Cleveland Indians fans who stayed up late Thursday night, and into Friday morning, saw history being chased.
Zach Plesac had a no-hitter through seven innings and was well under 100 pitches even with three walks.
He did lose it in the eighth, but the Indians came away with a 4-2 victory.
The drama in the ninth had nothing to do with Plesac.
But the most fascinating thing from this game was not just Plesac’s no-hit bid.
It is the fact no-hitters seem to appear whenever he takes the mound.
"We got a win so that's all that matters."
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 14, 2021
No-Hit Bids Following Zach Plesac
The Indians offense has been no-hit twice this season.
The common denominator both times has been Plesac on the mound for Cleveland.
His third start of the season came April 14 against the Chicago White Sox.
That was the night of Carlos Rodon‘s no-hitter and easily the worst start of Plesac’s career.
He lasted 0.2 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits.
The game was over early, but Rodon decided to take it to the next level and truly rub it in.
Next up was a home start last Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.
This was actually Plesac’s best start of the season.
He logged eight scoreless innings and had seven strikeouts.
Yet once again, the Indians offense was no-hit, this time by Wade Miley.
Jump ahead to Plesac’s next start and it was him chasing history.
Heating up in May
Safe to say no need to worry about #Indians RHP Zach Plesac anymore after his rough start to the 2021 season. Plesac over his last four starts including the Mariners tonight just 13 hits over 29.1 innings pitched!
– 29.1(IP) 13H 5R 5ER 8BB 19SO 1.54 ERA #OurCLE
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) May 14, 2021
The right-hander had a solid start to the season in his first two starts.
Then came the disaster in Chicago, followed by another rough outing against the White Sox the next week.
May arrived and it has been a blessing for Plesac.
He has now made three starts and has only allowed two earned runs in 21.2 innings of work.
And those two runs came Thursday when he was nearly perfect.
Shane Bieber is obviously the ace of the staff.
But questions at the backend of the rotation means Plesac and Aaron Civale have a lot of pressures to perform at a high level every five days.
Both pitchers have similar numbers on the season with Civale being just a bit better in terms of ERA and WAR.
Having a legitimate, dominant trio in the rotation will be the key to reaching the postseason if the offense continues to be boom-or-bust.
Still Early in the Season
Plesac has only made eight starts so far in 2021 and two have seen his own team get no-hit.
The dynamic of his season has been odd and Thursday gave fans a glimpse of what he can do if given a little bit of run support.
The pressure to be perfect goes away and in a weird twist, he was nearly perfect anyway.
Continuing on throughout the summer without his offense disappearing so often should give us a better idea of how great Plesac can be.
While it is early in the season, it is also still early in his career.
But so far, the signs are promising.