Last night, Mike Mayers made his MLB debut on Sunday Night Baseball against the Dodgers. However, his start was shortlived as he was hammered from the get go.
After a hectic week with a rained out game on Wednesday and a 16th inning marathon on Friday, the Cardinals decided to call up Mike Mayers from AAA Memphis to pitch last night against the Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball.
However, Mayers’ dream moment turned into a nightmare quickly, as the first 5 Dodgers’ batters reached base safely, including an Adrian Gonzalez grand slam home run. The Dodgers batted around the order in the first inning with the opposing pitcher Scott Kazmir driving in 2 runs. Before the Cardinals could bat in the bottom of the 1st inning, the score was already 6-0.
Things weren’t any better in the 2nd inning for Mayers, as he gave up 3 runs, including a 2-run home run to Howie Kendrick before getting pulled out of the game.
The final stat line for Mayers was not pretty: 1.1 IP, 8 hits, 9 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout with 62 pitches. His ERA sits at 60.75 after that disastrous outing.
The Cardinals tried to rally after the tough start, but they ended up losing 9-6.
Dodgers go up early and never look back, holding on to defeat Cardinals, 9-6.
Gonzalez: 3-5, Grand Slam, 4 RBI pic.twitter.com/KcWJ0n2ayy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 25, 2016
Even though it’s easy to see that Mayers had a bad start, there are certainly many things to appreciate.
First and foremost, Mayers is a young pitcher who needs to be put in a position to succeed. Even though Mayers was having a decent year at Memphis (2.62 ERA in 106.2 IP), he was clearly not ready to pitch in the bright spot light in front of a national audience.
From the warmup pitches, he just did not look confident in his eyes. As each Dodger reached base, he looked more scared on the mound and his pitches floated further and further away from the strike zone. It certainly did not help that he had the pressure of starting a game where the goal was to eat up as many innings as possible to save the bullpen. For a young pitcher who is only 24 years old, he was not mentally ready for the moment, but, due to the unusual circumstances with the Cardinals, he was the starting pitcher nonetheless.
Second, we need to remember Mayers’ incredible story to remember how special the moment was for him and his family. Last year, Mayers underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. This is an incredibly painful disorder that affected a nerve in Mayers’ arm. Usually, pitchers don’t ever come back from this type of surgery (although Jaime Garcia over came the same surgery), but Mayers came back even better. Mayers earned his call up to the Cardinals because he is one of the best pitchers for AAA Memphis.
At 24 years old, the future is still bright and completely ahead of Mayers. Even though he will remember this nightmare start for the rest of his life, this will not be the last time we hear his name, as he will likely head back down to Memphis today. Hopefully, he uses this outing as motivation to work even harder and get back into this rotation one day.