You never know what you are going to get from a pitcher in their Major League debut. The nerves, the adrenaline, the facing big leaguers – it’s justĀ  a big unknown. Tyler Mahle has performed about as well as anyone in minor league baseball over the last few seasons, Reds organization or not.

The first inning went about as well as you could imagine for Tyler Mahle. He got a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout and two fly outs. It required just 10 pitches. In the next inning the right handed picked up two more strikeouts, but had to work a bit harder as he walked John Jason after a 10-pitch plate appearance. The third inning began with a 4-pitch walk to Elias Diaz before a sac bunt, single and a double play ended the inning. Three innings. No runs.

It was the 4th inning that Tyler Mahle really struggled in. After getting Andrew McCutchen to ground out, he walked Josh Bell. It was his third walk of the game. Mahle then hit the next batter to put two on with one out. John Jaso doubles in two runs before Sean Rodriguez walked. After a mound visit a line drive to right field and a strikeout ended the inning and limited the damage.

Things went a little bit better in the 5th for Tyler Mahle, but they weren’t easy. Starling Marte singled to lead off and moved to second on a sac bunt. Andrew McCutchen singled to bring Marte in, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead. He would get Josh Bell to fly out and on a full count he struck out Josh Harrison to end the inning. That would be the last batter he faced in the game.

At the end of the day, Tyler Mahle posted this line: 5IP, 4H, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, 1HBP. It was a solid, but unspectacular debut. He kept his team in the game and did just fine on the mound. He had some highlights and some hiccups.The control got away from him a few times, something that doesn’t happen to him all that often. It’s not something I’d expect to see much of moving forward, either.

On the day Tyler Mahle was working with his fastball, slider and change up. The fastball, however, was working as a multiple-look offering. He was cutting it at times in the 89-91 MPH range, as well as throwing a regular fastball in the 91-95 MPH range. He topped out at 96.8 MPH according to the Statcast data on the game. No pitch that he threw on the day was under 82 MPH. We didn’t see his curveball on the day, which is usually thrown in the upper 70’s.

We don’t know, at least as I type this in the 7th inning of the Reds game, if Tyler Mahle will get any more starts this season. I’d venture to guess that he absolutely will, but if he doesn’t and just gets some time out of the bullpen in September, he looked like a big leaguer in his debut. He got that first appearance out of the way, the nerves and overwhelming adrenaline should be gone the next time he goes out to the mound.

6 Responses

  1. Bill

    I think McCutchen’s outburst following his at bat affected Mahle as his control wavered for a couple of batters after the incident. Otherwise, it was a very nice outing. I really liked how he attacked hitters and controlled the pact of the game. It seemed like he was in such a groove, that the Pirates began to deliberately try to step out and break his rhythm. Very promising first MLB start.

    • RedsinWashSt

      I agree with you Bill, after he knocked down McCutchen which I don’t know was intentional or not. Then McCutchen not being granted a timeout. I think his performance suffered after that.

  2. terry m

    Has a real nice delivery smooth. Room him with Castillo and see if he can learn anything about Castillo change up. He should soak up all the information he can get while he is up..

    • MK

      Don’t think guys room together any more, as they all get single rooms. Plus if they did there would need to be a translator.

  3. Tampa Red

    Looked solid, good composure with easy gas. Your scouting report was dead on. His offspeed pitches will need to get better. Hopefully he finishes the year in the rotation and gets to work on them.