DETROIT — Tyler Alexander’s incredible performance on Sunday put his name in the record books. It may also push him into the Detroit Tigers’ starting rotation.
Alexander struck out the first nine batters he faced in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader, setting a Major League record for most consecutive strikeouts by a reliever and tying the American League record for consecutive strikeouts by any single pitcher set by the Tigers’ Doug Fister in 2012.
He came within one strike of tying Tom Seaver’s Major League record of 10 consecutive strikeouts set in 1970.
This little piece of history happened quickly, quietly and almost accidentally in an empty stadium with no crescendo of anticipation while it was in progress nor a standing ovation when it was over.
“I normally don’t try to strike people out,” Alexander said. “But I would say after about the fifth strikeout, I started trying to strike people out.”
Alexander is not an overpowering pitcher, with a fastball that sits at about 90-92 mph. But a nasty slider combined with pinpoint control of his fastball was enough to make Cincinnati Reds miss pitch after pitch.
“I normally do throw a lot of strikes and when I miss,…