It's not every day that the Phillies bring up a young gun from the minors who can sling it 100 miles per hour. That's exactly what the young bright hope of the Phils' bullpen did today when Ken Giles made his MLB debut against the San Diego Padres. And he hit triple digits on the very first pitch of his career.
Sort of. The radar gun at Citizens Bank Park read 100 mph and the wet crowd still in attendance reacted accordingly. Those of us sitting at home saw 99 mph according to the telecast's gun. Either way, it was straight heat out of the gate.
And as things go with a fastballer, if a batter connects, the ball can travel a long ways. Giles gave up a home run to the very first batter he faced, Padres' catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Ryne Sandberg had said he wanted to ease Giles into the majors and he wasn't kidding. He turned to Mario Holland for the first two outs of the ninth inning before allowing Giles to get his feet wet. He ended up getting the job done thanks more to a nice slider as opposed to his fast stuff.
"I was impressed with the first pitch strike down in the zone at 100," Sandberg said of Giles' debut. "I was a little bit surprised that ball got out of the ball park. Looked like a routine fly ball there."
Giles told reporters after the game that it felt great out on that MLB mound today:
"I was pumped" Giles said. "My legs were a little Jello-y, I thought I was gonna fall down [on the way in from the bullpen]. But once I got to the dirt I was like 'Oh my god, this is it, my dreams are finally coming true, now I've got my greatest goal accomplished.'"
The Phillies swept the Padres with the victory and make us wish the Padres could be on the schedule more.