The Kentucky Wildcats are having success on the mound this season. Chris Rusin is a starting pitcher in the Chicago Cubs rotation, Scott Downs is a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, and Joe Blanton is a starter for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Just this week, Andrew Albers just received the call this week to make his Major League Baseball debut with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
The Saskatchewan, British Columbia native pitched a historic debut with the Twins. Albers pitched 8.1 shutout innings–which were the longest innings pitched this season for any Twins starter.
The last pitcher to put up 8 shutout innings in their debut was Andy Van Hekken for the Detroit Tigers in 2002. The last Twins pitcher to do so was Mike Fornieles in 1952.
Albers is the first pitcher with more the eight scoreless innings pitched in his MLB debut since Andy Van Hekken for the Detroit Tigers in 2002. He is the first Twins pitcher to accomplish the feat since Mike Fornieles in 1952.
“It was special — no question,” Albers said in a quote appearing on MLB.com on Tuesday night. “It’s hard to put into words, but it was special. To be able to go out and have that kind of performance in your debut, unfortunately it’s not going to get much better from there. So, I’m just going to enjoy this high and really enjoy tonight.”
“I did not want to go out there and take him out,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said in a quote appearing on MLB.com about taking Albers out in the 9th inning. “He was totally out of gas at the end and I didn’t want to see him walking off at the end after giving up a hit or something crazy. But, wow, that was fun to watch. To do that in your first big league performance against a team that’s red hot like that was pretty special for us. We needed it desperately.”