Matt Garza made his debut with the Chicago Cubs Sunday and of course with him and the Pirates involved, something pretty rare occurred.

Garza threw 7.0 innings with three runs allowed for a no-decision. Nothing too earth shattering there, but he also struck out 12 batters while giving up 12 hits (all singles) and walking zero. I thought the 12 and 12 line was pretty rare,  so I decided to dabble in the ol’ Baseball-Reference Play Index to search for any pitcher who struck out 12 or more batters in the same game where he gave up 12 or more hits. And just like I had assumed, it was pretty rare indeed as you can see from the chart below…

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR 2B 3B
1 Matt Garza 2011-04-03 CHC PIT L 4-5 GS-7 7.0 12 3 3 0 12 0 0 0
2 Curt Schilling 2001-04-25 ARI FLA W 10-7 GS-7 ,W 7.0 13 7 7 0 12 3 3 0
3 Todd Stottlemyre 1995-09-20 OAK CAL W 9-6 GS-9 ,W 8.1 12 3 3 0 12 1 3 0
4 Steve Carlton 1983-04-16 PHI ATL W 8-4 GS-8 ,W 8.0 12 4 4 4 12 0 3 0
5 Gaylord Perry 1982-04-20 SEA CAL W 6-4 GS-8 ,W 7.1 12 4 4 1 13 0 2 1
6 Bert Blyleven 1975-09-15 MIN CAL W 7-6 GS-10 10.0 12 6 5 3 12 0 2 2
7 Nolan Ryan 1973-09-23 CAL MIN W 15-7 CG 9 ,W 9.0 13 7 7 5 12 0 1 0
8 Bob Gibson 1970-08-12 STL SDP W 5-4 CG 14 ,W 14.0 13 4 4 2 13 1 3 0
9 Fergie Jenkins 1968-08-13 CHC STL W 10-3 CG 9 ,W 9.0 12 3 3 3 12 1 2 0
10 Blue Moon Odom 1968-07-29 OAK CHW L 2-7 GS-13 ,L 12.1 13 4 4 1 13 0 0 2
11 Juan Marichal 1965-08-04 SFG CIN W 4-3 CG 10 ,W 10.0 12 3 3 3 14 0 3 0
12 Camilo Pascual 1964-10-01 MIN KCA L 4-5 CG 12 ,L 12.0 12 5 1 3 14 1 2 1
13 Juan Marichal 1964-04-24 SFG CIN W 15-5 CG 9 ,W 9.0 13 5 5 3 13 1 1 0
14 Billy Pierce 1953-07-24 CHW PHA L 2-4 CG 12 ,L 12.0 12 4 4 1 12 1 1 0
15 Saul Rogovin 1952-09-14 CHW BOS W 4-3 GS-15 15.0 12 3 3 4 14 2 1 1
16 Marv Grissom 1952-09-13 CHW NYY L 5-6 GS-8 ,L 8.0 12 6 4 1 13 0 2 1
17 Bill Werle 1950-08-27 (1) PIT BSN L 3-7 12.0 12 7 6 4 13 4
18 Bobo Newsom 1944-05-21 (1) PHA CLE L 4-5 11.0 12 5 5 4 12 2 2 0
19 Bob Feller 1941-08-07 CLE DET L 3-4 13.0 13 4 2 11 13 0 0 0
20 Bobo Newsom 1939-07-22 (1) DET PHA L 2-4 9.0 16 4 4 3 12 1 1 0
21 Bill Hallahan 1932-05-11 STL BRO L 3-6 12.0 12 6 6 7 12 0 4 0
22 Red Ruffing 1927-09-05 (1) BOS NYY W 12-11 15.0 16 8 8 11 12 1
23 Dazzy Vance 1923-05-02 BRO NYG L 6-7 10.0 15 6 6 4 15 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/4/2011.

Not only is it an impressive list of pitchers, but Garza’s performance is only the 23rd game since 1919 with that kind of pitching line. It hasn’t happened since Curt Schilling did it in 2001. Viewing this list quickly, it’s easy to see that most of these games occurred back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s which makes sense because starting pitchers went deeper into games no matter how many hits they surrendered. And wow, it sure is an impressive list with Schilling, Steve Carlton, Gaylord Perry, Bert Blyleven, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal (twice), Fergie Jenkins and Bob Feller just to name a few. Whoa.

Like nine of the pitchers on this list, Garza left in line for the win, but a collapse by Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning gave the Pirates a victory. Also, the only three on the list to record no walks in these games were the last three: Garza, Schilling and Todd Stottlemyre.

The Baseball Reference blog also did a post off my comment about this today that you can find here that talks about all the hits off Garza were singles. Before Garza, Feller was the last one on the list above to have given up no extra-base hits.

Even more interesting is that after Garza exited the game, the Bucs added four more hits, all singles, to finish with 16 hits and 16 singles on the afternoon. I ran a search of teams that recorded 16 or more hits in a game where all the hits were singles. This has only occurred 58 times since 1919 and just three times since 1993. The last time was Aug. 31, 2004 when the Royals pounded out 17 singles in a 9-8 victory over the Tigers.

Three games into the 2011 season and you never know what you will see next!

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Imagine for a minute that it’s your major league debut, and you’re slated to face the New York freakin’ Yankees, a lineup that features Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, etc. Not to mention there’s all this additional hype and excitement around A-Rod possibly belting home run number 600 against you. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Well, not if you’re not Indians rookie pitcher Josh Tomlin. Tomlin made his ML debut Tuesday night and promptly shut down the Yanks for 7.0 plus innings to pick up the W in a 4-1 victory for Cleveland.

The 19th round pick of the Indians in 2006 went 7.0 plus strong innings, allowing just three hits, one run while striking out two and walking none. Tomlin actually faced the minimum through six innings. Incredible.

I began wondering how many pitchers making their ML debut mowed down the Yankees in the history of the game. Using Baseball Reference’s Play Index, I searched for pitchers who picked up the win against the Yankees and their ML debut with zero or one run allowed. Since 1920, this has occurred 12 times…

Rk Gcar Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit GSc
1 1 Josh Tomlin 2010-07-27 CLE NYY W 4-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 3 1 1 0 2 0 93 69
2 1 Koji Uehara 2009-04-08 BAL NYY W 7-5 GS-5 ,W 5.0 5 1 1 1 0 0 86 52
3 1 Anibal Sanchez 2006-06-25 (2) FLA NYY W 5-0 GS-6 ,W 5.2 7 0 0 0 2 0 96 57
4 1 Brian Sikorski 2000-08-16 TEX NYY W 5-0 GS-7 ,W 7.0 4 0 0 4 5 0 108 70
5 1 Paul Rigdon 2000-05-21 CLE NYY W 6-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 2 0 0 4 2 0 92 71
6 1 Jason Dickson 1996-08-21 CAL NYY W 7-1 GS-7 ,W 6.1 10 1 1 2 1 1 48
7 1 Vaughn Eshelman 1995-05-02 BOS NYY W 8-0 GS-6 ,W 6.0 3 0 0 2 1 0 62 65
8 1 Pat Rice 1991-05-18 SEA NYY W 4-1 GS-6 ,W 5.2 2 0 0 0 3 0 75 68
9 1 Billy Rohr 1967-04-14 BOS NYY W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 5 2 0 82
10 1 Luis Tiant 1964-07-19 (2) CLE NYY W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 4 11 0 86
11 1 Charlie Beamon 1956-09-26 BAL NYY W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 7 9 0 81
12 1 Clem Dreisewerd 1944-08-29 (1) BOS NYY W 8-1 9.0 6 1 1 1 2 0 72
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/29/2010.

Koji Uehara of the Orioles was the most recent to accomplish this last season in the second game of 2009 on April 8. Uehara only went 5.0 innings, but still got the win in a 7-5 O’s victory. Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez turned the trick in game 2 of a doubleheader in 2006. Of the 12 games, eight of them occurred since 1991, and of those eight games only two had better game scores than Tomlin’s 69 on Tuesday night.

Also, besides the recent names of Sanchez and Uehara, who are still both active, most of the pitchers on this list only lasted a couple of seasons in the bigs. The exception being Luis Tiant, the only notable name on this list. Tiant won 229 games in 19 major league seasons, was selected to three All-Star teams, and along with Tomlin, also owned the Yankees in his first start while wearing an Indians jersey in 1964. Paul Rigdon also did it with the Indians in 2000. Must be something about those Indians rookies that strike fear into the Yankees.

On the flip side, Mariners pitcher Pat Rice appeared in only seven games at the major league level. His first ever start against the Yankees on May 18, 1991 was his only win of his career. Strangely enough, he suffered his first and only loss in his last ML appearance. Today, Rice is the pitching coach of Triple-A Fresno in the Giants organization.

No matter what road Tomlin’s career heads down, he shook off the nervousness of his first start and will always be down in the books as shutting down the Bronx Bombers.

While sifting through some trade rumors tonight, I came across one where the Giants are interested in Orioles reliever Will Ohman. I hadn’t heard much about Ohman this year, so I was curious about his stats and something stood out to me as rare.

Ohman has appeared in 48 games for a total of 28.0 innings for Baltimore, but he has yet to factor in a decision in any of those games. He’s 0-0 on the year. So I wondered—how many pitchers pitched in a handful of games and ended up with a nothing and nothing record? You can tell where this is going. I pulled up Baseball Reference’s Play Index and searched pitchers since 1901 that appeared in at least 30 games and had exactly zero wins and zero losses. The list found only 38 players.

Ohman is second on the list, tied with Scott Aldred of the Devil Rays with 48 games in 1998. As the list proves—this is a pretty rare thing to do. Trevor Miller, who now pitches for the Cardinals, is first on the list when he appeared in a ridiculous 76 games (46.1 IP) without recording a win or a loss in 2007 as a member of the Astros bullpen. A win/loss record is definitely misleading for a pitcher, but I find it bizarre and fluky that some of these relievers never factored in a decision all season.

Here are some brief observations from this list:

  • The majority of these pitchers finished a lot of games when they were 0-0, but the most saves any of them recorded was three in the year, which means they pitched a lot in games where their team was already losing or ahead by a wide margin. Ohman has eight GF this year and while he has no saves, he does own 14 holds. So the bottom line is Ohman has been pretty effective this year in relief (2.57 ERA) and he’s been able to hold onto his team’s leads.
  • The pitchers on the list are mostly from the past 20 years, especially the 2000’s decade. This is obviously due to the game changing from the days when starting pitchers went the distance almost every time out and the use of relievers was entirely different. The earliest names on the list is Jhonny Murphy from 1947 and Eddie Erautt from 1951. After those two, the next earliest is in 1982.
  • Not only is 2010 the year of the pitcher, but the relievers rule this board so far (mainly because we’re only halfway through the season), but also on the list from 2010 besides Ohman are Carlos Villanueva of the Brewers (42 G, 46.0 IP) Sergio Santos of the White Sox (35 G, 30.0 IP), Joaquin Benoit of the Rays (33 G, 31.2 IP), Damaso Marte of the Yankees (30 G, 17.2 IP) and Logan Ondrusek of the Reds (30 G, 27.2 IP). However, I doubt all of these pitchers will end the year 0-0.
  • And lastly, the majority of these pitchers were effective throughout the year and ended with a nice ERA. The exception seems to be Mike Flanagan of the Orioles in his final season in the majors in 1992. Flanagan, mainly a starter for most of his career, somehow appeared in 42 games with an 8.05 ERA and did not lose one game. Looking at his game logs from that year, he really wasn’t totally awful but had a couple awful outings to balloon his ERA to more than eight. He did pick up 10 holds that year, but also pitched in a lot of games when the O’s were already trailing.

This isn’t exactly big news, but I found the stat intriguing. It will be interesting to follow Ohman and Villanueva to see if they keep up their 0-0 records.

Last night, Angels pitcher Scott Kazmir was shelled for 13 earned runs in just 5.0 innings of work in the Athletics 15-1 drubbing of the Halos. Not many pitchers give up 13 runs these days. As it turns out, Kazmir pitched his way to one of the worst appearances by a pitcher in the modern era.

I found 31 games since 1091 where a pitcher gave up 13 earned runs or more in one outing. The majority of them were back in the ’20s and ’30s when pitchers were going eight and nine innings despite how poorly they were pitching. So I did another search on B-R’s Play Index (I know, I’m obsessed with this brilliant tool) to find how many pitchers gave up at least 13 runs in 5.0 innings or less. The answer is below—only seven pitchers. The last being Jason Marquis in 2006 when he gave up 13 ER in 5.0 IP too. Mike Oquist and Johnny Miljus gave up the most with 14 ER in each of their terrible games.

Most of the players on this list didn’t have much of a career like Dan Dugan, who only appeared in 20 games over two years. The only other notable on the list besides Kazmir and Marquis is David Wells, who imploded against the Brewers in 1992 when he was a member of the Blue Jays.

So, yeah it wasn’t a very good Saturday night for Kazmir.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
1 Mike Oquist 1998-08-03 OAK NYY L 1-14 GS-5 ,L 5.0 16 14 14 3 3 4 25.20
2 Johnny Miljus 1929-07-25 CLE PHA L 3-21 3.0 13 14 14 3 0 3 42.00
3 Scott Kazmir 2010-07-10 LAA OAK L 1-15 GS-5 ,L 5.0 11 13 13 3 2 3 23.40
4 Jason Marquis 2006-06-21 STL CHW L 5-13 GS-5 ,L 5.0 14 13 13 1 3 4 23.40
5 David Wells 1992-08-20 TOR MIL L 3-16 GS-5 ,L 4.1 11 13 13 4 1 1 27.00
6 Johnny Babich 1935-06-23 (1) BRO STL L 2-16 4.2 16 13 13 2 1 1 25.07
7 Dan Dugan 1929-06-05 CHW BOS L 2-17 3.2 15 13 13 2 3 0 31.91
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/11/2010.

After watching the Pirates continue to invent ways to lose on the road, I always find myself saying “they have to be the worst road team of all-time.” Well, I looked it up and well, I wasn’t far off at all.

The Pirates are currently a putrid 11-37 in road games this year, which comes out to a nice .229 winning percentage. Running the stat of worst road records since 1950 on Baseball-Reference’s Play Index, there are only two teams with a worst winning percentage than the 2010 Pirates. Two teams in 60 years of baseball. Think about that for a minute. The two teams are the 1962 and ’63 Mets, who were god awful with an 18-62 (.225) and 17-64 (.210) those years, respectively. Their records were obviously a full season, while the Pirates current record is just the first half, but holy shit, it’s still pathetic. Those two Mets teams were the first two expansion years of their franchise, so you can kind of give them a pass. They at least had an excuse. The Pirates just suck.

The Pirates will have trouble avoiding their worst road record in franchise history as the ’52 Bucs are at the bottom of the list with a 19-58 (.247) record.

Will the 2010 Pirates continue to play baseball at a .229 pace on the road this year? Probably not, I mean that would actually be difficult to do but if any team could pull it off, it would be the Buccos.