(Busch Stadium) Sometimes the hype and build up can be so much that the actuality fails to live up to expectation. That was not the case in the Major League debut of Alex Reyes.
The 21-year old Reyes delivered pitches of 96-99-80 (curve)-and 101mph as he struck out the first batter he faced in Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall.
“It’s amazing,” smiled Reyes. “It’s a dream come true. Ever since I played baseball when I was in Little League and stuff, this is the kind of moment I dreamed about. I was out there having fun and it turned out pretty well for me.”
Easily mixing the 101mph fastballs with three of the slower breaking pitches, Reyes retired the next two batters he faced for a perfect inning of work with a total of 11 pitches.
“Nothing compares to this, it’s my big league debut,” he continued. “It’s amazing just to be out there on the field–my locker’s next to Waino. I’ve been watching him ever since, you know. Just being here in this clubhouse and on the field was huge, it’s a huge honor and a great experience.”
Used to starting, warm-up as a reliever was new for Reyes but he followed his usual plan to get ready.
“Just got warm,” he explained. “Until my arm felt good, that’s what I was planning on doing and it felt good. So I was ready to go out.”
Those who remained of the announced crowd of 40,113 rose to their feet when he entat the end of the inning and gave the rookie a standing ovation as he exited the field.
“A crowd like this–Busch is probably one of the best places to play,” said Reyes. “Just being out there on the mound and seeing those fans, how they received me–it just really made me feel comfortable.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI