CHICAGO: What is Frank Herrmann's secret? How does a pitcher log 19 relief appearances in Triple-A and compile an 0.31 earned-run average?
Herrmann picked up where he left off in Columbus by retiring all four batters he faced Friday night in his major-league debut, as the Indians routed the White Sox 10-1. Moreover, Herrmann didn't have the luxury of starting an inning from scratch. He was summoned in the sixth with runners on first and third and two outs.
According to manager Manny Acta, Herrmann's strength is locating his fastball. But Herrmann had trouble doing that, running the count to 3-and-2 on all three batters he faced in the seventh.
""He might have had a few butterflies, but he graduated from Harvard, so he can handle that,'' Acta joked. ""We klnow he's a strike thrower. He needed work on his secondary pitches, but his slider has improved. He also throws a split.''
If you're a glutton for punishment, or you just want to see how close the play was that ended the game, you can watch a replay of Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game against the Tribe on Monday at 1 p.m. on the MLB Network.
One thing to check out: When Jason Donald slapped a ground all between first and second with two outs in the ninth, take note that second baseman Carlos Guillen was waiting for the ball directly behind Miguel Cabrera, who ranged far to his right to corral the bouncer.
Umpire Jim Joyce blew the call, ruling that Donald was safe, but had Cabrera gone directly to the bag and allowed Guillen to make the play, it wouldn't have been close enough for Joyce to make a mistake.