Tuesday wasn’t only Cubs lefty Justin Steele’s first big-league appearance in almost three months.
It was a day he’d imagined for years.
“It means the world to me to get out there and start for the Chicago Cubs,” Steele said. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of my whole entire life.”
Steele made his first career big-league start Tuesday, pitching Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Brewers. He showed promise in his five innings, allowing three runs on five hits in a 4-2 Milwaukee win.
After making 75 starts in six minor league seasons from 2014-19, Steele made his MLB debut earlier this season as a reliever. He impressed in 11 appearances (2.03 ERA) before a right hamstring strain put him on the injured list for two months.
Steele spent the last few weeks stretching out as a starter with Triple-A Iowa. Tuesday was his first time pitching in the big leagues since May 20.
“It felt good to be back at Wrigley pitching again,” he said. “It felt really good to see the fans, see my family. It was a very good experience and something to build off of."
A lot of family and friends came out to support Steele from his home state of Mississippi, including his parents, brother and best friend. His girlfriend flew in from Arizona. His grandma was watching from back home.
A contingent of supporters wearing ‘Steele’ jerseys gathered with him on the field after the game, celebrating the big day.
“I’m just glad it's finally here and it's happening,” Steele said of starting for the Cubs. “It's just a true blessing.”