St. Louis Cardinals MLB pitching debut pairs

Seth Maness

Looking back into St. Louis Cardinals history for two pitchers making MLB mound debuts in the same game prior to Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness Friday night.

After Shelby Miller pitched six strong innings Friday night, the St. Louis Cardinals held a 4-1 lead at Milwaukee. With the outcome clearly hanging in the balance, manager Mike Matheny chose this setting for two of his new relievers to make their respective Major League debuts.

Martinez
Hard-throwing 21-year-old Carlos Martinez, up from Double-A, retired three of four batters faced in the seventh. Control artist Seth Maness, promoted from Triple-A earlier in the week, set down the side in the eighth on just six pitches, all strikes. All six outs were secured on the ground.

Coming into the season, Martinez was The Cardinal Nation's fifth-ranked prospect, with Maness 14th.

The early arrival of the two in the Cardinals bullpen is a clear reaction to the club's considerable relief struggles this season. The pair replaced Marc Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs, both banished to Triple-A to get their respective pitching acts together.

With the help of researcher Tom Orf, we have uncovered the list of 13 Cardinals pitching pairs to make their MLB mound debuts in the same game since 1935.

Recent history

The last time this occurred was less than two seasons ago. On June 2, 2011, both Lance Lynn and Maikel Cleto took the mound for the first time in a Major League contest.

As events unfolded, it became less of a night to remember for both. Starter Lynn allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings and took the loss. Cleto gave up five more tallies in the seventh and eighth in the Cardinals' 12-7 drubbing by the Giants at Busch Stadium.

Lynn took two rotation turns in place of injured Kyle McClellan, but was soon back in Memphis. Ironically, he was replaced on the Cardinals' active roster by Boggs, returning from the 2011 version of his Triple-A tune up demotion. Lynn was more effective in his second St. Louis stint that summer, then recast as a reliever.

Cleto was called up from Double-A Springfield specifically to be Lynn's tandem partner and was sent back there after the June 2nd game. The right-hander returned to the St. Louis pen a couple of weeks later, but hasn't been able to stick in the two years since.

At the time of their MLB debuts, Lynn was The Cardinal Nation's third-ranked prospect. Cleto was not yet ranked, having arrived from Seattle over the winter in the Brendan Ryan trade after rankings were compiled.

Lopez' ill-fated mound appearance

Does it count when the pitchers aren't really pitchers?

The total of legitimate Cardinals debut pairings drops to 12 when the following game is excluded.

A memorable 20-inning defeat to the Mets in April 2010 was marked by two position players making their MLB pitching debuts.

Outfielder-turned pitcher for a day Joe Mather took the loss, allowing single tallies in each of the final two innings of the 2-1 marathon. Shortstop Felipe Lopez preceded him by tossing a scoreless 18th. It was costly, however, as Lopez injured his elbow in the process and had to go on the disabled list.

In part of one of the earlier debuts was current Memphis pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd in a 1994 game. Soon-to-be famous Ernie Broglio preceded him in 1959, later dealt to Chicago in the Lou Brock trade in 1964.

Two pitchers making MLB mound debut in the same game, St. Louis Cardinals, since 1935

First-time pitchers Date Opp
Carlos Martinez 5/3/2013 MIL
Seth Maness 5/3/2013 MIL
Maikel Cleto 6/2/2011 SFG
Lance Lynn 6/2/2011 SFG
*Joe Mather 4/17/2010 NYM
*Felipe Lopez 4/17/2010 NYM
Bryan Eversgerd 4/30/1994 HOU
Frank Cimorelli 4/30/1994 HOU
Sal Campisi 8/15/1969 ATL
Tom Hilgendorf 8/15/1969 ATL
Howie Nunn 4/11/1959 SFG
Ernie Broglio 4/11/1959 SFG
Herb Moford 4/12/1955 CHC
Barney Schultz 4/12/1955 CHC
Willard Schmidt 4/19/1952 CHC
Fred Hahn 4/19/1952 CHC
Cloyd Boyer 4/23/1949 CHC
Bill Reeder 4/23/1949 CHC
Clarence Beers 5/2/1948 CHC
Ray Yochim 5/2/1948 CHC
Ted Wilks 4/25/1944 CIN
Freddy Schmidt 4/25/1944 CIN
Hersh Lyons 4/17/1941 CIN
Hank Gornicki 4/17/1941 CIN
Nub Kleinke 4/25/1935 CHC
Ed Heusser 4/25/1935 CHC

* non-pitchers



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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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