Roel Ramirez made major league history in his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. It just was not the type of history he wanted to make.
After seven long years in the minors, and nearly a month at the St. Louis Cardinals alternative training site, Roel Ramirez was set to have his dream come true. He was summoned from the bullpen by manager Mike Shildt, entering the game in the fifth inning with the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead. If he was able to last for a couple of innings, and the lead remained intact, Ramirez had a chance to pick up the victory in his debut.
His outing began well enough. He struck out Luis Robert for the first out of the inning, a respectable accomplishment for any pitcher considering how Robert had been performing. Ramirez then gave up a pair of singles, but got the second out when Danny Mendick was caught stealing. A two out walk then set the stage for history to be made.
With a 2-2 count on Yoan Moncada, Ramirez threw a 92 MPH four seamer right down the middle of the plate, and Moncada did not miss. He sent the pitch into right field stands to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.
The hit parade did not end there. Two pitches later, Yasmani Grandal took another four seamer down the heart of the plate to right for another home run. Jose Abreu followed by taking a first pitch changeup to left, barely clearing the wall for a homer of his own. Eloy Jimenez then took a hanging 3-2 slider to left for the fourth consecutive homer for the White Sox.
That final shot would end Ramirez’s day. While he impressed Shildt by continuing to attack the zone, he made the type of history that no one would have hoped for, becoming the first pitcher to allow four consecutive homers in his major league debut.
The White Sox, meanwhile, became the tenth team in MLB history to hit four consecutive homers. It was also the second time in franchise history that they accomplished that feat, having last done so in 2008.
Ramirez, meanwhile, can take solace in the fact that he is not the only major league pitcher to allow four consecutive homers. Chase Wright was victimised by the Red Sox during the third inning of his start on April 22, 2007. Prior to that, Paul Foytack allowed four consecutive homers to the Indians with two outs in the sixth inning on July 31, 1963.
Roel Ramirez made history in his major league debut on Sunday. It just was not the type of history he would have wanted to make.