Bronx, NY—Sunday’s starting pitcher for the Yankees, Michael Pineda, zeroed in on the strike zone throughout his outstanding pitching performance. The Dominican native fanned 16 batters, a career high in seven innings. It is only the seventh time since 1900 that a pitcher has struck out that many in as few as seven innings.
He struck out each of the Oriole batters he faced except J. J. Hardy. It was the second highest total of strikeouts in a single game for the Yankees. He tied the mark set by perfect game pitchers, David Wells and David Cone, and has been bested only by Ron Guidry, who fanned 18 in 9 innings on June 11, 1978.
The 26 year old has exhibited an amazing control of his pitches. On Sunday, he struck out 16 without issuing a walk. The last time a major league pitcher accomplished that feat was on August 19, 2007, when Johan Santana struck out 17 without walking a batter.
The total for his seven starts in 2015 are 54 strikeouts and 3 walks for an American League high k/bb ratio of 18.00, second only to Bartolo Colon in the majors.
He is one of only five active major league pitchers who have multiple appearances with at least seven strikeouts and zero walks.
Pineda’s catcher on Sunday, Brian McCann, was impressed, but not surprised by the pitcher’s performance, “He had all three pitches working. When you can throw three pitches for strikes whenever you want that allows the pitcher to attack the hitters. He doesn’t walk any guys. He pounds the zone. His stuff is electric every time he takes the ball.”
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi, a former catcher, described what he saw, “Location, outstanding mix of pitches, deception. A lot of things have to go right to get 16 strikeouts in 21 outs. Oh God, he was really good!”
Girardi explained why he removed Pineda from the contest after seven frames, “The time of the year, how young he is, how important he is to the team, and the pitch count (111).”
The result of Pineda’s work was another Yankee victory and the team’s continued presence in first place in the American League East. Pineda remained undefeated, 5-0, in his seven starts this season. He is also undefeated in six contests with the Baltimore Orioles, who lost 6-2, with a mark of 3-0.
Pineda, naturally a happy person, was overjoyed, “Today was the best game. The weather was like the weather in the Dominican. It’s Mother’s Day.” The devout player’s reaction in general, “Thank you God.”