Originally posted on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 5/10/13
When Scott Kazmir made his first start of the season against the Houston Astros it wasn't pretty. Staked to a huge lead, he coughed up six runs in just over three innings, walked three and struck out four. Not exactly what you'd expect after posting some great numbers in spring training. Since that start, the Scott Kazmir everyone has been waiting for has finally shown up. In three starts since registering that no-decision, Kazmir has gone 2-1 and lowered his ERA from 16.20 to 4.87. And his performance against the Oakland Athletics yesterday was the best game he has thrown since his days with the Tampa Bay Rays. Kazmir surrendered five hits and allowed one run in six innings and it didn't hurt having home runs from Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds to back him up in the process. Without a doubt, a six-run lead after three innings will relax any pitcher, but you still have to go out there and throw strikes. And throw strikes he did. He did surrender one home run, but of the 102 pitches thrown 73 were strikes. He walked only one and struck out a season high 10-his first double-digit strikeout performance since August 2010 according to HardballTalk. The Indians are one game back of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central, and if Kazmir continues to pitch like this the Indians will have a legitimate shot at competing. It is still early in the season and it is unrealistic to say Kazmir should be considered the front-runner for Comeback Player of the Year, but I am fully confident in saying that. Other players like Mariano Rivera are coming back from injury, but Kazmir is coming back from a two-year period where he was written off by nearly everyone in the game, and was relegated to play in the Independent Leagues for a first-year franchise to figure everything out. Some may see that as the bottom of the barrel, I see that as an opportunity. You cannot take anything for granted in this game, and the typical "one game at a time" comment could be inserted here, but Kazmir was quoted in a recent MLB.com article by Jordan Bastian, and I couldn't agree more with how he is feeling. "I just feel comfortable, and I feel confident out there," Kazmir said. "And I feel like it's going to get better and better." Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.
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