The Los Angeles Dodgers called up prospect Emmet Sheehan from Double-A Tulsa to make his MLB debut on Friday against the San Francisco Giants. Although L.A. ultimately took the loss in extra innings, it was a successful start for the rookie.
Sheehan was not among the prospects invited to Major League camp during Spring Training, but dominated for the Drillers, which gave the Dodgers the confidence they needed to call on him with an overworked pitching staff in need of length.
Sheehan was faced with a jump to the Major League level from Double-A that the Dodgers typically don’t ask their prospects to make, but the right-hander tried to just focus on doing the same things that brought him success.
“I was just kind of trying to go out there and make it the same game that it is in Double-A, which it is,” Sheehan explained. “That’s what everybody told me to do. And to have the Dodger fans and my family behind me here at the game is just, I couldn’t have asked for a better debut, besides a Dodger win.”
The 23-year-old found out Wednesday about his planned MLB debut and said he had a few days of nerves to the point where he had some difficulty eating, but once Sheehan took the mound those started to fade away.
“I was definitely really nervous the couple of days leading up to it. And then once I got out there, it kind of all faded away and it just became 60 feet six inches, same exact thing as before,” Sheehan explained.
Sheehan ended up pitching six no-hit innings before being removed from the game. The only batters to reach base came on two walks.
“I honestly had no idea until like the fifth inning,” Sheehan said of the no-hitter. “I was definitely kind of thinking about it, but trying to not think about it as much as I possibly could.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he contemplated taking out Sheehan after the fifth, but he decided to let him go one more inning due to the state of the bullpen. Sheehan left the game at 89 pitches thrown and the no-hitter still intact.
However, Sheehan had no problems with the decision to take him out with a no-hitter on the line.
“I mean, not really, honestly,” Sheehan answered when asked if it was a challenge to come out of the game. “I have full confidence in our guys and the bullpen, obviously. I just wasn’t really thinking about it.”
Brusdar Graterol ended up giving up the no-hitter away in the seventh inning on a single to left field, and the shutout was broken when he allowed a two-run homer. The Dodgers went on to lose 7-5 in 11 innings.
Although Sheehan was unable to earn his first career win, he will get at least one more chance in the rotation, which is expected to come against the Houston Astros.
Emmet Sheehan impressed by Dodgers defense
The Dodgers made a few highlight defensive plays to help keep Sheehan’s no-hitter alive, most notably when Freddie Freeman made a leaping catch into the protective netting in front of the stands and Mookie Betts made a diving catch in the sixth inning.
“Unbelievable,” Sheehan said when asked about the team’s defense. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, the play Mookie made, the play Freddie made. I mean, you can’t ask for a better defense.”
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