ANAHEIM — Reid Detmers’ eagerly anticipated big league debut didn’t go quite as planned.
Detmers, the Angels top pitching prospect, was charged with six runs in an 8-3 loss to the Oakland A’s Sunday, with five of the runs coming on pair of homers in the third inning.
It was not what the Angels or their fans had hoped to see, but it was not too surprising considering that Detmers, 22, was making his debut against one of the better teams in the American League after pitching just 13 professional games.
“It was definitely a dream come true,” Detmers said. “Obviously, I’ve been dreaming of that moment since I was a little kid. Obviously, it didn’t go as planned. But that’s baseball. Just got to bounce back. I’m looking forward to my next start. I’m just enjoying the moment right now. “
Detmers said his breaking pitches were not there and he also didn’t have the “ride” he usually has on his fastball, which he attributed to first-start nerves.
“I think I was just trying to overthrow,” Detmers said. “My offspeed has been there all year. It just wasn’t there today. That’s stuff is going to happen. It’s baseball. You aren’t going to have every pitch every outing. I think it was all the emotions just settling in, trying to overthrow.”
His fastball command also wasn’t what it is when he’s at his best. The homers he allowed in the third inning were both on misplaced fastballs.
A three-run homer by All-Star Matt Olson and a two-run homer by Yan Gomes erased a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
The Angels would lose for the third time in four games against the team they are desperately trying to catch for the final playoff spot in the American League.
While the present isn’t looking so promising, the Angels had hoped they could at least build some momentum for the future by promoting Detmers, their first-round pick in 2020. They announced that he would make his major league debut after they traded Andrew Heaney on Friday.
Detmers lasted 4-1/3 innings, striking out two and walking two.
“The slider and the curveball kind of became moot,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “He just could not landed where he wanted to and then it put them in good hitting counts, and they got him.”
He didn’t give up any runs in the first two innings, even though the A’s still worked him for 46 pitches. Part of the problem was first baseman Matt Thaiss made an errant throw to second on what should have been a pickoff of Starling Marte, leading Detmers to throw more pitches.
Once the A’s had a look at him, they did much better. Also, Detmers hurt himself with his command.
After allowing a pair of singles in the third, he threw a first-pitch fastball belt-high and over the inner half of the plate to Olson, who hit it over the center field fence for a three-run homer.
Detmers then walked Ramon Laureano and threw a 1-and-0 fastball right over the middle to Gomes, who hit it down the left field line for a two-run homer.
Detmers responded nicely with an eight-pitch fourth, but he was then pulled after hitting Olson and giving up a hit to Jed Lowrie in the fifth. Lowrie came around to score while Austin Warren was pitching, closing the book on Detmers.
Summing up the afternoon, Maddon said Detmers’ issues included the heat and the A’s approach, which allowed their hitters to foul off tough pitches and work Detmers.
“I have nothing but confidence in this young man, he’s gonna be very good,” Maddon said. “Afterwards I told him to hang with ‘em. It’s going to get better.”
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