But the Tampa Bay Rays right-hander was lights-out anyway. He managed to come away with his third career shutout after surrendering just one more hit to designated hitter Adam Lind to lead of the seventh, and never let anyone past first base all night during the 9-0 victory.
Just ask Vernon Wells, whose 14-game hitting streak was squashed by Niemann on Tuesday:
He’s a tall young man. He’s deceptive. He can pitch. He didn’t make too many mistakes. When you’ve got that kind of stuff and you’re not making mistakes over the middle of the plate, you’re not going to give up many hits.Winning 13 games as a rookie last season, Niemann pitched a two-hit shutout against the Kansas City Royals just over a year ago before tossing a seven-hitter against the Oakland Athletics a month later.
One more impressive stat? He's won seven consecutive decisions dating back to last season, which matches the franchise record set by Mark Hendrickson in 2005. Also, he hasn't lost a game at Tropicana Field since May 2, 2009 (against the Boston Red Sox) which marks the longest active streak in the majors. Way to go buddy! We like your beard.