I wrote yesterday about two pitchers making their MLB debuts in starts for their respective teams. The topic interested me because I am always rooting for a new guy to make an impression. But the difference between the two situations was so striking as to make it all the more interesting. The two pitchers were a phenom, highly touted prospect and a fighter who rode the buses in the minor leagues for a decade.
So how did they do? Let’s start with the career minor-league player. His name is Yohan Pino and he pitched for the Twins. Frankly, he was brilliant. He gave up two runs in seven innings on five hits and one walk. Only one hit was for extra bases–a double. And Pino struck out seven.
When he left, the game was tied, 2-2, and the Twins went on to win the game. He did not get the win, but he allowed his team the time and ability to win it. Nice job!
I was worried that Pino would never get the start as heavy rain delayed the game for quite a long time.
Here is a link to the video of his outing.
The phenom, former Number One pick (9th overall), Andrew Heaney also pitched brilliantly. He faced the Mets, a weak-hitting team in a big home ballpark in Miami, which had to have helped. But even so, he gave up only one run in six innings pitched. He walked one and allowed four hits to go along with four strikeouts.
Unfortunately, one of those four hits was a first-inning homer to David Wright. Also unfortunate is that Zack Wheeler of the Mets had his best Major League outing of his career and blanked the Marlins on three-hits and pitched a shutout. So that one run allowed gave Heaney the loss.
But if Heaney pitches like that, he will win his share of games. Here is video of Heaney’s first MLB strikeout.
All in all, it was a very satisfying night of debuts for two pitchers coming to the big leagues from opposite ends of the spectrum. Neither got the win they deserved, but both did themselves proud.