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Sean Doolittle debuts, strikes out three in an inning and a third

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 05: Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Coliseum on June 5, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

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Yesterday we noted the improbable rise to the bigs by one Sean Doolittle, the very recently converted slugger who now strikes out guys by the bucketful as a relief pitcher. He made his major league debut last night for the A’s. And he was good.

Doolittle pitched an inning and a third. He threw 21 pitches. All 21 of them were fastballs. He faced four guys, striking out three of them. Doolittle:

“It was really surreal. Still kind of sinking in to be honest,” Doolittle said. “I was so focused on controlling my breathing and trying to calm myself down that it didn’t really let me get too worked up about the situation I was coming into or the guys that I was going to face.”

The guys he faced:

  • Nelson Cruz, with a runner on third. Doolitle struck him out after going down 2-0 to him;
  • Mike Napoli, who he struck out;
  • Yorvit Torreabla, who he struck out; and
  • Craig Gentry, who lined out.

Doolittle’s fastballs averaged 94.35 m.p.h. and he topped out at 96.2. As far as debuts go, I think this one qualifies as pretty frickin’ keen.