Nobody pinch Blake Smith.
It’s been a long time coming, but the 28-year-old pitcher finally made his MLB debut with the White Sox on Saturday night.
“It was honestly a dream come true,” Smith said. “It still kind of doesn't feel like it happened. It was awesome. I'm glad my family was here, my mom and dad were here and they both see it and my fiancée was here. Pretty cool. Pretty cool experience.”
Smith pitched a no-hit ninth inning in the White Sox 6-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
The Cal product was originally drafted as an outfielder by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 2009 but converted to pitcher in 2013.
“(I) threw in college a little bit. Couple years in college and then I got drafted as a hitter and kind of shut that down,” Smith said. “You know how this game goes, everyone has their grind. Mine was a little different but I hung with it, stuck through it. I don't know if it makes it more special, it's just a special moment as is.”
Smith came to the White Sox via trade in exchange for Eric Surkamp in 2015. This season in Triple-A, he went 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 39 games.
Smith was in line to potentially pick up his first career win on Saturday, as the White Sox started a ninth inning rally which came up short.
Trailing 6-4, Tyler Saladino’s single and Adam Eaton’s double led off the inning. Melky Cabrera’s single made things a 6-5 ball game. But Jose Abreu and Justin Morneau struck out to end the game.
“I was just in there cheering them on,” Smith said. “I was just kind of taking it all in at that point. Sitting down in the dugout.”