BY Steve Rudman 07:54AM 04/08/2011

Top 5 List: Pineda evokes ghosts of Mariners past

Ranking the best debuts by Seattle rookie starting pitchers

Michael Pineda had a quality start in his MLB debut / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Last Tuesday, Michael Pineda became the first Mariner since Joel Pineiro in 2000 to record a quality start (pitcher completes at least 6.0 innings and permits no more than three earned runs) in his Major League debut. Pineda worked 6.0 innings, allowed three earned runs on five hits, walked one and struck out four in a 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Although Pineda (0-1) took the loss, he performed impressively against a Rangers’ lineup that came into the game with a league-leading 13 home runs. Pineda permitted no long balls, one of the best developments in an otherwise forgettable series for the Mariners.

Before Pineiro defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-4 his Major League debut on Aug. 8, 2000, the previous Mariner to win his MLB debut: Freddy Garcia on April 7, 1999. Garcia defeated the White sox 7-3 that day.

Not many Mariner rookie pitchers — only 14, in fact, in 34+ years — have either won or pitched a quality start in their debut Major League contest. We’ve ranked them here according to their debut-game ERA, with notes attached:

Rank Date Pitcher W/L IP H R ER BB SO ERA
T13. 4/5/11 Michael Pineda L, 3-2, Tex 6.0 5 3 3 1 4 4.50
T13. 8/9/97 Ken Cloude L, 5-2, CWS 6.0 5 2 2 2 5 4.50
12. 4/11/82 Mike Moore L, 3-1, Oak 6.1 7 3 3 6 3 4.26
11. 8/18/95 Bob Wolcott W, 9-3, Bos 5.0 7 2 2 4 2 3.60
10. 4/7/99 Freddy Garcia W, 7-3, CWS 5.2 7 2 2 2 5 3.18
9. 8/8/00 Joel Pineiro W, 12-4, CWS 6.0 5 2 2 2 4 3.00
8. 9/4/81 Bob Stoddard W, 5-2, Bos 8.0 2 2 2 1 4 2.70
T4. 5/22/93 Jim Converse L, 4-1, KC 7.0 6 2 2 1 7 2.57
T4. 4/7/84 Mark Langston W, 3-2, Milw. 7.0 4 2 2 3 5 2.57
T4. 4/16/83 Matt Young W, 6-2, NYY 7.0 10 2 2 2 4 2.57
T4. 4/7/77 Enrique Romo L, 2-0, Tex 7.0 4 2 2 3 9 2.57
3. 8/19/88 Terry Taylor L, 5-3, NYY 7.1 4 2 2 4 2 2.45
T1. 9/5/88 Erik Hanson L, 2-0, Minn 7.1 6 2 0 1 2 0.00
T1. 5/18/81 Pat Rice W, 4-1, NYY 5.2 2 0 0 0 3 0.00

NOTES

  • Of the rookie pitchers above, Mark Langston went on to post the best individual season. He went 17-10 in 1984 with a 3.40 ERA in 35 games, including 33 starts. Langston finished runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, to teammate Alvin Davis.
  • Pat Rice, who defeated the New York Yankees 4-1 in his debut game, pitched only seven games at the Major League level, all in 1991. That win over the Yankees marked the only one of his career. Rice lost the final game of his career, on June 16, 1991, finishing with a 1-1 record.
  • Of the above rookies, Matt Young (1983) lost the most games during his first Major League season, going 11-15. However, he posted very respectable 3.27 ERA for a team that finished 60-102.
  • Mike Moore, who went 7-14 as a rookie in 1982, holds the record for most career losses by a Mariner pitcher — 96, or seven more than Jamie Moyer. Moore also co-holds, with Matt Young, the Mariner record for most losses in a season at 19 (1987).
  • Terry Taylor pitched in only five games for the Mariners, all in 1988. His debut loss marked the only decision of his career.
  • The Mariners traded Jim Converse to Kansas City in 1995 for Vince Coleman, who helped spark Seattle’s run to the playoffs that year.
  • In Enrique Romo’s debut game, he struck out nine, six more than the winning pitcher, Nolan Ryan. He later became one of the players Seattle sent to Pittsburgh for SS Mario Mendoza.

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  • Monday: That Was The Week That Was — A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
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  • Friday: Top 5 List — The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as we’re concerned.

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