Tigers relief pitcher Jay Sborz, a career minor leaguer with eight seasons in the minors, made his ML debut Tuesday night against the Mets. Hopefully it was not his only appearance ever because it was a horrid…and historic one.

Sborz relieved Justin Verlander in the bottom of the third inning at Citi Field for his first appearance in the show. Just eight batters later, he was finished for the night with a line of three hits, five earned runs in just 0.2 innings. The thing that stuck out to me was the way he started as he promptly hit the first two batters he saw (Rod Barajas and Jeff Francouer). My first thought was this has to be a major league first. So I quickly went to my best friend, the Baseball Reference Play Index, and believe it or not, I was wrong though I was close. Sborz’s feat was actually the second ever in major league history. Well, at least since 1950 since the play-by-play is not available for games prior to 1950.

Toronto reliever Justin Miller hit the first two batters he saw in his career on April 12, 2002 for the Blue Jays against the Devil Rays. Even more bizarre is that Miller picked up the win in that game. Weird stuff.

Also, Phillies reliever Andy Carter came close to being the first in 1994 when he hit two out of the first three batters he faced.

Just another fine example of “you never know what you’re going to see in any baseball game” moment. And for the sake of Sborz’s sanity, I’m praying to the baseball gods that Sborz gets more opportunities to lower his current 67.50 ERA before being sent back down.

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