Dusty Baker had not seen 23-year-old right-hander Koda Glover pitch live before tonight. In fact, he joked before the game that he wouldn't have known him if he passed him on the street. He said he got his scouting reports on Glover from Washington Nationals' General Manager Mike Rizzo and the organization's scouts.
"Mike told me that he had really good stuff. And like I said, I haven't seen him, but I asked him when did he pitch and he said he had pitched later in games, set up and closed some games, and I heard that he has an attitude and I told him to keep that attitude and that's one thing that we need, is attitude."
"Different people have said different things," Glover told reporters when asked to describe the attitude he brought to the mound.
"Bulldog mentality. Things that I can't say to you... but I mean, for the most part, just keeping it on the field and stuff like that and just keeping it professional, I think that's got me to where I am."
Where he is, is in the Nationals' bullpen, faster to the majors than all but one other member of the 2015 Draft class league-wide. Glover and Chicago White Sox' Round pick Carson Fulmer are the only two so far to make their MLB debuts.
Glover started at High-A Potomac this year and earned promotions to Double and then Triple-A, putting up a combined 2.18 ERA with 14 walks (2.78 BB/9) and 52 Ks (10.32 K/9) in 45 ⅓ innings between the three affiliates before he was called up.
He said he was having a hard time believing he was in the majors himself.
"If you were to ask me if I would be right now, I'd say, 'No.' But luckily I've been blessed with opportunities that they've given me.
"All the Nats and the coordinators and Doug Harris. It's been a fantastic journey and I couldn't be more happy about it."
In his first night in the majors, Glover got an opportunity to pitch. He came on late in the Nationals' 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and tossed a quick, four-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth.
His first pitch was a 98 mph fastball. He threw a 92-93 mph cutter too.
"That was a perfect game to get Glover into," Baker said after the win.
"He wasn't afraid. I mean, big time. That's what you like. A young guys comes in and throws strikes. We're really impressed in our organization about him and he's come on rather quickly."
Glover might not have been afraid, but he was nervuous.
"For the first time, I was actually nervous," Glover told reporters, including MASN's Byron Kerr. "I can actually admit that. I don’t normally get nervous, but it definitely got the blood pumping."
"Like I said earlier, this is the first time I have seen him in person," Baker continued.
"First time I've seen him throw. Last couple days, we called up a couple youngsters that if I passed them on street I wouldn't know them. And so now I know them, now I've seen them a little bit.
"So that was a perfect game to get him into, because sometimes you're forced into action, bases loaded in the thirteenth inning or something, so that was a perfect game to get your feet wet."