D-backs RHP Brandon Pfaadt chased by Rangers in MLB debut
May 3, 2023, 12:59 PM | Updated: 2:24 pm
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt cruised through the first four innings against the Texans Rangers before a fifth-frame slip-up snowballed during his MLB debut Wednesday.
Pfaadt recovered from two solo homers in the second and fourth frames in Arlington, but a third mistake in that fifth inning turned into four more to chase the rookie, who was promoted to the D-backs rotation this week.
The righty was pulled in the 12-7 Arizona win after allowing nine hits, four homers and seven earned runs as Arizona trailed 7-6 through 4.2 innings.
“He’s earned every inch of this opportunity. He’s gone in through the minor leagues and thrown a lot of strikes,” senior vice president and assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke before the game. “That’s what he does. He attacks with his fastball.
“He got three-plus pitches but he’s not afraid to try to bully you with his fastball — and he’s got a really good one.”
It worked — for a little bit.
Pfaadt got through a 12-pitch first inning before facing his first bit of adversity.
Attacking low in the zone against Jonah Heim in the second inning, Pffadt hung a 90 mph changeup for a solo home run to right field that gave Texas a 1-0 lead.
An 85-mph slider in the bottom of the fourth inning gave Josh Jung another solo shot for the Rangers, but Arizona helped Pfaadt’s first two mistakes roll off his shoulders.
D-backs first baseman Christian Walker slugged a three-run homer in the third to put Arizona ahead 3-1, and Ketel Marte’s two-run bomb in the fifth grew the lead to 5-2. Walker followed shortly after in the same frame with a two-out homer.
Rangers starter Andrew Heaney got pulled after Walker’s second big hit, with his team down 6-2.
But Pfaadt was quick to follow his counterpart off the field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Texas’ Leody Taveras cranked up on a middle-of-the-zone changeup for a home run, Travis Jankowski lined a four-seamer for an RBI-double and Jung caught another Pfaadt fastball to put Texas ahead again, 7-6. All of the misses were well in the strike zone.
Arizona reacted to an inning of Rangers scoring once again.
The D-backs recorded four hits, three walks and added a fielder’s choice reach for a five-run seventh.