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Striking out the side / Edwar Ramirez

Posted by Andy on July 4, 2007

Yesterday, the Yankees' Edwar Ramirez struck out the side in his major league debut. As the Associated Press report on the game mentions, Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the last Yankee to strike out the side in his MLB debut was Stan Bahnsen in 1966. But they don't mention anything about other players who did what Ramirez did yesterday, specifically.

In Buhnsen's game in 1966, he came in to strike out the side, then pitched a second inning that included a fourth strikeout. We'll come back to this case later in this post.

First, the list of all pitchers since 1957  to do exactly what Ramirez did yesterday: first career game, 1 IP, 3 K's:

  Cnt CarGm Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1     1 Edwar Ramirez     2007-07-03    NYY  MIN W  8-0   9-9f      1    0  0  0  0  3  0  14   9       0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    2     1 Jordan De Jong    2007-06-06    TOR  TBD L  2-6   9-9f      1    0  0  0  0  3  0  14  10       0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    3     1 Jose Valverde     2003-06-01    ARI @SDP W 10-4   9-9f      1    2  1  1  2  3  1  31  20       0  0  7  5  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
    4     1 Todd Wellemeyer   2003-05-15    CHC @MIL W  4-2  17-17f,S   1    0  0  0  0  3  0  18  14       0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    5     1 Jeremy Fikac      2001-08-16    SDP  NYM W  6-5   8-8  ,W   1    0  0  0  0  3  0  15  10       0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    6     1 Craig House       2000-08-06    COL  PHI L  9-10  8-8       1    1  0  0  0  3  0  16  11       0  0  4  4  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    7     1 Mark Whiten       1998-07-31    CLE @OAK L  2-12  8-8f      1    1  1  1  2  3  0  29  14       0  0  7  4  1  0   0   1  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
    8     1 Braden Looper     1998-03-31    STL  LAD W  6-0   9-9f      1    0  0  0  0  3  0  14  11       0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    9     1 Pat Gomez         1993-04-06    SDP @PIT L  4-9   7-7       1    2  0  0  0  3  0  18  14       0  0  5  5  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   10     1 Gary Wayne        1989-04-07    MIN  BAL W  8-3   9-9f      1    0  1  1  4  3  0  37  19       0  0  7  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   11     1 Wayne Twitchell   1970-09-07(1) MIL @MIN L  6-7   5-5       1    0  0  0  1  3  0               0  0  5  4  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   12     1 Fred Wenz         1968-06-04(2) BOS  DET L  0-2   9-9f      1    0  0  0  2  3  0               0  0  5  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

Generally, that's not a very impressive list of players. Jose Valverde and Braden Looper are the only two to have careers of any significant length and an ERA below league average.  The hilarious entrant is obviously Mark Whiten, who I believe is the only "pitcher" in major league history to have at least 1 IP and to record all outs on strikeouts.

Moving more generally to Buhnsen's case, here's the list of all pitchers since 1957 to pitch (as a reliever) between 1 and 2 innings with at least 4 strikeouts (does not necessarily include striking out the side):

Cnt CarGm Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1     1 Jose Contreras    2003-03-31    NYY @TOR W  8-4   7-8       1.2  2  2  2  2  4  0  40  21       0  0  9  7  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0  10.80 
    2     1 Eric Eckenstahler 2002-09-09    DET @MIN L  2-5   7-8f      2    1  0  0  0  4  0  28  17       1  1  7  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    3     1 Josh Fogg         2001-09-02    CHW  CLE W 19-10  8-9f      1.1  1  0  0  0  4  0  22  14       1  0  5  5  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    4     1 John Bale         1999-09-30    TOR @CLE L  2-9   6-7       2    2  3  3  2  4  1  46  26       0  0 10  8  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0  13.50 
    5     1 Jeff Sparks       1999-09-12    TBD  OAK L  3-4   7-8       2    0  0  0  2  4  0  45  21       0  0  8  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1   0.00 
    6     1 Jeff Zimmerman    1999-04-13    TEX @SEA W 15-6   7-8       1.2  1  0  0  0  4  0  26  18       0  0  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    7     1 Russ Ortiz        1998-04-02    SFG @HOU W  9-2   8-9f      2    0  0  0  3  4  0  51  27       0  0 10  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
    8     1 Todd Burns        1988-05-31    OAK  NYY L  0-5   8-9f      1.2  2  1  1  0  4  0  33  20       0  0  7  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   5.40 
    9     1 Scott Garrelts    1982-10-02    SFG  LAD L  2-15  8-9f      2    3  3  3  2  4  0               0  0 11  9  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0  13.50 
   10     1 Ricky Wright      1982-07-28    LAD @SFG L  2-6   1-3       2    4  2  2  3  5  0               2  1 13 10  0  1   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   11     1 Angel Torres      1977-09-12    CIN  HOU L  2-7   4-5       2    2  1  1  3  5  1               0  0 11  8  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   4.50 
   12     1 Larry Demery      1974-06-02    PIT @CIN L  1-5   3-4       1.2  1  0  0  0  4  0               1  1  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   13     1 Geoff Zahn        1973-09-02    LAD  HOU L  0-9   6-7       2    1  1  1  1  5  1               0  0  8  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   4.50 
   14     1 Steve Blateric    1971-09-17    CIN @HOU L  1-4   7-8f      2    1  0  0  0  4  0               0  0  8  7  1  0   0   1  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   15     1 Bob O'Brien       1971-04-11    LAD  SDP L  7-9   7-8       2    1  1  1  1  4  1               0  0  8  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1   4.50 
   16     1 Scipio Spinks     1969-09-16    HOU @SDP L  1-8   5-6       2    1  1  0  1  4  0               0  0  8  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   17     1 Danny Murphy      1969-08-11    CHW  BOS L  2-5   6-7       2    0  0  0  0  4  0               0  0  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   18     1 Horacio Pina      1968-08-14    CLE  DET L  0-3   8-9f      2    0  0  0  0  4  0               0  0  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   19     1 Stan Bahnsen      1966-09-09    NYY @BOS W  2-1   8-9f ,S   2    0  0  0  0  4  0               0  0  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   20     1 Gene Brabender    1966-05-11    BAL  CHW L  2-3  10-11f,L   2    1  1  1  1  4  0               0  0  9  7  0  0   0   1  0  0   0  0  0  0  1  0   4.50 
   21     1 Luke Walker       1965-09-07    PIT @CIN L  0-5   6-7       2    1  0  0  1  4  0               0  0  8  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1   0.00 
   22     1 Wade Blasingame   1963-09-17    MLN  SFG L  3-11  8-9f      2    6  3  3  0  4  0               0  0 12 12  3  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0  13.50 
   23     1 Harry Fanok       1963-04-16    STL  PIT W  4-3   8-9f ,W   2    1  0  0  0  4  0               0  0  7  7  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  1  0   0.00 
   24     1 Chuck Estrada     1960-04-21    BAL  WSH L  5-6   5-6       2    1  0  0  0  5  0               2  0  8  7  1  0   0   1  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 
   25     1 Mike Cuellar      1959-04-18    CIN  PHI L  9-14  2-4       2    4  6  5  4  4  1               2  0 15 11  2  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1  22.50 

This is also not a terribly impressive list. Some guys on here had great careers but most didn't last in the bigs for more than a few seasons.

What does this mean for the future of Ramirez? Honestly, very little. The reason is that the sample size--what a pitcher does in his first inning or two--means very little. Just for example, in Roger Clemens' first career start, over the first two innings he gave up 3 hits, 1 ER, 2 stolen bases, and had just 1 strikeout. He got a no-decision that day. 350 wins later I think we'd all agree that the first couple of innings were not a great indicator.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone.

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