Signed to a minor-league deal after being out of affiliated baseball for all of 2012, Kazmir did enough to impress the Cleveland Indians organization after regaining his form with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, and playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico.
This year has been up and down, but one thing you can count on is Kazmir's ability to grind through starts; good or bad.
Over his last 10 starts he is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA, but during those games he flashes the brilliance that once had him labeled as on the the best starters in the game.
With the Indians right in the mix of the Wild Card hunt, every start is crucial. In his biggest start of the season, Kazmir dominated the hapless Houston Astros, going seven innings, striking out 10.
He was never really in trouble at all. Jonathan Villar opened up the game with a single, but Kazmir quickly erased that by inducing a Jose Altuve double-play. He allow didn't another runner until a Chris Carter single in the fifth.
Was this the biggest win of his career? You can say that. He still has his doubters and nothing is ever guaranteed in this game as evidenced by how his career was nearly finished after a short stint with the Los Angeles Angels in 2011.
Every start from here on out is an audition for something more. Every time he takes the mound the world will be watching. And from a bird's eye view, he's performing as good as he ever has. He surpassed 150 strikeouts for the first time since 2008 and is throwing strikes at an unprecedented rate, the likes we haven't seen him do before (SO/BB 3.36).
The Indians and Kazmir are a perfect fit. One couldn't have succeeded without other.