Double-digit K’s in a MLB debut

Tonight, Stephen Strasburg is doing one heckuva job living up to the hype. In his first six innings, he’s fanned 11 with no walks, and only four hits allowed. (Naturally, pitching for Washington, he’s down 2-1).

Brings up a question, though: what’s the most Ks a pitcher has ever had in his MLB debut? Using Baseball-Reference’s Play Index we can get an answer. (Not a perfect one, as the PI doesn’t contain gamelogs for all baseball history, but it has it for a large majority of games since 1920. Based on that here are the most Ks any pitcher has ever had in his debut.

Strasburg is the 12th to have at least 11 Ks in his debut. He’s only thrown 81 pitches so far, too. Let’s see if he can tie (or pass!) J. R. Richard and Karl Spooner for the record at 15.

(I guess I couldn’t waited until the game was over for this, but I’m going to be busier in a little bit, and this struck me at the moment).

Update: He finished with 14 strikeouts through seven innings, fanning the side in each of his final three innings.

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14 years ago

Strasburg’s negative xFIP looks like a first, at least among these players.

14 years ago

Oh, and he actually only had eight strikeouts in his last three innings. Yawn.

Chris J.
14 years ago

And just like that – it’s already a bit out of date as the Nats have the lead.

More importantly, he just struck out the side: 14 K’s puts him behind only Spooner & Richard. 

Not bad.  Not bad at all.