Who knows what Tanner Houck's career will look like. But if nothing else he will have these last six days.
After five shutout innings in his big-league debut, Houck took his September story to another level Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. The rookie carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Yankees, finishing his second career start by not allowing an earned runs over six frames.
Houck has become just the third pitcher in Red Sox history to begin his major-league career by not allowing an earned run in either of his first two starts (having gone at least five innings). The previous two: Boo Ferriss (1945) and Vaughn Eshelman (1995).
Seventeen Yankees came up to the plate to begin what would be a 10-2 Red Sox win against Houck and not single one of them managed a hit until Tyler Wade led off the sixth with a double.
It has become the best -- and perhaps most important -- story for the 2020 Red Sox.
Houck's velocity wasn't what it was in Miami, but the pitcher adeptly adjusted, going to more two-seamers. Against the Marlins he threw 35 four-seam fastballs that averaged 93.6 mph. This time around he never cracked 92 mph.
"I think that has happened with him before," said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke regarding the velocity drop. "Our medical staff has talked to the medical staff in Pawtucket and that was the same thing we kind of saw. So physically we don't think it's something keeping him from throwing with velocity. He's just one of those guys who fluctuates a lot."
However he has done it, it has worked out, seemingly cementing his candidacy for the 2021 starting rotation.
Tanner Houck has become just the third pitcher in Red Sox history to begin his major-league career by not allowing an earned run in either of his first two starts (having gone at least five innings).