It was just a quiet Friday night. Jarred Cosart had been called up for his big league debut with the Astros, and then my Twitter feed went nuts:
Sam Miller @SamMillerBP
holy cow via @suss2hyphens Cosart and his catcher Castro are anagrams
Chris Reeves @TheBBingDead
I was shocked and a bit flummoxed that I had missed this:
Sam Miller favorited
Now, as it turns out, Castro DID NOT catch Cosart’s first Major League start, but it DID bring up the big question of whether there had been a starting pitcher/catcher combo whose last names were anagrams of each other.
After delving into my spreadsheet of gamelogs and batteries from 1871-2012, and alphagramming the pitcher and catcher names to help facilitate the anagram matching, I can state with reasonable certainty that there has been only one such battery, and they got together only two times.
Randy Nosek was a first-round pick of the Tigers in 1985, and made his big league pitching debut on May 27, 1989. His catcher that day was Matt Nokes. Eight walks in 4.2 innings later, Nosek’s day was done. Five days later, they teamed up again, with Nosek getting knocked out in less than one inning.
That was the last time those two were together on the field. Nosek’s time in the bigs was short . . . he made three more appearances (two starts) in 1990, and was out of baseball after 1991. Nokes was traded to the Yankees during the 1990 season.