Amir Garrett the Cincinnati Reds rookie southpaw made his Major League Baseball debut on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The results were impressive. The left-hander scattered two hits in six scoreless innings in Cincinnati’s 2-0 win at Busch Stadium.
After the game, Garrett said he was not as nervous when the game started as he thought he would be but the 6-foot-5 southpaw needed a few deep breaths before he threw his first pitch.
Garrett was able to have command of each of his four pitches while mixing his two- and four-seam fastballs around the strike zone to keep Cardinals hitters off balance.
He threw right-handed batters change-ups and not one was put into play. To left-handed hitters he used the slider and generated a 46% swing and miss ratio.
To finish his six innings, Garrett needed only 78 pitches, throwing only seven during the sixth. He recorded four strikeouts and two walks and the Cardinals could not move a runner beyond first base.
His only mistake on the night was during the fifth in the batter’s box. Cincinnati had runners at first and third with just one out and the safety squeeze was called.
As Mike Leake the Cardinals pitcher threw a fastball to Garrett, the rookie squared around to bunt.
However, Garrett missed the bunt taking a strike and the Reds runner was thrown out at third and Garrett then was struck out swinging by Leake to end the inning.
The Reds scored in the next inning to give Garrett the lead. The rookie cruised in the sixth but was pulled in the seventh despite such a low pitch count.
In a game in which the score is close and a pitcher with little to no experience, the Reds wanted their pitcher to be assured of leaving on a high.
Taking Garrett out early allowed manager Bryan Price to test his bullpen, so instead of saving a pitcher for a multi-inning out he used Michael Lorenzen for the seventh, prior to using Raisel Iglesias for the eighth and ninth to save it.
The final three innings went well with only one Cardinals hitter reaching base on a walk by Iglesias during the night.
The bullpen tag-team approach may not have been fully shown, but the rookie starter performed very well and gave players and fans something to look forward too early in the season.