“Obviously not the result I was looking for, but I’m not going to shy away,” Jackson Tetreault told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after he gave up nine hits, three of them home runs, and seven runs total in four innings pitched in his MLB debut. But the 26-year-old said he wanted to get right back out there again if he was given the chance.
“I’m eager to get back out there and throw again. Just happy to get the first one under my belt. An awesome experience.”
His manager, Davey Martinez, told reporters after the rough outing against Atlanta’s Braves, that there were positives to pull, and Tetreault showed enough to get another start with a club in desperate need of starting pitching.
“He was a little amped up, but he stayed pretty poised, and I told him at the end, ‘Your first outing, let’s build off of that and get you ready for your next one.”
“You know what? He’s got good stuff,” Martinez added. “I think he was a little bit amped up.
“He came out throwing really hard, but he was a little bit erratic. They fouled off some pretty good pitches. But I think next outing will be much better, because I think he’ll settle down a little bit.”
Tetreault threw 91 pitches overall in four innings in his MLB debut, but in start No. 2 he was far more efficient, throwing four scoreless against the Philadelphia Phillies on 55 pitches, but two run scored in the fourth, then one came around in the fifth, as Tetreault limited the damage and worked through a comebacker off his left ankle in the seventh to finish his day at 91 pitches overall, with six hits, two walks, and a total of three (unearned) runs allowed.
A dropped ball by Lane Thomas in left-center led to the first two runs coming in, and an E:2 on a botched back pick attempt by Keibert Ruiz and Josh Bell allowed the third run to score while Tetreault was on the mound.
Tetreault took a 105.7 MPH comebacker off his ankle in the first at-bat of the seventh, and it looked from his initial reaction like his solid outing might end with an injury, but he told his manager he was good to go and he stayed in to record three straight outs to wrap up a real solid outing in a 9-3 win.
Jackson Tetreault’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 91 P, 57 S, 10/5 GO/FO.
“He threw a gem today,” Martinez said after the Nationals snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.
“He controlled the strike zone. he seemed a little bit more under control today than he did the first outing, which is expected, but he used all his pitches, and he stayed ahead of the strike zone, stayed ahead of the hitters, which was really nice today.”
He recorded just five swinging strikes, four with his fastball, but he got 18 called strikes with his heater, which sat at 94.5 MPH and got up to 97.3.
He threw 65% fastballs, 22% cutters, 9% curves, and 4% changeups.
Tetreault also proved his father right when he shook off the comebacker.
“He got hit,” Martinez said. “He didn’t want to come out of the game. He wanted to finish the inning. I talked to his dad yesterday, his dad says he’s ‘tough as nails’ so he proved it today.”
“We tried to lift him up to take him off the field, but he said, ‘I’m good, I can go.’ I said, ‘Huh?’ I mean, ‘Okay, you want to throw one?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ he threw one and he says, ‘I’m ready.’ And he got through that inning. He was fired up at the end of that inning, so that’s awesome to see.”
Martinez liked seeing Tetreault mix in some of his secondary pitches, something pitching coach Jim Hickey stressed after his debut, but commanding all of his pitches was the big difference this time out according to the manager.
“He had command of all his pitches today, which was nice. His fastball was — it varied. He threw some up to 97, he throttled it down to 92-93, but the biggest emphasis all week long, we told him, ‘It doesn’t matter how hard you throw here, you got to control the strike zone,’ and he was good, he kept the hitters off-balance, he was really good today.”