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Andrew Albers starts his career with 17 scoreless innings

Aug 13, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

As a 27-year-old former independent leaguer with a mid-80s fastball Andrew Albers simply being called up by the Twins was a helluva story. And then the soft-tossing left-hander threw 8.1 shutout innings in his big-league debut last week.

But wait, it gets even better. For his encore last night Albers tossed a complete-game shutout against the Indians, beginning his MLB career with 17.1 scoreless innings just three years after pitching in the independent Canadian-American Association.

Here’s a list of all the pitchers in baseball history to throw at least eight shutout innings in each of their first two games:

Andrew Albers     2013
Tom Phoebus       1966
Karl Spooner      1954
Al Worthington    1953
Dave Ferriss      1945
Johnny Marcum     1933

That’s it. That’s the whole list. A total of six pitchers and Albers is the first one to do it in nearly 50 years.

  1. sknut - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Hard not to root for him. Drove from Canada to Arizona for a tryout then to Florida to try out with the Twins. Makes this lost season a little bit better.

    • moogro - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      This bears repeating. Great read. You’re almost in the car with him driving.

  2. mgflolox - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Karl Spooner, one of the greatest “what ifs” of all time. He probably had the most dominant start to a career of any pitcher ever.

    • clemente2 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:53 AM

      Check out ‘Boo’ Ferris. Two years of domination, and then an arm injury.

  3. cur68 - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    All right, Andrew Albers. Not bad going and he’s a native son of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canuckistan. So he’s a young man who’s used to leaping through fields of stubble to catch his dog before it disappeared over the horizon. I guess scoreless baseball is but a walk in the park for him after his formative years spent on the bald arsed prairie.
    /hat tip

    • nbjays - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Keep in mind that in Saskatchewan, you can watch said dog run away for three days before it disappears over the horizon.

      • cur68 - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        I admire people from Sasky. They tend to be friendly, pleasant, and capable. I just wish Albers was from Climax Saskatchewan (pop. 182 in 2006). SOMEONE famous has to come from there and soon. Their greetings to their home town fans will be the stuff of legend.

  4. concussedmorneau - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Any guy that throws a 67 mph breaking ball is alright by me.

  5. Joe - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    What a great list! If Albers has something akin to the career of Worthington, or even Phoebus, that would be fantastic for him.

    Karl Spooner had two complete-game shutouts and struck out 27 batters in 1954. And his career pretty much ended in 1955 at age 24.

    Boo Ferriss’ 1945 game log is a thing of wonder/horror. Complete games in his first 10 starts, the last being a 14-inning affair. It started to go downhill after that. He was obviously fried by the end of July (though he did finish all but 5 of his starts, and had a few relief appearances thrown in for good measure):

    He was pretty much done within two years.

  6. card0109 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I’m surprised that Gleeman didn’t mention the fact that the last 22 runs the Twins have scores have all been off of home runs. Pretty darn impressive combined with this gem of a pitcher.

  7. bdnnbd - Aug 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Buzzkill Joe, over here…

  8. winningwarlock - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    smoke and mirrors… expect a shelling next start…

  9. smillr58 - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    A nice story…How hard is that to recognize. Sad that people are just waiting in the wings to trash it…

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