Mariners right-hander George Kirby pulled off a rare feat, throwing 24 straight shots to start Wednesday night’s game in a 3-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.
Kirby gave up five hits and a run before throwing his first ball to Joey Meneses in the third. Kirby is the first pitcher since 1988 to start his pitch with 24 straight strikes, surpassing the 21 straight strikes recorded by Joe Musgrove for Pittsburgh against St. Louis in 2018 and Brett Cecil for St. Louis against Milwaukee in 2017 thrown to start their respective performances, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“I looked up at 15 or 16 and was like, ‘Oh, man,'” said 24-year-old Kirby, who was Seattle’s 2019 first-round draft pick and made his major league debut for the Mariners in May.
Kirby hit nine in seven innings and gave up eight hits without a walk.
Not to be outdone, Kirby’s teammate slugger Julio Rodriguez became the first rookie in Mariners history to hit 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season when he hit a solo shot in the eighth inning, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The 21-year-old sensation, who put on quite a show at the All-Star Home Run Derby, also became the fourth rookie in American League history since 2000 to accomplish the feat, along with Mike Trout (2012), Andrew Benintendi (2017 ), and Randy Arozarena (2021). “I’m happy about that,” said Rodriguez. “Not many people do that all the time.”
Rodriguez leads all rookies on home runs and stole 23 bases.
Teams split their brief two-game streak, with Seattle winning three of four this year after beating Washington in a doubleheader on July 13. The Mariners are third and last in the AL wildcard race while the Nationals have the worst record of the Majors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34455599/mariners-george-kirby-achieves-rare-feat-starting-game-24-straight-strikes-julio-rodriguez-joins-20-20-club Mariners’ George Kirby achieves rare feat by starting game with 24 straight strikes; Julio Rodriguez joins 20-20 club