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Tyler Lyons, Andy Rincon and Dizzy Dean

”I pitched well, I got a hit and we won the ballgame. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said excited new St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Tyler Lyons on Wednesday night.

In his first Major League game, the 24-year-old left-hander limited the San Diego Padres to one run and four hits over seven innings. Lyons also contributed a single in the top of the sixth inning as part of St. Louis’ 14-hit attack.

With the able assistance of researcher Tom Orf, we bring you the list of eight, now nine, Cardinals pitchers who in their MLB debut:

  • Started and went at least seven innings
  • Allowed one or no runs
  • Picked up the win
  • Got a hit
Player Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc Offense
Tyler Lyons 5/22/2013 SDP W 5-3 GS-7 ,W 7 4 1 1 1 4 1 68 1B
Andy Rincon 9/15/1980 CHC W 5-1 CG 9 ,W 9 5 1 1 2 4 0 75 1B
Eric Rasmussen 7/21/1975 SDP W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9 7 0 0 1 7 0 79 1B, RBI
Jerry Reuss 9/27/1969 MON W 2-1 GS-7 ,W 7 2 0 0 3 3 0 73 1B, RBI
Larry Jackson 1955-04-17 (2) CHC W 14-1 CG 9 ,W 9 4 1 1 1 3 0 77 1B, BB, R
Stu Miller 8/12/1952 CHC W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9 6 0 0 2 4 0 77 1B
Jackie Collum 9/21/1951 CHC W 6-0 SHO9 ,W 9 2 0 0 5 3 0 81 1B(2), R(2)
Bill McGee 9/29/1935 CHC W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9 3 1 1 1 2 0 78 1B
Dizzy Dean 9/28/1930 PIT W 3-1 CG 9 ,W 9 3 1 1 3 5 0 79 1B, R

The last time this combination occurred was in the MLB premiere of Andy Rincon back in September 1980. It was the first of Rincon’s eight career wins as a major leaguer (in 20 appearances over parts of three seasons).

There was a very interesting oddity in the debut of Eric Rasmussen (“Don’t call me Harry”) on July 21, 1975. That game was played under protest by the Cardinals when Ted Simmons’ fourth-inning home run was taken off the books. San Diego manager John McNamara pointed out to the umpires that the fat part of Simmons’ bat was grooved.

Since the Cards went on to win, 4-0, the protest was moot. The victim of the home run that wasn’t and losing Padres pitcher that day was none other than current Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Brent Strom. (Coincidentally, I interviewed Strom just last week which you can check out over at the main site – if you subscribe.)

Oh yeah, amid all that, Rasmussen spun a shutout.

Like a number of these outings, Jackie Collum‘s 1951 debut occurred as the season was in its final days. The left-hander not only had the best of these pitching performances as measured by an 81 Game Score, but he also was the only of these first-game hurlers to collect multiple hits, two singles, and crossed home twice.

Then there was the first-ever Cardinal to complete this combination. You have heard of him. Having already clinched the pennant, the Cardinals called upon a 20-year-old named Dizzy Dean to make his MLB debut on the final day of the 1930 regular season.

Dean threw a complete-game three-hitter, allowing the Pittsburgh Pirates just one run. Dean also singled and scored a run in St. Louis’ 3-1 win. Despite that, the Cardinals did not think the brash Dean was ready for the bigs and he did not return until 1932. But that is a story for another day.

I doubt anyone would expect a Dean-like Hall of Fame career from Lyons, but the Cardinals getting more than they received from Rincon is not too much for them to hope, is it?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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26 Responses to “Tyler Lyons, Andy Rincon and Dizzy Dean”

  1. blingboy says:

    Chris Carpenter is supposed to be throwing a 4 inning bullpen at Busch today. If anyone hears how it went let us know.

    According to Langosch, he will likely take advantage of the full 30 days available for a rehab stint in the minors, so will not go until he is sure he is ready to face hitters.

    “”Clearly, when you lose someone like Jaime, you start thinking about how those innings will be covered. Carp now factors into that,” Mozeliak said.”

    Also on the Cards site, they have Lyons listed in the rotation. He is not on the list of top 20 prospects though.

    • crdswmn says:

      I hope when he does rehab it’s in Springfield so I can go watch.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Hoping they didn’t tear down the bullpen mounds for the soccer match. 😉

      I suspect we will hear if it goes well. Positive rotation news will play especially well given the week of misfortune for Garcia and Westbrook.

      Your expectations about prospect lists seem unrealistic. They don’t change daily and are not infallible. Nor is Lyons proven.

      • blingboy says:

        Hummel on Carps bullpen today:

        “General manager John Mozeliak, who was on hand, said, “It was a positive step. We’re still approaching this one day at a time.”

        Carpenter reported that he felt good after the workout. If he continues to feel that way, he likely will face hitters next week in St. Louis when the team returns home.”

        Regardig the prospect list, I figure its from around the end of spring training. Gast is #8, so the Cards were bringing up a highly regarded prospect as well as a guy who’d been hot. They must have had other motivations with Lyons.

      • blingboy says:

        We will have to see how Carp feels tomorrow. That will be the tell.

  2. blingboy says:

    Cory Rasmus made his MLB debut yesterday pitching in relief for the Braves. Good luck to him.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      40 pitches…………two Hr’s and some very hard hit balls……..all in the 9th with a 7 run lead…… coach had to get somebody up in the pen…………. that being said….he throws hard….just too hard in this case…….. 94mph……. many tip offs in his motion……… he survived…. he could be good if he can settle in………

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Lyons was helped by debuting in San Diego, traditionally the worst park for offense in the NL. A pride of the farm system, LHP Bud Smith threw a no-hitter in one of his first rookie starts circa 2001, this in San Diego. Unfortunately, TLR had Smith complete the entire game and throw more than 120 pitches. Smith suffered an arm injury and his promising career was snuffed out. Fortunately, Matheny got Lyons out of there earlier.

    A healthy Carlos Quentin might have made the Padres a more formidable foe for a LHP.

    Lyons went to a big time college and was a potential high rounder going into his junior season. He must have lost some velocity however so was drafted down at the 9th round in consecutive years by Yanks and Cards. He has moved up the Cards system smoothly, though also without outstanding numbers. Its good to have Lyons and Gast both available.

    • Brian Walton says:

      You seem to be unaware that the walls in San Diego were moved in this season.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Have scores increased as a consequence of moving walls in? With Jason Marquis baffling Old Wiggy and less explicably other Cardinals, one wonders.

        Mitey Cesar poked his one dinger of 2008 to left field at San Diego. Goes the whole season, cant reach the cheap seats in 81 home games, but he unleashes his power in the NL’s worst park for offense. Strange things can happen in San Diego.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Dont Call Me Harry Rassmussen defeated Bret Strom, now a pitching coach for the Cards in the minors. A couple of years pitching in pitcher friendly San Diego must have done wonders for Strom’s career.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Lyons signed in 2010, but the Cards conserved him after a college season by taking the summer off.
    In 2011, he pitched for Palm Beach. He was solid, given he had not pitched before in pro ball and was beginning at a high rung, compatible with being a four year college player.
    His 2012 was strong. He threw 152 innings and Kd 143 batters, at AA and AAA. So he took the ball every 5th day and ate some innings, with a strong K rate for upper level starting pitchers. That is more impressive than I had appreciated.
    In the first inning of his start in San Diego, he hit 92 on a fastball on Gameday. I fell asleep in the first inning, so I dont know how long he maintained this fastball. 90 or above is plenty enough fastball for a lefty in the majors.
    So if Lyons has enough fast ball velocity as he does and ate 152 innings last year, his second as starting pitcher in pro ball, he probably is as good a prospect as the over-hyped Anthony Reyes was. Reyes was another college senior who reached AAA within 2 pro seasons. Unfortunately, his elbow was chronically injured, so Reyes was prevented from achieving a a lot at the ML level. If Lyons is physically sounder, he may outperform the ill fated Anthony.

  5. blingboy says:

    I see the Cards moved some pitching reenforcements up to Memphis today.

    I’ve already read and heard how they aren’t going to get to St. Louis this year, at least not before September. Nonsense. If either or both look good we could see them when needed.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Lefty Siegrist excelled in relief at AA. He may be first in line for a call-up if we decide to add a second lefty or if Old Choate goes on the DL. He is likely ahead of Rzepcynski and Freeman for a callup. Rzep has walked 7 during his past 3 innings. Maybe some other team will make an offer for Rzep during July.

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    MLB’s very best, the Cards, keep rolling happily along.

    It was a good sign last night the way Freese and Craig teed off on the lefty. Freese has been showing signs of life. We will need our hitters to be on their games so we can prevail over the Reds, close on our heels.

  7. Nutlaw says:

    Lynn is looking mighty impressive out there lately, which is a key for a rotation that seems to be losing its proven starting pitchers at a good rate now. Wainwright, Carpenter, Lynn, Miller, plus any of the other contenders for the permanent fifth spot makes for a championship caliber rotation in my mind. I just hope that Lynn doesn’t wear down after a strong first half again this year.

    For that matter, I hope that Beltran doesn’t do the same thing. He doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of rest. I’d like to see more Matt Adams, who again doesn’t seem to be getting as much of a look since his return from the DL.

    • Bw52 says:

      Relying on Carpenter is still a pipe dream until he proves he can get big league hitters out again.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Yes, Matheny is not getting Adams enough work. Beltran, Holliday, and Craig can spare a few off days. Descalso needs more play too.

      Its important to keep Old Wiggy in chains, shackled to the bench. He can be a good luck charm and share his wonderful personality with the younger lads in the Clubhouse. But please Mo, no more starts for the Wigster. If there is any silver lining associated with the ignominy of losing to Jason Marquis, we shall hope this shames Matheny into chaining Wigginton to the pines and throwing away the key.

      Matheny does get credit for lifting Lynn after just 6 innings. No need to waste him dominating the hapless Dodgers. The Cards also get credit for flexibility in accommodating to injuries: Carpenter; Westbrook; Garcia; Motte; Salas; the declines of Boggs, Rzepcynski; Frucal. Yet we keep rolling, our best record in years. We must have $55+MM of ballplayers on the sidelines.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        It is not as bad as $55MM. Lets count it up:
        $12.5MM for Chris Carpenter during FY 13.
        $9.75MM for Jake Westbrook
        $7MM for Raffy Furcal who played Mo superbly
        $5.75MM for Jaime Garcia
        $5MM for Jason Motte
        $1.1MM for Wild Thing Rzepcynski
        $512K for DLd Salas
        We are paying $2.5MM for worthless Wiggy.
        All told, $44MM being spent on those who are either injured or otherwise completely useless.

        • CariocaCardinal says:

          Unfortunately, there is about $17 million for next year already on the shelf with Garcia, Motte, and Wiggington.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Motte and Garcia should be able to contribute at some point during 2014.

            Wigginton is something Mo needs to explain to DeWitt. DeWitt is being robbed.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              DeWitt is the GM Jumbo………… the only thing……….keeping Wiggy on the club is that contract….. but they are winning……..Jay came close to breaking down……..Freese too……Add Danny……..If there was pressure from a viable competitor….Maybe they do break down…….his presents still allows them to control Adams exposure…….the reason they signed him in the first place….. Don’t get hung up on it………

            • CariocaCardinal says:

              Motte, maybe. Swagerty is at 14 months and has yet to see a real game. Gorgen never got his velocity back. Elbows are not as certain as some seem to think. Waino was the exception in terms of time frame and success. Garcia? Usually a two step process minimum. Rehab the shoulder – at least a year. The go back in and clean up the scar tissue – another 3-4 months. Those are best case scenarios.

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Some of these young arms coming up look really good…………. The issue I think is that they are all showing in an incredible ideal situation……… Miller and Lynn…young and mighty…..Adam doing what he was paid to do on many levels…….and Yadi, now comfortable with that challenge….. that for him…is truly “special talent”……….

    Question is? might the bubble pop? I don’t see it……… Reds and Pittsburgh are for real though.

    How bad is Westbrooke?………..rarely do you see a second injection so soon after…….there can’t be a third………

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