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Josh Tomlin breaks Daisuke Matsuzaka’s major league record

Jul 4, 2011, 8:06 PM EDT

Josh Tomlin AP

Now, I know what you’re thinking… what record could Daisuke Matsuzaka possibly hold that Josh Tomlin could possibly break?

Tomlin, though, is now the all-time leader in outings of five innings or more to begin a career.  Having thrown five hitless against the Yankees tonight, he’s up to 29 in a row since debuting for the Indians last year.

Matsuzaka previously held the record, opening his career with 28 straight outings of at least five innings pitched.

Since many top hurlers have started off their careers in relief and since old-time baseball featured many starters getting yanked early in games when they didn’t have their best stuff, the list of pitchers to start off their careers with 20+ five-inning outings is surprisingly short.

Josh Tomlin – 29 (2009-10)
Daisuke Matsuzaka – 28 (2007)
Steve Rogers – 24 (1973-74)
Runelvys Hernandez – 21 (2002-03)
Chris Nabolz – 21 (1990-91)
Barry Zito – 20 (2000-01)
Howard Ehmke – 20 (1919)

Whether Tomlin will hold the record for long remains to be seen.  Baltimore’s Zach Britton and Seattle’s Michael Pineda both have active streaks of 17 and could pass Tomlin by the end of the season if Tomlin gets knocked out early in one of his next couple of starts.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Steve Rogers! I remember him well fron les Expos.

  2. kiwicricket - Jul 4, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Daisuke- 5.1IP 6H 4BB 4R 3ER 109Pitches…..for 27games. Great.

  3. spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Yes, this will not go down as a particularly meaningful stat, but it does give credence to the argument that finesse pitchers still have a place in the game. For all the criticism that Quality Starts gets as pseudo stat, at times it still has merit. Particularly for a team with a potent offense. One can aver that a hurler like Tomlin produces more wins than a shutdown or bust moundsman like Carmona.

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