6/29/2014 3:20 A.M. ET
Tomlin's one-hitter vaults him into elite company
Gem ranked as second-best start this season to Kershaw's near-perfect no-no
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Josh Tomlin cracked a smile on Saturday night when Clayton Kershaw's name was mentioned. The Indians starter found it hard to believe that anyone would compare one of his outings to the no-hitter spun by the Dodgers ace earlier this month.
As unlikely as it might seem, considering the type of command-oriented style that Tomlin utilizes, the start the right-hander gave Cleveland in its 5-0 victory over the Mariners put the pitcher in that kind of elite company. Statistically speaking, only Kershaw's near perfect game rates better this season than the one-hitter Tomlin turned in at Safeco Field.
"Oh, come on," Tomlin said. "That's not right."
Here is a look at the historical elements of Tomlin's showing in Seattle:
• Tomlin finished with 11 strikeouts, no walks and one hit allowed in a shutout over the Mariners. Kershaw (15 strikeouts and no walks in a no-hitter against the Rockies on June 18) is the only other pitcher in the Majors this season to have an outing with at least that many strikeouts, no walks or runs allowed, and no more than one hit yielded in a complete game.
• According to baseball-reference.com, this marked only the 21st time in the past 100 years that a pitcher ended an outing with at least 11 strikeouts, no walks and no more than one hit allowed in a shutout. Ten of those unique performances were either no-hitters or perfect games. The only other Indians pitcher to achieve the feat was Len Barker in his perfect game against Toronto in 1981.
• Tomlin's performance netted a Game Score of 96. The formula, which was developed by Bill James, has a maximum score of 114. Kershaw (102 Game Score in his no-hitter) is the only pitcher to have a better rating this season. St. Louis' Shelby Miller (98 on May 10, 2013) turned in the last Game Score of at least 96 that was not a no-hitter.
• Tomlin's start marked the 20th Game Score of at least 96 in Indians history, but only the fifth for a start consisting of no more than nine innings. The other four were turned in by Bartolo Colon (97 on Sept. 18, 2000), Barker (98 on May 15, 1981), Dennis Eckersley (98 on May 30, 1977) and Bob Feller (96 on July 12, 1940).
• Tomlin's outing represented only the sixth time in the past 100 years that a Cleveland pitcher has at least 11 strikeouts with no walks in a shutout. The others on that short list include Barker (May 15, 1981), Luis Tiant (July 3, 1968), Stan Williams (May 18, 1968), Feller (June 6, 1941) and Guy Morton (Aug. 15, 1915).
• It marked just the ninth time in the past 100 years that a Cleveland pitcher ended an outing with at least 11 strikeouts and no more than one hit allowed in a shutout. That group included Colon (Sept. 18, 2000), Barker (May 15, 1981), Eckersley (May 30, 1977), Tiant (Sept. 25, 1968), John O'Donoghue (Aug. 19, 1967) and Feller (three times).
• This marked only the 11th time in Mariners history than an opposing starter ended with at least 11 strikeouts and no walks. Tomlin became just the fourth pitcher in that grouping to turn in a complete game in the process, joining David Price (May 13 this season), Dan Haren (May 24, 2012) and Roger Clemens (April 29, 1986).