Welcome to ‘The Show’

You know what they say about first impressions: they can be lasting — regardless of whether they are good or bad. Just ask Jeff Ware, one of 24 pitchers — including 22-year-old Jesse Litsch, tonight’s hurler — whose Blue Jays debut came as a starter. Ware made his back on Sept. 2, 1995 against the White Sox at Comiskey Park. Battling first-game jitters, the right-hander surrendered seven runs — six earned — in just 1.1 innings before heading to the showers with a career 40.50 ERA. Unfortunately for Ware, he failed to bounce back and, after posting a combined 7.47 ERA in 18 games (nine starts), his career in the big leagues was over.

Jerry_garvin_autograph_1Of course, there have been impressive Blue Jay debuts as well. For example, right-hander Mauro Gozzo gave up just three hits in eight shutout innings in a 7-0 win over the Rangers on August 8, 1989. However, this didn’t translate into a successful career. In fact, that would be Gozzo’s best game ever (by far), as the righty went on to post a record of 7-7 and a 5.30 ERA over parts of six seasons with the Jays, Indians, Twins and Yankees.

Jerry Garvin may be the only Toronto pitcher to come close to matching Gozzo’s debut performance. At 21 years of age, Garvin picked up the second win in Blue Jays franchise history (April 10, 1977), tossing eight innings during a 3-1 win over the White Sox. On a side note, if you’re looking to buy a house (in California), Jerry can help you out here.

Here’s a list of other ‘notables’ and how they fared:

Jim Clancy — July 26, 1977 vs. Texas: Loss (14-0)
(2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K)

Dave Stieb — June 29, 1979 @ Baltimore: Loss (6-1)
(6.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

Juan Guzman — June 7, 1991 @ Baltimore: Loss (5-3)
(4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

Chris Carpenter — May 12, 1997 @ Minnesota: Loss (12-2)
(3.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

Roy Halladay — September 20, 1998 @ Tampa Bay: ND (7-5 win)
(5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

For the record, the last Blue Jay starter to win in his Major League debut was Gustavo Chacin, who did so on September 20, 2004 at Yankee Stadium. The last to accomplish the feat at home was Brandon Lyon (August 4, 2001 vs. Baltimore).

On Tuesday night, Litsch accomplishes what Halladay, Carpenter, Stieb, Clancy and Guzman failed to do: record a win in his Major League debut as a starter … The 22-year-old allows just one run in 8.2 innings in what ‘The 500 Level’ is calling the best ever debut outing by a Toronto starter in franchise history … Alex Rios, who smashes a leadoff homer in the first, scores both runs in the Jays’ 2-1 victory … With a record of 4-1 over their past five, Toronto sends A.J. Burnett to the hill in the homestand finale tomorrow …

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2 Responses to “Welcome to ‘The Show’”

  1. mcdannymartin@gmail.com Says:

    Great stats there. Looks like you can add Jesse to the list. He pitched an amasing game tonight. Wonder if they’ll keep him around?

  2. Todd Says:

    I doubt they will, but if I’m Gibbons, I’m seriously considering it. I mean, give him one more and see what happens …

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