The future of Major League Baseball sure is in good hands.
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ryne Nelson and Houston Astros’ Hunter Brown each made their MLB debut on Monday, and both looked like seasoned vets.
Nelson struck out seven batters in his seven scoreless frames, allowing just four hits and, at one point, retiring 17 straight. Brown punched out five as he tossed six frames of scoreless ball, allowing three hits and one walk.
According to Stats by Stats, it was the first time in the modern era that two pitchers each delivered a scoreless outing with at least five strikeouts in their MLB debut on the same day.
Ryne Nelson #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the sixth inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on September 05, 2022, in San Diego, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Nelson admitted he was pretty nervous leading up to his debut, but calmed down relatively quickly.
“Once I got out there and threw the first strike, it all went away and I played the game I’ve been playing forever,” he said.
Nelson’s stretch of 17-straight was so amazing that even he couldn’t help but notice he was doing it.
Ryne Nelson #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the third inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on September 05, 2022, in San Diego, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
“I knew that there hadn’t been a hit in a while,” he said. “I was getting ahead of guys, the fastball wasn’t really getting squared up, too much, offspeed was working and I threw some good chase pitches, too. Pretty much everything.”
“We’re proud of him for coming in here and slowing the game down and executing pitches,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “There’s small concerns with the lineup that he had to face but he eliminated that quickly. You could tell he was on the attack and did a great job.”
Brown needed just 79 pitches to get through six – he also retired the first eight batters he faced.
“He handled it great,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “It eases you some when you throw first-pitch strikes and then strike out the first two hitters. He was real good. He was very good.”
Hunter Brown #58 of the Houston Astros reacts to striking out Bubba Thompson #65 of the Texas Rangers to get out of the fifth inning with two men on base at Minute Maid Park on September 05, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Arguably even more impressive was the fact that both pitchers were under some pressure all day – the Diamondbacks only gave their rookie two runs of support. The Astros? Just one.
Both pitchers earned their first big league win in the process.