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Josh Tomlin breaks Daisuke Matsuzaka’s major league record

Josh Tomlin

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin throws to the New York Yankees in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 4, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Kuntz)


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.