Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Blue Jays News

Youngest pitchers to earn MLB win

@MannyOnMLB
April 28, 2019

Blue Jays rookie right-hander Elvis Luciano earned the win in Toronto's improbable 5-4 walk-off victory over the A's in 11 innings Sunday. He pitched one-third of an inning, coming out of the bullpen with two outs and the bases loaded in the 11th, hitting Matt Chapman to force in a

Blue Jays rookie right-hander Elvis Luciano earned the win in Toronto's improbable 5-4 walk-off victory over the A's in 11 innings Sunday. He pitched one-third of an inning, coming out of the bullpen with two outs and the bases loaded in the 11th, hitting Matt Chapman to force in a run before getting Khris Davis to line out to center field.

The Blue Jays entered the bottom of the 11th down three runs, but scored four times, prevailing on Justin Smoak's walk-off single. But that wasn't the only remarkable feat accomplished in Toronto on Sunday. Luciano was credited with the win, his first in the Majors, at the age of 19 years, 72 days. That makes him the youngest pitcher to record a Major League win since the Yankees' Jose Rijo on June 23, 1984, at the age of 19 years, 41 days.

Just how rare is it for a player under 20 years old to record his first Major League win? Here are the last 10 pitchers to do it.

Julio Urías, June 28, 2016: 19 years, 321 days old

It took seven starts, but Urias got his first big league win in a 6-5 Dodgers victory over the Brewers at Miller Park. He went six innings, giving up two runs on two hits, walking six and striking out six. The left-hander was in the stretch in every inning, but was able to limit Milwaukee's lineup, despite his command issues. He also recorded his first Major League hit -- an RBI single off Chase Anderson -- in the fourth inning.

Felix Hernandez, Aug. 9, 2005: 19 years, 123 days old

Hernandez tossed eight scoreless innings in a brilliant effort during his second career start, scattering five hits, walking none and striking out six to pick up his first Major League win, a 1-0 Mariners victory over the Twins at Safeco Field. It was the first of many for the right-hander who came to be known as "King Felix." He won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award and is a six-time All-Star.

Ed Correa, Oct. 6, 1985: 19 years, 160 days old

Correa's first four big league outings were in relief, and he was awarded the win in his first Major League start. The right-hander went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits, walking six and striking out six in a 3-2 White Sox victory over the Mariners at Comiskey Park.

Jose Rijo, May 10, 1984: 18 years, 363 days

Rijo is remembered most for his tenure with the Reds from 1988-95, especially his performance in the 1990 World Series, for which he was named MVP as Cincinnati stunned the baseball world with a sweep of the Athletics. But Rijo began his big league career with the Yankees, and about a month before the win mentioned above, his first win came in a 16-inning marathon that New York won over the Indians at Yankee Stadium, 7-6. Rijo came out of the bullpen in the 13th inning and proceeded to throw four scoreless frames.

Dwight Gooden, April 7, 1984: 19 years, 143 days old

Gooden is the last pitcher under 20 years old to record a win in his Major League debut. A tremendous start to his career -- he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award -- opened with five innings at the Astrodome, during which he held the Astros to a run on three hits, walking two and striking out five. He won the NL Cy Young Award the following season

Ed Nunez, Sept. 19, 1982: 19 years, 115 days old

Nunez was a reliever for the majority of his 13-year Major League career, but one of his 14 career starts was also one in which he notched his first career win. It was his third career start, and he turned in five innings against the Rangers at the Kingdome in a 9-7 Mariners victory. The right-hander yielded one run on three hits, walking none and striking out six.

Fernando Valenzuela, Sept. 30, 1980: 19 years, 334 days old

"Fernandomania" was just getting started when Valenzuela, in his seventh career appearance, pitched the final two innings in a 6-3, 10-inning Dodgers victory over the rival Giants at Candlestick Park to get his first big league win. He didn't allow a hit, walked two and struck out four amid a rookie campaign during which he threw 17 2/3 scoreless frames. Still a rookie in '81, he won both the NL Rookie of the Year Award and Cy Young Award en route to helping Los Angeles win a World Series title.

Bruce Robbins, Aug. 8, 1979: 19 years, 332 days old

Robbins only appeared in 25 Major League games over two seasons, but his first win came in his third career start. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up two runs on one hit, walking five and fanning four in the Tigers' 10-4 victory over the Rangers at Tiger Stadium. The left-hander made his big league debut at age 19, and was out of baseball by age 21.

Mike Morgan, July 29, 1979: 19 years, 294 days old

Morgan is the last pitcher younger than 20 years old to get his first Major League win with a complete game. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits, walking four and striking out one in the Athletics' 2-1 victory over the Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum. He was 0-9 in his career to that point, and didn't get that first win until his 10th career start.

Dennis Blair, May 26, 1974: 19 years, 355 days old

Blair didn't waste any time in picking up his first career win, getting it in his Major League debut. He pitched eight innings, giving up a run on four hits while walking six and striking out six to lead the Expos to a 5-1 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. It was the first of only 19 career wins over four big league seasons for the right-hander.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.