(Busch Stadium) In his seventh season of professional baseball, Ryan Sherriff finally saw his dream become a reality as he stood on the mound and threw three scoreless innings in his MLB debut for the St. Louis Cardinals in tonight’s 7-3 loss.
“It was just a great experience, I mean, I was numb through the whole thing,” stated Sherriff, who pitched the 5th-7th innings. “It was just awesome having the best catcher in baseball calling the game for me and I give all the credit to him. He did one helluva job for me.”
The 27-year old lefthander was with the team in Spring Training, but reminded that he did not have an opportunity to work with Molina in Florida.
“Literally, what you saw on the mound, where he came out and talked to me–that was the first time Yadi has ever caught me,” said Sherriff. “We just went on the same page.”
Of the 12 batters faced, Sherriff gave up two hits and struck out four with one walk.
“I was nervous throughout the whole time, couldn’t stop thinking about my dad the whole time, just went out there and attacked,” said Sherrif, who lost his father to multiple myeloma in 2012. The souvenir baseball from his first strikeout is going to his mother, Renee, who was in attendance for tonight’s game.
“It was huge,” said Mike Matheny. “What a debut. The kid’s been real excited to show what he can do. He’s had a great season in Memphis and you could see with the kind of swings he was even getting from the right-handers, how effective he can be for us. We needed him to go a little longer for us today, maybe longer than we had hoped. He kept answering and I thought he did as a good a job as anybody could possibly do.”
His contract purchased on Wednesday, Sherriff was brought up from Memphis to help a bullpen that has been forced to shoulder a large amount of innings the last couple of times through the starting rotation. Tonight was another example as Michael Wacha finished with a line of 3.1 innings pitched with 5 earned runs allowed.
Tomorrow’s starter Mike Leake has thrown just 41 innings over his last nine starts, but Sherriff will not be shuttled back to Memphis to have a fresh arm in the bullpen.
“After an outing like that, we want to get him back in there,” said Matheny. “I think we’ll have some coverage because we were able to stay away from some guys.”
John Brebbia, Tyler Lyons, and Seung Hwan Oh did not pitch. Matt Bowman did not enter the game, but warmed in the bullpen.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports