Drey Jameson throws 7-inning 2-hitter in MLB debut as D-backs blank Padres
PHOENIX — Another day, another Arizona Diamondbacks rookie making his big league debut.
Thursday night’s edition at Chase Field featured right-handed pitcher Drey Jameson, who threw a seven-inning two-hitter against the San Diego Padres (78-66) in his first MLB start.
The rookie added five strikeouts and only walked one on 90 pitches (62 strikes) en route to a 4-0 D-backs (68-75) victory and his first Major League win on Roberto Clemente Day.
“Just an unbelievable start for Drey. It was commanding the fastball, he threw some sliders, he threw some quality changeups,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.
“It was a three-four-pitch mix with his four-seam and two-seam fastball that really kept a very good offensive team in check. It’ll be about the next four days for him, what he’s going to do to prepare for his next start and not look backward — just keep moving forward.”
Jameson (1-0) also joins D-backs rookie starter Ryne Nelson as the only teammates this year to each go seven scoreless innings in their MLB debuts — both against the Padres — and the first duo to do it in the same season since Detroit Tigers’ Andy Van Hekken and Mike Maroth achieved the feat in 2002.
“We have a very talented system,” Lovullo said. “There are a lot of really good young pitchers and position players that are continuing to develop. Good things are coming. We need to continue pounding away at it.”
Jameson wasted no time accumulating his first career strikeout, getting San Diego slugger Juan Soto looking on a 3-2 count for the second out of the ballgame. The left-handed hitter thought he had earned a walk and began his way to first base before realizing home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz had wrung him up.
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) September 16, 2022
“Until I got the ball, I didn’t even know that was my first strikeout,” Jameson said postgame. “I mean I was just kind of caught up in — not caught up in the moment — (catcher) Carson (Kelly) and I just zoned in and just went after guys and whatever happens, happens.”
Jameson would strike out Soto again in the top of the sixth inning, this time swinging. Soto finished 0-for-3 with two Ks against Jameson and 0-for-4 overall against Diamondbacks pitching on the night.
“It’s high velocity — he learned a two-seam fastball over the past 365 days and he goes up in a big league game and executes it at a very high level. That stands out to me,” Lovullo said. “It’s manipulation of the baseball but he knows where it’s going. He can drive pitches where he wants.
“The one pitch that really stood out to me was his first strikeout. His first official strikeout was a driven fastball on the inner half of the plate to one of the league’s best hitters. That to me said that he was prepared and ready to go out there and attack.”
In fact, Manny Machado also went 0-for-3 against Jameson and 0-for-4 in the ballgame. Brandon Drury, who was activated from the injured list (concussion) before the first pitch, had both of his hits off the D-backs starter while Ha-Seong Kim had the other off Kevin Ginkel.
“I was getting ahead of guys, that’s big,” Jameson said. “And when I did fall back, I relied on the sinker to get a groundball or soft contact and it worked out well. Just commanding the zone and not getting behind guys helps a lot with letting other pitchers feed off (each other).”
Offensively, Arizona compiled seven hits while San Diego only mustered three. Three of the D-backs’ hits left the ballpark, with Ketel Marte, Emmanuel Rivera and Kelly all hitting solo home runs to left field. Marte’s big fly was his first since July 27. He finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk.
The back of Rivera’s jersey had a different look to it trotting around the bases and playing third base on the night. That’s because he, along with Josh Rojas, Cooper Hummel, Machado, Nick Martinez and Yu Darvish, were all wearing the No. 21 without a last name on it in memory of the late Clemente.
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) September 16, 2022
The Diamondbacks bullpen continued the phenomenal pitching performance. Ginkel (fourth hold), Joe Mantiply (20th hold) and Reyes Moronta combined for two scoreless innings to close out the ballgame.
“He’s done a good job of changing speeds,” Lovullo said of having Moronta warm up for a save opportunity before Christian Walker’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth negated the save situation.
“I know that some very good hitters he’s faced before, he had good direct numbers — I think Machado was 0-for-8 or nine off of him. I just felt like we needed outs, we needed to get some outs there and Moronta was the right guy.”
The D-backs host the Padres in the second of the four-game series on Friday night at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Arizona lefty Madison Bumgarner (6-14, 4.88 ERA) is scheduled to start against San Diego left-hander Blake Snell (6-9, 4.02 ERA).