There’s always an odd mix of fright and excitement when you are prepping to watch someone’s first career major league start. Especially when they have nasty stuff. It was how a lot of fans were feeling in preparation of the first start for Matt Brash today against the Chicago White Sox.
The wind was blowing hard, and prevented the Mariners from two early home runs, one from Winker and one from Haniger. Both were shots, with Hanigers showing up at 104.1 and 39 degrees, while Winker was 102.6 and 28 degrees. Both easily would’ve been out in normal weather, but were held in by the wind.
That’s not what we are here to talk about though.
Matt Brash looked every bit as advertised in his first Mariners start
We talked about what to expect from Matt Brash as the Mariners fifth starter, and he came out at the beginning of the game looking absolutely filthy in his first two innings. Like this slider for his first career strikeout.
That wasn’t it. He would get Abreu on one that was just as dirty, and fans were abuzz with excitement. When you have guys like Pitching Ninja talking about your team’s players, you know you’ve got something special.
Brash’s first inning was one of the best we have seen by a Mariners prospect, as he sat down Luis Robert on that first K, and followed it up by sitting down Abreu. It wasn’t just the nasty slider, as he came out hitting 97 mph on his first pitch. That wouldn’t be his max though, as he hit 99.2 later that inning. The slider even broke 3000 rpm with over 50 inches of break, just an insane set of movement that befuddled hitters all afternoon.
He started off by retiring the first 7 batters he saw before allowing his first base runner on a walk, which was followed up with a hit. A squibber by Anderson was bobbled by JP for an error, and then Brash saw a rocket hit that turned into a double play to get out of the inning with just the one run.
Brash did give up some insanely hard hit balls, seeing exit velocities of 112.5, 111.7, and 109.6 in the first three innings. He showed the stuff off in the 4th again, notching two more strikeouts. He did give up a hit, but it was a little dribbler into a dead zone.
He had another good inning in the fifth, striking out two more to get to six on the day. They actually let him throw in the sixth inning, and after retiring the first hitter, he would give up a solo bomb to Luis Robert. That was followed by a single to Abreu, and that would end his day.
5.1 innings, 6k, 4h, 1bb, and 2ER.
Well done, Sir Matthew.
It was a fun and exciting start for Matt Brash, and hopefully the first of many. We should get a lot of looks at his incredible stuff this year, if today was any indicator. There were rough patches, but we know he has nasty stuff. It’s gonna be fun!