CHICAGO -- When Cubs rookie Brian Schlitter made his Major League debut Monday, he entered in the seventh inning to replace injured pitcher John Grabow with the count 2-1 against Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm.
Schlitter struck out Maholm for his first Major League strikeout and then struck out Jose Tabata to end the inning.
According to Stats Inc., since 1990 there has been only one other pitcher to record his first strikeout in his Major League debut by throwing less than three strikes. On March 31, 2003, Arizona's Oscar Villarreal entered the game midbatter against the Dodgers in the eighth after Brett Prinz hurt his groin. Villarreal threw one strike to get the strikeout -- and that was the only pitch he threw in his debut. He was lifted the next inning.
If you disregard debuts, one other pitcher since 1990 recorded his first career strikeout by throwing less than three strikes and that was Dan Miceli. His debut was Sept. 9, 1993, but his first K came in his third game on Sept. 12 against Colorado.