Fewest Wins by Pitchers with a Shutout Debut

Andy’s and John’s posts from earlier today made me curious about the career stats of pitchers who debuted with a shutout.  Since 1919, 44 pitchers have thrown a shutout in their pitching debut  (1 was a five inning game another a seven inning game, the rest were 9 innings). 1/4 of those pitchers never won 5 games in the majors, including 4 who never won another game. Here are the career stats for the 44:

Rk Player W From To Age G GS CG SHO L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+
1 Andy Van Hekken 1 2002 2002 22-22 5 5 1 1 3 .250 0 30.0 38 13 10 6 5 3.00 143
2 Dave Downs 1 1972 1972 20-20 4 4 1 1 1 .500 0 23.0 25 7 7 3 5 2.74 134
3 Dick Rusteck 1 1966 1966 24-24 8 3 1 1 2 .333 0 24.0 24 10 8 8 9 3.00 122
4 Don Loun 1 1964 1964 23-23 2 2 1 1 1 .500 0 13.0 13 4 3 3 3 2.08 184
5 Mark Brownson 2 1998 2000 23-25 11 9 1 1 2 .500 0 48.0 65 37 37 13 32 6.94 81
6 Jim Cosman 2 1966 1970 23-27 12 6 1 1 0 1.000 0 41.1 26 15 14 27 16 3.05 114
7 Niles Jordan 2 1951 1952 25-26 8 6 2 1 4 .333 0 43.0 49 22 20 11 13 4.19 93
8 Billy Rohr 3 1967 1968 21-22 27 8 2 1 3 .500 1 60.2 61 43 38 32 21 5.64 60
9 Charlie Beamon 3 1956 1958 21-23 27 5 1 1 3 .500 0 71.1 64 35 31 36 45 3.91 95
10 Hal Kelleher 4 1935 1938 21-24 50 9 4 1 9 .308 0 134.2 174 111 89 81 49 5.95 76
11 George Hockette 4 1934 1935 26-27 26 7 3 2 4 .500 0 88.1 105 48 40 18 25 4.08 117
12 Nick Willhite 6 1963 1967 22-26 58 29 3 1 12 .333 1 182.0 195 104 92 75 118 4.55 71
13 Karl Spooner 10 1954 1955 23-24 31 16 4 3 6 .625 2 116.2 86 50 40 47 105 3.09 133
14 Jeff Pico 13 1988 1990 22-24 113 26 3 2 12 .520 5 295.1 327 153 139 105 132 4.24 91
15 Wally Burnette 14 1956 1958 27-29 68 27 5 1 21 .400 1 262.2 259 124 104 97 122 3.56 116
16 Bill McCahan 16 1946 1949 25-28 57 40 17 2 14 .533 0 290.2 297 142 124 145 76 3.84 104
17 Jackie Collum 32 1951 1962 24-35 171 37 11 2 28 .533 12 464.0 480 247 214 173 171 4.15 101
18 Tot Pressnell 32 1938 1942 31-35 154 42 17 4 30 .516 12 526.1 547 247 222 134 157 3.80 102
19 Earl Caldwell 33 1928 1948 23-43 200 49 18 5 43 .434 25 587.2 656 347 306 259 202 4.69 92
20 Russ Van Atta 33 1933 1939 27-33 207 76 17 3 41 .446 6 712.1 838 498 443 368 339 5.60 83
21 Wayne Simpson 36 1970 1977 21-28 122 107 13 2 31 .537 0 636.0 606 342 309 315 353 4.37 86
22 Dave Morehead 40 1963 1970 20-27 177 134 19 6 64 .385 1 819.1 730 430 378 463 627 4.15 90
23 Vito Tamulis 40 1934 1941 22-29 170 70 31 6 28 .588 10 691.2 758 340 305 202 294 3.97 102
24 Jimmy Jones 43 1986 1993 22-29 153 118 7 3 39 .524 0 755.0 809 431 374 239 376 4.46 82
25 Eric Rasmussen 50 1975 1983 23-31 238 144 27 12 77 .394 5 1017.2 1033 489 435 309 489 3.85 94
Rk Player W From To Age G GS CG SHO L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+
26 Sandy Consuegra 51 1950 1957 29-36 248 71 24 5 32 .614 26 809.1 811 346 303 246 193 3.37 119
27 Mike Remlinger 53 1991 2006 25-40 639 59 4 2 55 .491 20 879.0 784 412 381 430 854 3.90 111
28 Tom Phoebus 56 1966 1972 24-30 201 149 29 11 52 .519 6 1030.0 888 427 381 489 725 3.33 101
29 Mike Norris 58 1975 1990 20-35 201 157 52 7 59 .496 0 1124.1 972 542 486 499 636 3.89 97
30 Jason Jennings 62 2001 2009 22-30 225 180 6 3 74 .456 1 1128.1 1253 661 621 505 749 4.95 98
31 Bob Weiland 62 1928 1940 22-34 277 179 66 7 94 .397 7 1388.1 1463 794 654 611 614 4.24 100
32 Mike Fornieles 63 1952 1963 20-31 432 76 20 4 64 .496 55 1156.2 1165 567 509 421 576 3.96 101
33 Dave Ferriss 65 1945 1950 23-28 144 103 67 12 30 .684 8 880.0 914 392 356 314 296 3.64 103
34 Johnny Marcum 65 1933 1939 23-29 195 132 69 8 63 .508 7 1099.1 1269 630 569 344 392 4.66 102
35 Lew Krausse 68 1961 1974 18-31 321 167 21 5 91 .428 21 1283.2 1205 635 571 493 721 4.00 86
36 Al Worthington 75 1953 1969 24-40 602 69 11 3 82 .478 110 1246.2 1130 546 469 527 834 3.39 110
37 Ray Benge 101 1925 1938 23-36 346 248 102 12 130 .437 19 1875.1 2177 1108 941 598 655 4.52 96
38 Stu Miller 105 1952 1968 24-40 704 93 24 5 103 .505 154 1693.1 1522 697 610 600 1164 3.24 115
39 Van Mungo 120 1931 1945 20-34 364 260 123 20 115 .511 16 2113.0 1957 955 815 868 1242 3.47 110
40 Pedro Astacio 129 1992 2006 23-37 392 343 31 12 124 .510 0 2196.2 2292 1213 1140 726 1664 4.67 98
41 Schoolboy Rowe 158 1933 1949 23-39 382 278 137 22 101 .610 12 2219.1 2332 1075 955 558 913 3.87 110
42 Dave McNally 184 1962 1975 19-32 424 396 120 33 119 .607 2 2730.0 2488 1070 982 826 1512 3.24 106
43 Luis Tiant 229 1964 1982 23-41 573 484 187 49 172 .571 15 3486.1 3075 1400 1280 1104 2416 3.30 115
44 Juan Marichal 243 1960 1975 22-37 471 457 244 52 142 .631 2 3507.0 3153 1329 1126 709 2303 2.89 123
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/9/2012.
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DaveR
DaveR
10 years ago

I remember Eric Rasmaussen was one of the last pitchers I saw that used the full ’20s-style windup, with the swinging arms and hands over his head. His windup reminded me of Dizzy Dean. Not quite the results, though.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago

I remember the 1977 Strat-O-Matic cards of Eric Rasmussen and his Cardinals teammate Bob Forsch as one of my first lessons in the randomness of W-L records.

Their ERAs were identical, 3.48, and Rasmussen had more IP, better SO & BB rates, more CG and shutouts. But Forsch got a 20-7 record, while Rasmussen went 11-17.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago

Complete tangent, but — Raphy, do you know any P-I tricks for finding events in a player’s last game or last N games?

I recently noticed Fred Kuhaulua, who tossed 8 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over Fernando at the end of 1981, in what turned out to be his last MLB game. But I can’t think of any way to find other impressive finales.

Evil Squirrel
10 years ago

Woohoo! I thought of Andy Van Hekken when I saw the earlier post about flameouts. Glad to see him atop this list…

I drafted him for my fantasy team prior to the start of the 2003 season after all the hoopla over his big debut the previous season. That was literally the last I had heard of him….

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
10 years ago

Bill McCahan’s only other career shutout was a no-hitter.

Steven
Steven
10 years ago

When Eric Rasmussen came to the majors, his first name was Harry. Wayne Simpson was an overpowering rookie sensation for the first half of 1970. Bill Rohr threw a one-hitter for Boston against the Yankees. Elston Howard had the hit, and ended up being the Red Sox catcherin the World Series that year (1967).

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Steven

… and in that ’67 Series, Elston Howard became one of 8 players ever to have 7 games of negative WPA in a 7-game World Series.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=howarel01&t=b&post=1

James Smyth
10 years ago

Ya gotta love any list that has Van Lingle Mungo on it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKzobTlF8fM

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago

I had it in my head that Bo Belinsky’s no-hitter was in his first start (but not his first appearance) but it was actually his 4th appearance, all starts. In his second game he only allowed 1 earned run in 9 innings. And I’m glad DaveR mentioned about Rasmaussen. Growing up in the early 60’s pretty much everyone used a huge windup and when I came back to the game (after a hiatus during my high school & college years in the ’70’s when I developed other interests) in the early 80’s no one did. I imagine once the pitchers… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
10 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Bobo Holloman’s no-hitter in 1953 was also in his first start but it was his fifth appearance. By the end of July he was out of the majors for good.

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago

Dammit, I KNEW there was a Bo(bo) with a no-hitter in his first start!

One can never have too many Bobos.

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Or apparently Bumbus’s , for that matter (see cc @14)

Doug
Doug
10 years ago

Andy Etchebarren caught Dave McNally in his 1962 debut shutout. Etchebarren was also making his ML debut. Both were only 19.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago

Lew Krausse is the youngest pitcher with a 9-inning shutout,7 weeks after his 18th birthday. Joey Jay was a few months younger when picthed a 7-inning shutout in 1953.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
10 years ago

I thought for sure Bumpus Jones would be on this list (no-hitter in his first career game, only 1 other win in his career), but it turns out his no-hitter wasn’t a shutout since he gave up an unearned run.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
10 years ago

I remember Fernando shutting out the Astros on opening day ’81, but forgot the few innings he threw the season before. By the way, those were 17.2 innings and two uneraned runs.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
10 years ago

Meant “unearned” but you get the idea.

deal
10 years ago

Apparently Van Hekken is still kicking (as of 2011 anyway)
check out is minor league page has over 100 Ws in the minors. Man that is persaverance

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=vanhek001and

Tmckelv
Tmckelv
10 years ago

I would have never guessed Mike Norris only had 58 wins. What a shame.

Did we recently have a post like this for least career wins for a 20-game winner?

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  Tmckelv

I believe that there was a pitcher for the (Trolly?)Dodgers very early in the 20th century who came from the minors out west, won 20+, but decided he didn’t like big-city life, so that was his only year in MLB. That would have to be the record for fewest career wins for a 20-game winner. Time to hit the yearly team pages to verify…

I believe that Juan Marichal’s first start was a one-hitter.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

Raphy, Wow! That was fast! I just found Henry Schmidt in the 1903 Brooklyn _Superbas_ roster a few minutes ago, and you had already posted that! He spent the 1901, 1902, 1904 and 1905 years pitching for an independent team in Oakland, so that would fit in with the theory of him liking life “back west”. He went 35-20 for Oakland in 1902, which would explain why he was in MLB in 1903. Most fans nowadays don’t understand that there wasn’t always a drastic difference in quality (or pay) between the majors and minors, back 80/100/10 years ago. A number… Read more »

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Tmckelv

Excluding active players, Norris has fewest career wins among all pitchers who have won 20 since 1980. Other guys under 100 career wins include:
Jose Lima, 89
Rick Helling, 93
Bill Swift, 94
Teddy Higuera, 94
Lamar Hoyt, 98

If they don’t come back, Adam Wainwright (66) and Brandon Webb (87) could join the list.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

If Wainwright doesn’t come back, he will join Mike Mussina as the only pitchers to win 20 in their final season. For both, it was the only 20 win season of their careers.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Oops. Only Mussina and Wainwright have won 20 in their final season, among those pitchers winning 20 since 1980.

Other pitchers to win 20 in an earlier final season:
Sandy Koufax, 1966
Lefty Williams, 1920
Eddie Cicotte, 1920
Henry Schmidt, 1903

All of these guys saw their ML careers end prematurely, for various reasons.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Hoyt actually led the AL in wins twice: 19 in ’82, 24 in ’83. Then he was traded for Ozzie Guillen, Luis Salazar, and Tim Lollar (I may be wrong about the third player)

topper009
topper009
10 years ago

Somewhat related and this post reminded of it, in the category of most wins by a pitcher with a CG but no decisions in his first season the answer is Warren Spahn.

If you look at his first season (before he spent 3 years in the Army including seeing action in the battle of the bulge) he has 1 CG but went 0-0. Seems odd, but he got the CG for a forfeited game he was losing, but no one gets a decision in a forfeited game. The braves won the game 2-5.

Tmckelv
Tmckelv
10 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Another thing I always found notable about Spahn’s stats is that he won exactly 21 games in 8 different seasons (those 168 W’s do not even account 1/2 of his career wins!). I don’t think it is going out on too much of a limb to guess that is another record for Spahn.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  Tmckelv

Tmckelv,

The Braves counterpoint to Spahn on the batting side was Hank Aaron, with four seasons of 44 HR (also his uniform number).

Wait a minute, Spahn’s uniform number from 1946 on, was… 21!!

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Cool find, Topper! Short blurb about that game from ESPN: “Sept. 26, 1942: Hundreds of children, guests of the Giants in a promotion to bring scrap metal for the war effort, swarmed the field after the eighth inning, and New York forfeited to the visiting Boston Braves.” BTW, it was the 2nd game of a doubleheader on the last day of the season. The box score is a treasure trove for name-lovers like me — Boston had a Skippy, a Nanny, a Ducky and a Whitey (not to mention Clyde Kluttz and Big Poison!), while the Giants had a Buster… Read more »

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
10 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

The Giants’ catcher in that 1942 game was Charlie Fox, the same Charlie Fox who managed the S.F. Giants in the early ’70s. Fox played three games in the majors, with emphatically mixed results for his team: a win, a loss, and a forfeit.

Steven
Steven
10 years ago

Dick Rusteck must have set a record by appearing in eight Major League games in his career (1966) for one team (Mets) while wearing three different uniform numbers.