New St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mike MacDougal is the 23rd reliever to win in his first game with the team.
As St. Louis Cardinals fans may already know, the club purchased the contract of veteran reliever Mike MacDougal on Wednesday, optioning out Fernando Salas for the fourth time this season. The 33-year-old, wearing number 63, was immediately thrown into action, picking up a win after tossing a scoreless 12th that same evening. Albert Pujols’ RBI single plated what would become the winning run in the 13th inning at New York.
MacDougal was called upon again Thursday afternoon, but did not fare as well wearing what will be his semi-permanent number 48. As has been his custom in the past, control was the issue. He walked two and hit another batter, but escaped his self-made jam for a scoreless eighth inning.
His first-game victory had not happened previously with a Cardinals reliever since Troy Percival did it on June 29, 2007. For a starter, it is far more prevalent, with future Hall of Famer John Smoltz being the last to accomplish a win in his St. Louis debut, on August 23 of last season.
Researcher Tom Orf was kind enough to pull the list of 23 relievers to have taken a “W” in their first game with the Cardinals over the last half-century, since 1960. There are some familiar names as well as others virtually forgotten over time.
St. Louis Cardinals, relievers, win in first game with the team, 1960-present