ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Mychal Givens had quite a debut in front of his family and friends on Friday night at Tropicana Field. He pitched two perfect innings, caught the relay throw on a double play and snared a sharp line drive.
“He might be the only pitcher in baseball who makes that 3-6-1 play. Might be the only one that catches that line drive. That bodes well for his athleticism, and he should only get better and better as he repeats his delivery,” manager Buck Showalter said after the game.
Givens was drafted as an infielder, and then converted to a pitcher in 2013.
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“It helps that I was a shortstop and I still have the reactions in fielding ground balls and throwing to bases,” Givens said. “It was a good thing I got the opportunity to play short in pro ball.”
Givens caught the line drive that Steven Souza hit to start the seventh.
“It was just a reaction when something was coming at you. It can be instinct. It helps when something’s coming at you regardless of if you’re an athletic person, you’re trying to grab it. I got my glove where it was and I caught it,” Givens said.
Givens had lots of supporters on hand, and they made themselves heard.
“I just treated it like a regular game. Knowing how I am, how I grew up, I zone out. I don’t realize who’s at the game. It’s good to be home to play and pitch in front of friends and family,” Givens said.
“I don’t hear them. I’m just like a horse running a race. I have that visor right over my eyes and focus.”
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