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Cleveland Indians: Luis Tiant owns franchise’s best start according to ESPN

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians have had some legendary pitchers pass through town, but Luis Tiant owns the best start in franchise history according to a new list.

Cleveland Indians fans are lucky enough to be witnessing the greatness of Corey Kluber in the present. Don’t let two average starts make you think otherwise.

But while we enjoy the present, we can also remember some of the great pitchers who have passed through the organization before Kluber. The biggest name of all is Bob Feller, but the likes of Bob Lemon, Addie Joss, CC Sabathia and countless others have dazzled fans throughout the past.

Yet when it came to an ESPN article, written by David Schoenfield, looking at the best pitching performance ever for each MLB team, it was Luis Tiant whose named showed up for the Indians.

Schoenfield cited Tiant’s outing on July 3, 1968 as the best pitching performance in franchise history. Tiant went 10 innings, striking out 19 batters and walking zero in a 1-0 Indians victory over the Twins.

This outing came during a 1968 season in which Tiant made it to the All-Star Game and finished the year with an ERA of 1.60. He had nine shutouts on the year, which is almost hard to even imagine.

Unfortunately, Tiant had a rough 1969 season as he dealt with injuries and was never great again for the Indians. However, he did resurrect his career in Boston where he played from 1971-1978, becoming a franchise star in the process.

The Indians have two perfect games in franchise history but this 19-strikeout performance trumps both of those, in the eyes of Schoenfield.

As a bit of a fun fact, the first perfect game in franchise history was thrown by Addie Joss on October 2, 1908. This followed the first no-hitter in franchise history on September 18, 1908. Imagine how insane that would be if it happened now. Back then they probably just shook hands and got a beer after both games.

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So what do you think? Does this performance by Tiant deserve to be considered the best start in franchise history?