In 167 career innings pitched in the major leagues, Kansas City Royals starter Luis Mendoza has a 6.20 ERA. His record during that time is 9-13. But that didn't stop The Dozer from going out on Friday evening and having his best career outing.
Tossing 115 pitches, which is an all-time at the game's highest level for the 28-year old right-hander, Mendoza went eight innings in which he allowed just one run on five hits. He struck out five, while walking none. Both statistics tied season highs. Mendoza would finish with a game score of 73 which is a career best figure.
Diving more into the numbers, 23 pitches were strikes looking, which tops the previous season high of 15 in a 2-1 Kansas City victory on June 12th at The K against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now it may have been against a Twins squad that is sitting at the bottom of the American League Central, but it was a road game and with the Royals starting a steak of 11 games in 10 days, it was just the type of effort needed from a Royals pitcher.
Going into Saturday's doubleheader, the Royals have a fresh bullpen after having an off day on Thursday, and only using Jonathan Broxton for one inning of relief on Friday.
Kansas City is allowed to bring up one extra player for Saturday and will add Tommy Hottovy from Omaha to the squad for a day. By comparison, the Twins used five pitchers Friday night.
As manager Ned Yost has commonly said all year, he's taking this process one day at a time, but on Friday evening Luis Mendoza sure helped the Royals bullpen out for the new few days.