Tonight, Taijuan Walker will make his second big league start. Which means that Taijuan Walker has only made one start in the majors to date, spanning just a handful of innings. Because this is an exciting prospect -- perhaps the most exciting, for the Mariners, since Felix Hernandez -- I looked up some stats. I know it's a teeny tiny sample but I don't care. Had he got shelled and lost, I would have cared and avoided this.
But he didn't! So let's look at some feats by Walker and other Mariners rookie pitchers:
Undefeated Mariners Pitchers
These numbers are for a career as a Mariners pitcher.
- Walker is one of 69 pitchers to currently have an undefeated record as a Mariner.
- He's one of four undefeated pitchers who started all of their games.
- Doc Medich is the only other undefeated starter with a win, going 2-0 in three starts. Frank MacCormack and Luis DeLeon never lost but also never won.
- Goose Gossage had the most wins (3) in 36 appearances as a reliever.
- Chance Ruffin is the only other current undefeated Mariners pitcher, going 1-0 in 13 games.
- Nine Mariners pitchers were undefeated as rookies: Ruffin, Chris Seddon, Julio Mateo, Mark Watson, Rafael Vasquez, Ron Musselman, Steve Fireovid, Walker, Tom Davey and Tom Wilhelmsen.
- Walker is not the youngest rookie to end up undefeated. While Walker is in his age 20 season, he won his first game at age 21. Vasquez was in his age 21 season but won his first (and only) game at age 20.
Mariners starting pitchers who won the first game of their careers
Walker is one of only 13 M's pitchers to win in their first appearance.
- Of those, 11 were starters: Anthony Vasquez, Blake Beavan, Bob Stoddard, Bob Wolcott, Freddy Garcia, Joel Pineiro, Mark Langston, Matt Young, Pat Rice, Walker and Travis Blackley.
- Bill Swift and Bobby Madritsch are the only M's to win their major league debuts in relief.
- Rice and Walker were the only starters to not allow a run.
- Walker tossed five frames. The average of all 11 starters is about six.
- Langston and Beavan went the deepest into games -- 7 innings -- but Blackley threw the most pitches at 108.
- Vasquez is the only M's pitcher to win his major league debut as a call-up for the second game of a double header.
- Garcia (1999), Langston (1984) and Young (1983) won their major league debut during the club's first time through the rotation to start a season.
Things Walker could achieve in tonight's contest
Amongst Mariners pitchers, over their first two career appearances, both as a starter.
- Join Stoddard and Garcia as the only Mariners pitchers to win their first two starts.
- Join Stoddard as the only two to win their first two starts when those games came on the road.
- Join 14 others with an ERA below 3.00, nine others below 2.00 or seven below 1.00.
- Allowing seven hits or less would see him join 10 others who allowed less than 10 hits.
- Become only the 10th pitcher in franchise history to not allow a homer over his first two starts.
- Join Brandon Maurer and Bob Galasso as the third to give up only one walk. Allowing just one walk would see him join them, plus Felix and Beavan, as those who allowed two or less. No one has allowed zero
- Join Felix, Ken Cloude, Beavan and Michael Pineda with a WHIP below 1.00.
Thank you Taijuan for starting your major league career better than Rafael Carmona did back in 1995 (Carmona is one of 22 players in MLB history to start a career with that particular feat).