right field to end the Ohio Tribe’s search for the first perfect game since Len Barker beat the Blue Jays, 3-0, in Cleveland on May 15, 1981.

McKenzie, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, struck out Willi Castro before coming off the mound in the eighth, showing little emotion. Then his teammate Ernie Clement told him on the bench that it was on this exact date in 2012 that the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez pitched the perfect 23rd and most recent in MLB history.

As he remembered it again at the post-game Zoom lecture, McKenzie smiled, threw his head back, and groaned in frustration. He ended up throwing 106 pitches (73 strikes) while striking out 11 (all with third strikes blown out) in the 11-0 slate victory.

McKenzie said the only word to sum up the outing was “comfortable” and that he “felt strong all the time.” He added that he was ready to face the Tigers in the ninth inning, but instead closer Emmanuel Clase pitched a ninth 1-2-3 to preserve the one-hit shutout. That move was easy for DeMarlo Hale, Cleveland’s acting manager, to make.

McKenzie entered the game with a 3-6 record with a 4.92 ERA during his two seasons with Cleveland, and he had given no indication of throwing such a gem: He was 1-5 with a 5.66 ERA in 2021 before his departure nearly perfect. But he had been pitching deeper in games and more effectively in recent starts, and he stood out big for the Indians Sunday afternoon.

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In three of McKenzie’s four previous starts, he went at least six innings and allowed no more than three earned runs.

Rafael Martinez

I am fond of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and in general all of Mexican baseball. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, LMB All Star, LMP (uninterrupted since 2009), signings of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, albeit as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I carry baseball in my veins. Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I came to El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services in Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and within days, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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