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Rowley strong in MLB debut, Blue Jays win 7-2

August 12th, 2017 at 5:18 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates 2 Blue Jays 7

Chris Rowley made his Major League debut – and the first start by a West Point graduate – a memorable one, allowing just a single run on 5 hits over 5.1 innings, with a walk against 3 strikeouts. Not bad for a guy who started the year in New Hampshire’s bullpen, nevermind someone who two years hadn’t pitched competitively for two years.

Rowley was largely as expected, a very quick worker on the mound, with his fastball at 89-90 MPH. He came out strong in the first inning, requiring just nine pitches to retire the side in order, and punctuating the inning with his first major league strikeout of Josh Harrison on a 1-2 slider:

That set the tone for his outing, as throughout Rowley largely pitched backwards, mixing in his slider and change-up pitches as much and at times more than his fastball to keep the Pirates off balance. It will be interesting to see how this approach works going forward, or he goes to a more standard fastball-centric approach as hitters adjust and become familiar with him.

The Pirates got to him in the 2nd for the only run he gave up, as he hung a 2-2 changeup that Josh Bell lashed into the left-centre alley for a leadoff triple that rolled to the wall. He almost stranded the runner, with a strikeout of David Freese and then a liner right to Smoak playing in; but Jordy Mercer got just enough of a high, 0-2 fastball to ground it up the middle for the two out RBI single.

That was the extent of the …

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Tags: Aaron Loup, August 12, 2017, Bell, Blue Jays, Chad Kuhl, David Freese, Dominic Leone, FanGraphs, J.A. Happ, Jordy Mercer, Jose Bautista, Josh Bell, Josh Harrison, Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales, Leonel Campos, Pirates, Raffy Lopez, Rob Refsnyder, Ryan Tepera, Steve Pearce, Trevor Williams

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