Sammy Solis came on in the seventh inning last night with the Washington Nationals up 5-2 over the New York Mets. No pressure, Sammy. The 26-year-old left-hander came out throwing heat though, with mid-90's fastballs to Mets' catcher Kevin Plawecki. A 1-1 change got him a groundout from Plawecki for his first out in the majors.
John Mayberry, Jr. saw it all, 94 mph fastball, 80 mph curve, and an 85 mph change the outfielder lined out to Jayson Werth in left for out no.2. Curtis Granderson got two fastballs, 94 and 95 and after an 84 mph curve dropped in for a strike, the left-handed hitting outfielder took a 96 mph fastball for a called strike three and Solis' first MLB K.
After a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 frame, Solis actually came back out for the eighth inning and 12 pitches later, had his second scoreless inning in the books.
As the 2010 2nd Round pick told reporters, including Washington Post writer James Wagner, after the game, it was all a little bit overwhelming.
"'I think I blacked out,' he said. 'It was exciting running out there. I don’t remember much until the first pitch.'"
"I think I blacked out. I don't remember much of it until the first pitch." -- @Sammy22Solis on his MLB debut.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 1, 2015
As Matt Williams and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo explained, the move to the bullpen was one they thought could maximize his talent and give the lefty who has struggled with injuries all the way back to college and throughout his professional career a chance to contribute at the major league level.
Solis said the transition to relief work was "different" and something he's still adjusting to:
"'It’s a different mind-set,' Solis said. 'Instead of worrying about six, seven innings, you’re worrying about one or two. So making that adjustment has been different. I wouldn’t say it’s been hard. It’s just been different.'"
Williams was asked about the decision to bring Solis on for his MLB debut with a three-run lead. Why did he decide that was the right time?
"Given Atlanta and given Miami before that, our bullpen has been taxed a little bit," Williams explained.
"That's one of the reasons Sammy is here, because he can give us multiple innings. He went out there and threw strikes from the first pitch and made them put the ball in play. So really nice debut for him. He was all smiles. He really enjoyed it."
Here are the reports on Sammy Solis' MLB debut:
• "Solis’ first pitch was a 93-mph sinking fastball outside the strike zone for a ball against Kevin Plawecki." - "After a winding path of injuries, Sammy Solis makes big-league debut" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
After winding path of injuries, Sammy Solis makes debut. "We knew if he just stayed healthy he’d be a dominant guy." http://t.co/7LMEdsqN5C— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 1, 2015
• "Solis was in a whirlwind on Thursday and didn't remember much until he hit the mound." - "Solis spins 2 shutout innings in MLB debut" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Now on the rest of the links...
NATS BEAT: Nats take series opener; Strasburg's start in NY
• "What changed for Strasburg after the second inning? He stopped being predictable." - "Strasburg settles in after rocky first two innings" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "The Nationals dented Mets starter Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL rookie of the year, for five runs, capitalizing on a defensive miscue by shortstop Wilmer Flores." - "Nats take opener from Mets" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "If the Nationals’ intention Thursday night was to make a statement to the Mets, consider their mission accomplished." - "Impressive win for Nats to open series in New York" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Since 2013, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper always gets off to great starts, and this year is no different." - "Harper continues trend of raking in April" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "For the third straight night, the Nats pounded out double-digit hits, led by the heart of their lineup." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats ride momentum into May after impressive team win" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper said it was only a matter of time before the team started to jell on the field." - "Nats capitalize early, pull away late to beat Mets" - Bill Ladson and Jason Trezza, nationals.com
Rendon's rehab restarts:
• "If all goes well, infielder Anthony Rendon will resume his minor league rehab stint with Double-A Harrisburg when the Senators travel to Bowie to play the Baysox this weekend." - "Nationals Pastime: Rendon potentially back in rehab game in Bowie tomorrow, Janssen's plan set" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "If all is well after those activities, Rendon is expected back in Harrisburg’s lineup on Friday, Williams said." - "Anthony Rendon inches closer to return, Casey Janssen nearing rehab assignment" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
Span's abdomen again:
• "Washington Nationals outfielder Denard Span left Thursday’s win over the Mets in the sixth inning with soreness around where he had core muscle surgery on the left side of his abdomen." - "Denard Span exits Thursday’s game with abdominal soreness" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Span is not sure if he had a setback. He indicated that he would know more by Friday." - "Span exits win with sore abdominal muscle" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Span made a stunningly quick recovery from the surgery and obviously hasn't looked compromised since returning, so the hope is that Thursday's setback is a minor one." - "Daily Dose: Span Overboard" - Nathan Grimm, Yahoo Sports
Scherzer vs Harvey in Game 2 of 4:
• "It will be a battle of aces Friday night as Matt Harvey opposes Max Scherzer at Citi Field in the second game of a four-game series between the Mets and Nationals." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - May 1, 2015" - Joe Trezza, MLB.com Preview
• "As much as a team can need a series in May, the Nationals need this one against the Mets. They are 10-13 and in fourth place in the NL East." - "Say hey, baseball: Matt Harvey vs. Max Scherzer is a thing we can watch Friday" - Marc Normandin, SBNation.com
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Flores' error; Mets beat; Solis on Fangraphs
• "'I have to shake it off,' Flores said. Flores' key error in the fourth inning wasn't the Mets' only mistake..." - "Flores' error on double-play ball proves costly" - Joe Trezza, mets.com
• "Also of note in this game, Nationals prospect Sammy Solis made his majorleague debut, throwing two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out one as well." - "Bullpen Report: April 30, 2015" - Benjamin Pasinkoff, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
• "'It's certainly a challenge for us and a test for us to come in and play well,' Williams said of the series about to begin. 'They're built on their starting pitching and they can shut you down.'" - "Washington Nationals beat up Jacob deGrom as Mets skid to 8-2 loss" - Mike Vorkunov, Rapid reaction | NJ.com
MLB's new pace of play guidelines have been so successful that the league and union agreed Thursday to "relax" fines: http://t.co/e321Ok0ncC— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) May 1, 2015
• "The loss was the first at home for the Mets (15-8) this season and was their third straight overall for their longest losing streak of the season." - "Flores error triggers Mets meltdown in 8-2 loss to Nats" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News
• "Wilmer Flores flat out flubbed it." - "Brutal error by Wilmer Flores extends lifeless Mets skid" - Mike Puma, New York Post
• "The problem isn’t that the Nationals aren’t great. They probably are great! The problem is that even a great team will be hard-pressed to go 87-53 the rest of the season, which is what it would take to win 96 games again." - "Does Nationals' start tell us ... anything?" - Rob Neyer, FOX Sports
• "The Washington Nationals have signed former Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde to a minor league contract as an insurance policy for their inconsistent bullpen." - "Jose Valverde signs minor league deal with Washington Nationals" - George Henry, AP/Detroit Free Press
• "In his postgame news conference, Collins said the error 'changed the tide, no question about it.'" - "Flubbed Double-Play Grounder Paves Way to Mets’ Third Straight Loss" - Jared Diamond, WSJ
The Mets have lost three straight games. Wilmer Flores has six errors. This one really hurt. http://t.co/ox9xEXK3pm— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) May 1, 2015
• "It wasn't a good opening month for the Nats but without Harper carrying the offense for most of it, things could have been even worse." - "Thursday's power rankings" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot - ESPN
• "Nearly 50 Washington Nationals fans who received parking tickets for not paying to park are off the hook, WTOP has learned." - "Parking tickets near Nationals Park overturned upon further review" - Ari Ashe, WTOP
• "Wilmer Difo, one of the Washington Nationals' top prospects, has been promoted to the Class AA Harrisburg Senators." - "Highly regarded Washington Nationals' prospect Wilmer Difo promoted to Harrisburg" - Mick Reinhard, ennLive.com
• "League president Eric Krupa called the proposed deal a "very generous offer" from Hagerstown Suns principal owner Bruce Quinn, who wants to move the team to the Massaponax area." - "League president praises proposed deal that would bring baseball to Spotsylvania County" - Jeff Branscome, Fredericksburg.com
• "The Nationals added a run in the top of the third when C Spencer Kieboom extended his hitting streak to nine games with a one-out double." - "Potomac Nationals vs. Winston-Salem Dash Game Recap April 30th, 2015" - Potomac Nationals News
• "The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped the four-game series finale to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 4-0, Thursday afternoon at McCoy Stadium." - "Syracuse Chiefs lost to Pawtucket Red Sox, 4-0, Travis Shaw, Steven Wright, Devin Marrero, Scott McGregor" - Syracuse Chiefs News
MLB Fixes the Trea Turner Problem for Everyone Else http://t.co/rpNQ1ixApy— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) May 1, 2015
NL EAST UPDATES: Utley's April; Fernandez faces hitters; Braves' debut
• Phillies: "It was strangely appropriate that the Phillies finished what was a grim first month of the season in the town in which poet T.S. Eliot drew his first breath." - "Chase Utley: April 'could have gone a lot better'" - Jim Salisbury, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
• Braves: "Mike Foltynewicz will make his much-anticipated first Major League start for the Braves as they attempt to halt their recent woes Friday night against the Reds." - "Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves - May 1, 2015" - Mark Bowman, MLB.com Preview
• Marlins: "Jose Fernandez did something Thursday that he had not done in almost a year -- pitch against live hitting." - "Fernandez faces hitters for first time since surgery" - marlins.com