BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians reacts in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park May 12, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Zach McAllister pitched a very good game again in spot duty, but the Tribe offense was stymied by Felix Doubront.
McAllister was set to pitch tonight for the Columbus Clippers, but instead pitched on normal rest for the Indians. His last start had been in Game 1 of last Monday's doubleheader, so for the first time in his career Zach made consecutive appearances at the major-league level. And because he's taking the spot of Josh Tomlin, who went on the DL, he's going to get at least one more start, and probably two with the Indians.
McAllister didn't try anything fancy, relying on a four-seam fastball with some sliders and curves sprinkled in just enough to stay in the batter's mind. The fastball was consistently in the low 90s, the sliders in the mid-80s, and the curves in the low-80s.
The fastball didn't appear to have a ton of movement on it, but of his 77 four-seamers, 11 of them were swung and missed at. Even with a small strike zone and a good offensive lineup, McAllister was able to go seven innings, and got better, not worse, as he went through the lineup for the third and even fourth times. Part of the answer was that he pitched inside. He did get burned a couple times, including a Cody Ross homer in the sixth, but I'll take the tradeoff.
If the Indians had achieved their average road run output, McAllister would have won twice in two starts, but they were shut down a pitcher with a similar strategy. Felix Doubront had a bit more velocity on his fastball, and the southpaw was facing a more favorable matchup. The Indians most nights feature seven left-handed hitters and two switch-hitters, so they are obviously vulnerable to left-handed pitching. Doubront mixed a sinker and cutter in with his four-seamer, and didn't really bother with off-speed pitches. He only walked two on the evening, a surprise given both his recent history and Tribe's predilections.