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The future of Major League Baseball is definitely in good hands.
Ryne Nelson of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Hunter Brown of the Houston Astros each made their MLB debuts on Monday, and both looked like seasoned veterans.
Nelson struck out seven batters in his seven scoreless frames, allowing just four hits and, at one point, giving up 17 straight. Brown hit five as he threw six goalless ball frames, allowing three hits and a walk.
According Statistics by statistics, 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 debuts on the same day.
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Nelson admitted he was quite nervous before his debut, but calmed down fairly quickly.
“Once I got out and threw the first strike, it was all gone and I was playing the game I’ve been playing forever,” he said.
Nelson’s 17-straight stretch was so incredible that even he couldn’t help but notice he was doing it.
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“I knew there hadn’t been a hit in a while,” he said. “I was getting ahead of the guys, the fastball wasn’t really squared, too much, the speed off was working and I threw some good chase shots too. Pretty much everything.”
“We’re proud of him for coming out here and slowing down play and executing throws,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “There are some minor issues with the roster that he had to deal with, but he got rid of that quickly. You could tell he was on offense and he did a great job.”
Brown needed just 79 pitches to go six – he also struck out the first eight batters he faced.
“He did really well,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “It relieves you a bit when you’re hitting the first pitch and then getting the first two batters out. He was really good. He was very good.”
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Arguably even more impressive was the fact that both pitchers were under pressure all day – the Diamondbacks only gave their rookie two rounds of support. The Astros? Just one.
Both pitchers earned their first major league victory in the process.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.