Kernels: Dynamite debuts

The last week before the All-Star Break featured a number of things that made our list of interesting and unusual statistics:

Theme of the Week: Welcome to the Big Leagues

This was a great week for pitchers who made their major-league debut. Let’s review some of the highlights.

Brandon Workman was among those relievers who made his debut on Wednesday, pitching the last two innings (and allowing three runs) in the Boston Red Sox' game against the Seattle Mariners. But more noteworthy was that on Sunday, he made his first major-league start. and took a no-hit bid into the seventh against the Athletics.

The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Workman was the first Red Sox pitcher to take a no-hit bid that deep into his first major-league start since Billy Rohr took one into the ninth inning against the New York Yankees in 1967.

On Friday, Houston Astros rookie Jarred Cosart took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his major-league debut. Elias tells us his 6 1/3 inning bid against the Tampa Bay Rays was the longest in a major-league debut since Bill Slayback of the Tigers went seven innings against the Yankees on June 26, 1972.

Cosart was also the first starter to pitch into the 9th in his debut since Jesse Litsch of the Blue Jays did so on May 15, 2007... and the first Astros pitcher to do that since Dan (not Don) Larson threw a complete game against Montreal on July 18, 1976. No Astros pitcher had ever thrown eight or more scoreless innings in his major-league debut

The day before that, Danny Salazar made Thursday's start for the Cleveland Indians and promptly took a no-hit bid into the 6th inning. He finished the game with seven strikeouts and only two hits and a walk allowed in six innings of work.

Although he was the fifth pitcher this season to strike out seven or more in his debut, he was the first to do it in an Indians uniform in nearly a half-century. Luis Tiant pitched a shutout with 11 strikeouts in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Yankees on July 19, 1964.

Only one other starter this year-- Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals on May 30-- had a debut of six or more innings and two and or fewer hits allowed.

Been here awhile

Raul Ibanez made his major-league debut in 1996, but it’s what he’s doing at age 41 that is making people take notice.

What else happened last week?

Ibanez hit his 22nd home run on Monday, then added two more in Friday night's game. Ibañez' birthday is at the beginning of June, and since player ages are computed as of June 30, this is technically his age-41 season.

Only two other players have ever hit 24 or more homers in their age-41 season or beyond: Ted Williams (29 in 1960) and Barry Bonds (26 in 2006 and then 28 in 2007). Carlton Fisk (72) hit the most total homers from his age-40 season onward; Ibañez' 43 already ranks seventh on that list.

That two-homer game on Friday was Ibañez' second such game since turning 41 (also June 23 vs Oakland). Only one other Mariner has had a multi-homer game after age 41: Edgar Martinez on September 8, 2004. The last player with two such games in a season was then-Met Moises Alou, who did it eight days apart in August 2007.

And the last player older than Ibañez with two homers AND a double in a game was the aforementioned Carlton Fisk, on October 3, 1991.

By the way, Kendrys Morales homered right after Ibañez in Friday's game, marking the sixth time this season the Mariners have gone back-to-back. Ibañez has been part of five of those tandems.