With injuries depleting depth in their starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers provided Dustin May with an opportunity to make his MLB debut. May became the seventh Dodgers player to appear in his first career game this season.
Like Matt Beaty, Will Smith, Edwin Rios and others before him, May represented another example of the talent and potential in the organization. The end result was not preferable, but May received loud cheers walking out of the bullpen before first pitch, and a standing ovation when exiting in the sixth.
“It was awesome. It’s one of those dreams come true,” May said of his debut. “As a kid thinking about it, it’s surreal. It was an exciting feeling and one of the best days in my life, for sure.”
May predictably had early-game jitters but believes he was able to settle in by the second inning.
“My adrenaline was up, I was super excited. It’s one of those feelings you can’t really describe because it’s just over the top,” he said. “It was really fun.”
Tyler White’s throwing error led to an unearned run and the Padres taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. May found his command and became more efficient to keep the Dodgers in the game until Cody Bellinger’s two-run home run gave them a lead in the fourth inning.
The young right-hander batted for himself in the bottom of the fifth and went back out for another inning of work. That’s when the Padres strung together a rally and chased May with two outs. He exited with the Dodgers facing a 4-2 deficit.
“We were just talking about pitch execution and what we could’ve done differently,” May said of conversations in the dugout. “There was a lot of excitement, everybody was congratulating me.”
That the 21-year-old battled some nerves was to be expected, but just as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts highlighted, his overall composure and temperament allowed for May to meet the challenge.
“They put their shoes and pants on the same way I do,” he answered when asked what learning experience his first Major League game provided. “They make mistakes, I make mistakes. They hit my mistakes and I get them out on theirs.”