Nice MLB debut for former Gator Anthony DeSclafani
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
LOS ANGELES — Anthony DeSclafani leaned back against a wall outside the Miami Marlins' clubhouse, his face still dripping from sweat and a dazed look on his face as he juggled his emotions and dissected an experience that comes only once in every big league pitcher's life.
His first big league game and first victory.
Ed Lucas homered for Miami during a six-run second inning in which second baseman Dee Gordon's fielding error led to five unearned runs, and the Marlins scored another six runs two innings later to rout the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-3 on Wednesday night and snap a five-game losing streak.
DeSclafani, the Marlins' minor league pitcher of the year last season, struck out seven and had a single and drove in two runs. He was 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA in eight starts at Double-A Jacksonville. He pitched for the University of Florida from 2009-11.
“When I got the phone call, I took a big gulp and I couldn't even breathe,” DeSclafani said. “It hasn't sunk in. I mean, it's such an unreal moment. I can't believe I got the win, can't believe I'm in L.A., and that I'm pitching against the Dodgers.
“It still hasn't hit me. I can't believe I was facing the Dodger lineup, going from Jacksonville to the big leagues. I wasn't expecting a callup. I was just trying to control my nerves. It was cool to throw the way I did, get a win and get the Marlins a win.”
DeSclafani allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings after getting staked to a 12-0 lead.
“Run support obviously helps,” he said. “But I was just so focused on trying to pound the strike zone, make sure I made quality pitches and didn't let anything get away from me.”
DeSclafani's fastball touched 96 and still sat 93-95 in his final inning. He threw 45 of 56 charted fastballs (80.4 percent) and 18 of 25 charted breaking pitches (72 percent) in the zone.
Reed Johnson had a two-run homer and Jeff Mathis added a three-run shot in support of DeSclafani, a 24-year-old right-hander who was inserted into the rotation after Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was placed on the disabled list on Monday with a torn ligament in his elbow and became another high-profile candidate for Tommy John surgery.
DeSclafani became the ninth pitcher in Marlins' history to start and win his major league debut, a list that includes A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Jason Grilli, Josh Beckett and Anibal Sanchez.
Nicknamed “Disco,” DeSclafani had a notable night at the plate as well. His first major league at-bat came with one out and the bases loaded in the second.
Gordon flubbed the ensuing grounder, allowing two runs to score and giving DeSclafani his first RBI.
In the sixth, DeSclafani singled home a run for his first major league hit. According to Baseball Reference, he is the sixth starting pitcher in the last 37 years to knock in two or more runs in his major league debut. The other five — Jason Jennings, Chad Billingsley, Rick Porcello, Tommy Milone and Gerrit Cole — all have done it since 2001.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.