On this date in 2007, former Mississippi Braves catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on his 22nd birthday, makes his major league debut for Atlanta and sets an offbeat record. Longest last name. His 14-letter surname supplants a bunch of other major leaguers who had 13 letters. “Salty,” a big switch-hitter who was the 36th overall pick by Atlanta in the 2003 draft, passed through Pearl as a highly rated prospect in 2006 and ’07. He played in the big leagues from 2007-18, won a ring with the 2013 Boston Red Sox and hit .232 with 110 homers overall. On August 22, 2007, a few weeks after being traded from the Braves to Texas, Saltalamacchia had two home runs and seven RBIs in the Rangers’ historic 30–3 rout of Baltimore.
Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Oh, and sometimes you get a no-decision. That tells the tale of the three Mississippi products who started major league games on Saturday. Ole Miss alum Lance Lynn got the W, ex-Madison Central star Spencer Turnbull took the L and former Mississippi State standout Brandon Woodruff didn’t factor in the decision of a game his team ultimately won. Turnbull was first up in a game featured on MLB Network. Facing the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, he gave up four runs in five innings as Detroit fell 6-4. The lanky right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts for a struggling Tigers team. Lynn returned from the injured list to work five innings, allowing three runs, for the Chicago White Sox in a 7-3 win against visiting Cleveland in FS1’s national game. Buoyed by East Central Community College alum Tim Anderson’s grand slam, Lynn improved to 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA. Woodruff took on the Los Angeles Dodgers in an MLB Network showcase game and allowed two runs — including Mookie Betts’ first-pitch leadoff homer — in six innings. It was 2-2 when Woodruff departed, and Milwaukee won the game 6-5 in 11 innings. He stands at 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He has allowed more than two runs just once in his six starts. P.S. There has been a flurry of movement recently involving Mississippians in MLB. In addition to Lynn leaving the IL, Nick Sandlin was called up by Cleveland (see previous post); Cody Reed came off the IL for Tampa Bay; Justin Steele was recalled by the Cubs; Brent Rooker was sent out by Minnesota; Garrett Crochet went on the IL for the White Sox; and Anthony Alford was assigned to the minors by Pittsburgh.