The Los Angeles Angels called up Reid Detmers to make his Major League debut against the Oakland Athletics, one of the most disciplined offenses in baseball. He gave up six runs in 4.1 innings with the first two innings serving as a glimmer of hope. Then, he faced the L.A. Dodgers — the most talented lineup in baseball — with similar results.
Against the Dodgers, he gave up five runs in five innings with all the damage coming in the first two innings. He found his stride in the three innings following that. However, it didn’t get any easier for him in his third start, as he faced the Houston Astros.
This time around, he put the individual great innings from the first two games together to form the best start of his career. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts in his first MLB win, flashing the full potential he had in his dominant Minor League starts.
Detmers gave his thoughts on being thrown into the fire against three of baseball’s best teams for his first career starts, according to Megan Garcia of MLB.com:
“They’re good lineups. They’re who they are for a reason,” Detmers said of the teams he has faced. “They’re good-hitting teams and they score a lot of runs. At times it’s been difficult, but I mean if I hit my spots and keep them off-balance, things are going to go my way.”
Joe Maddon admitted that Detmers’ lofty opponents were planned out that way, as he dislikes when teams try to find soft parts of their schedule to throw young pitchers in.
“I like that, because I’ve been involved in situations where groups, teams, front offices try to avoid that. They try to provide a softer landing area, [but] I like it,” Maddon said. “I think it’s great. He had to pitch in Dodger Stadium for an afternoon game. He’s pitching here today against a very good team after we lost two games.”
There was no reason for concern after his first two starts. Yes, the numbers left much to be desired, but the talent was clearly there, and it was just a matter of time before Detmers put it all together.
Against the Astros, he did just that. Now the Angels can feel confident in the rotation cornerstone they have moving forward.
Sam Bachman learning from Detmers
As Detmers works through the trials of being a young pitcher at the MLB level, Angels 2021 first-round draft pick Sam Bachman is closely watching. When Bachman was asked if was nearing ready to be an MLB pitcher, he said he just needed to learn some mental toughness.
For him, part of that has come from watching Detmers struggle through his first two starts at the Major League level. If Detmers can be resilient enough to come back from that, it could serve as inspiration for Bachman, who is also a young, midwestern product.