Dallas Keuchel defeated the Rangers on Sunday, reducing the Astros’ deficit in the AL West to 2.5 games with six games remaining. He scattered two hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts, lowering his season-wide ERA to 2.47 in his quest to win the American League Cy Young Award.
More impressively, Keuchel ends his home schedule with a perfect 15-0 record, a 1.46 ERA, and a 139/28 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Keuchel is the first to win 15-plus games with zero losses since Bill Hoffer went 20-0 at home… in 1895. Additionally, per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the lefty’s 1.46 home ERA is the lowest by an American League pitcher since Nolan Ryan posted a 1.07 ERA in 1972 with the California Angels.
Update (9:59 PM EDT): Well, that didn’t take long. Arrieta gave up a leadoff single to Gregory Polanco to start the seventh inning.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been perfect against the Pirates through the first six innings of Sunday’s start at Wrigley Field, retiring all 18 batters he’s faced. The right-hander has struck out eight while throwing 75 pitches.
Arrieta helped his own cause by hitting a solo home run — his second of the year — in the second inning off of opposing starter A.J. Burnett.
We’ll keep you posted as Arrieta attempts to complete the final three innings in perfect fashion.
Arrieta is arguably the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award. He entered Sunday’s start with a 20-6 record, a 1.88 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and a 220/48 K/BB ratio over 216 innings.
Royals starter Chris Young’s father passed away on Saturday night, but the veteran right-hander still elected to pitch on Sunday against the Indians. He dazzled, tossing five no-hit innings on 68 pitches before being lifted.
As Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports, Young wanted to start to honor his father. He has left the team to be with his family.
We at HardballTalk offer our condolences to the Young family for their loss. Chris certainly found a special way to honor his father.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle went six innings in Sunday’s start against the Rays, a game ultimately won on Josh Donaldson‘s walk-off home run. The veteran lefty now has 191 1/3 innings under his belt, leaving him 8 2/3 innings shy of 200 innings.
While 200 innings is a nice round number that many starters take pride in reaching, it’s not one they and their managers make a concerted effort to reach. However, Buehrle has gone 200-plus innings in every season dating back to 2001. It’s the longest active streak by a mile, as his 14 seasons lead the eight held by nine pitchers in the same span of time.
Per Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, Jays manager John Gibbons said that if certain conditions are met, Buehrle could start on short rest towards the end of the season. Only if the Blue Jays have already clinched the AL East and Buehrle is still under 200 innings after Friday’s road start against the Rays will he make another short start.
Buerhle, 36, holds a 3.76 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP, and an 88/31 K/BB ratio this season, his 15th full season in the majors.