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Josh Kinney

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Joshua Thomas Kinney

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Josh Kinney was undrafted out of both high school and college. His high school did not offer baseball, so he pitched for another school. In college, he went 19-7 for a Division II school, Quincy University.

Kinney briefly pitched for the independent River City Rascals (1-0, 1.71 in 3 games, 18 K in 21 IP) before getting ready to walk away from baseball and had accepted a job as a fly-fishing tour guide. St. Louis Cardinals scout Scott Melvin signed him in 2001 and he went 1-4 with a 4.39 ERA for the Peoria Chiefs; in 3 games with the New Jersey Cardinals, he allowed no runs. In 2002, Kinney was 1-3 with 7 saves and a 2.29 ERA for the Potomac Cannons, though a third of the runs he gave up were unearned, so his overall RA was less impressive. At age 24 in 2003, Josh emerged as a prospect by going 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA for the Palm Beach Cardinals and 2-1 with a 0.68 ERA for the Tennessee Smokies. With Tennessee, he struck out 48 and walked 12, allowing only 19 hits in 40 innings. By 2004, Kinney had run into difficulty. He was 0-1, 4.32 for Palm Beach and 3-8, 5.50 for the Smokies. He allowed 75 hits in 64 innings, walked 40 and struck out 60 in 57 games.

The 26-year-old reliever got back on track in 2005 by going 5-2 with 11 saves and a 1.29 ERA in 32 games for the Springfield Cardinals, but ran into trouble at AAA, posting a 1-2, 7.36 line for the Memphis Redbirds, allowing a WHIP of 2.3.

In his second try with Memphis, he went 1-2 with one save and a 1.62 ERA to begin 2006, allowing 32 hits and striking out 51 in 50 innings. He was called up to St. Louis and made his debut on July 3.

Up until June 27, 2009, when Kinney was the winning pitcher for St. Louis against the Minnesota Twins, he had the notoriety of being the sole remaining pitcher to have won a postseason game without having ever recorded a single regular season win. Odalis Perez, Francisco Rodriguez and David Price also had their first win in the postseason, but all three won a game in the following regular season; it took Kinney more than two years.

Main sources: 2002-2006 Baseball Almanacs

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