The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted right-hander Nick Kingham out of high school in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft. After eight years, including a season and change missed due to Tommy John surgery, Kingham finally debuted with the big club over the weekend. He didn’t disappoint.
Going against the St. Louis Cardinals, Kingham took a perfect game into the seventh inning before Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong singled to left field with two outs to break up the bid. The 20 batters that Kingham retired prior to giving up the single is an expansion-era record for a pitcher making his Major League debut. He got Marcell Ozuna to ground out to end the seventh before being taken out. Kingham struck out nine while walking none and threw 98 pitches, with a whopping 72 of them being strikes.
A night before Kingham was setting the record for most consecutive batters retired to start a debut, the Arizona Diamondbacks tied a 111-year-old National League record with their win over the Washington Nationals. Saturday’s 4-3 extra-inning win over the Nationals gave the D-backs their ninth straight series victory to open the season, which ties the mark set by the 1907 Chicago Cubs.
Those Cubs, you may know, were known for their double-play combo of (Joe) Tinker to (Johnny) Evers to (Frank) Chance. The pitching staff was led by Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown, and they went on to win 107 games and the World Series. That’s a lot for the Diamondbacks to try and live up to after the fast start.
For more of the stories from the week of Major League Baseball, check out the video above.