The instant thoughts of avid Orioles fans are "Who?" and "Why?" The Orioles had ex-MLB pitcher Hayden Penn down in the minors pitching great baseball and they have Chris Tillman in AA pitching amazing since coming over from Seattle in the Erik Bedard deal. Instead, they call up a player who I, myself haven't heard of. Hard to understand, but does it really matter at this point?
Chris Waters pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, allowed one hit, walked 3 batters, hit one, and struck out 3 on his way to his first ever MLB win. The team he pitched against-the best team in the AL, the Los Angeles Angels.
This makes me think about what other Orioles pitchers have made their first start and pitched well.
Mike Mussina is a perennial All-Star pitcher who will one day be in the Hall of Fame for consistently winning games at the MLB level. His first ball club was the Baltimore Orioles. Coincidentally, on August 4th, Mike made his first MLB start. Mike had to face the Chicago White Sox who were 58-45 going into the game. Mike pitched a total of 7.2 innings, allowed 4 hits, 1 run, 4 BBs, and 1 K. Mike got the lost in that game because the Orioles did not score a run. This start is very similar to Waters'. Mike's start was on the 4th of August while Chris's was on the 5th of August seventeen years later. Mike only pitched 1 out less than Chris allowing one more run, 3 more hits, 1 more walk, and striking out 2 less batters. Also, Mike and Chris both pitched against teams with great records. The 2008 Angels were 70-42 going into the game Waters pitched. The 1991 White Sox were 58-45 entering Mike's first start.
The Moose went on to a 147-81 record with the Orioles with 1535 Ks. In his career he is 264-151 with 2753 K's.
Jim Palmer was a long lasting pitcher who pitched in all 3 of the Orioles World Series wins. He is now in the Hall of Fame. But once upon a time, he had to make his first start too. On May 9th, 1965, young Jim Palmer made his first MLB start transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Jim went 7 innings against the Tigers who would eventually finish 89-73. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits with 0 walks and 6 Ks. He received a no decision as the Orioles lost 5-4. Waters only pitched one more innings than Palmer and allowed only 4 less runs. Palmer struck out 3 more and walked 3 less. Unlike Waters and Mussina, Palmer's start was not his first MLB appearance. Palmer had been pitching in the bullpen before his spot start.
Palmer went on to a 268-152 record and 2212 career Ks while winning 3 Cy Youngs in his 19 seasons all with the Orioles. He pitched in 3 World Series (1966, 1970, 1983) and is a member of the MLB Hall of Fame.
Curt Schilling is best known for his career with the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks, but little people know that he made his first start in an Orioles uniform. On September 7th, 1988 the Orioles needed a spot start. They called 21 year old Curt Schilling up from the minor leagues. Curt went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks. He also had 2 strikeouts. His first MLB start resulted in a 4-3 no decision against the Boston Red Sox. Little did he know that 20 years later he would be retiring as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox were 77-62 entering that game on September 7th. Just Chris, Curt pitched at least 7 innings in succession. However, Chris pitched an overall better game as he allowed 3 less runs, 5 less hits, and 2 less walks than Curt.
Curt went on to only have a 1-6 record with the Baltimore Orioles. However, in his career he was 216-146 with 4 World Series appearances including one where he was co-MVP. He will be a member of the baseball Hall of Fame.There you go O's fan. Give you something to think about