The Cleveland Indians appear to be finding a new dominant pitcher for their starting rotation in 2014, that being 26-year-old Zach McAllister, who moved to 3-0 in a 4-3 win over the AL Central rival Kansas City Royals on Monday night at Progressive Field. McAllister allowed two earned runs go to along with six hits, a walk and two strikeouts through six innings as the Indians won their second straight.
This season, McAllister seems more confident than ever, and even after the Royals pushed three across in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead, he responded with a key sixth inning in which he didn’t allow them to get any more as the Indians eventually rallied for the win. Just how good has McAllister been? Monday was his third consecutive quality start in his fourth outing of the year. His 2.28 ERA is a team-best for a starter, and the third straight win matches a career-high for him.
Over the course of the current win streak for McAllister, he’s has allowed just three earned runs over 19.2 innings (1.37 ERA) dating back to his start on April 9. He has also notched 13 strikeouts as opposed to just three walks over the stretch. Against the Royals, he saw they were aggressive early in the count, and used that and a commanding fastball to his advantage.
Monday was McAllister’s 13th consecutive start where he went at least five innings and gave up three runs or less, tying Gaylord Perry and Bob Lemon for the fourth-longest streak in Indians history. With early struggles from ace Justin Masterson and last year’s sensational rookie Danny Salazar, having McAllister throw well is even more critical early in the year for the Indians as they continue to try and gain some momentum in the AL Central.
Every five days so far in 2014, McAllister has given the team that very chance to grab momentum as well as an important win.