The Diamondbacks number one prospect Archie Bradley made his Major League debut on Saturday night in a 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to get above .500 for the first time this season. Bradley throw 112 pitches in six innings giving up just one hit, no runs, four walks and struck out six. He left the field after the sixth to a standing ovation from the Chase Field crowd.
Here are five things we learned about Bradley in his first start.
Working it full: The first four batters that Bradley faced to start the game all ran the count full but he still managed to get them all which included his first big league strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez who came into that at-bat 11 for his first 16 on the season. He threw a lot of pitches early which had him pushing 100 through four innings. From what we saw from Bradley while he was in the minors, his control wasn’t alway on point and sometimes fell victim to the big inning because he wasn’t able to keep him self under control. That was not the case in his first start as retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced in the game. He probably could have gone deeper into the game if not for throwing 112 pitches in six innings, but the way the rotation has looked in week one, Chip Hale will gladly take six scoreless innings from a starter.
“I think we were going for the record for 3-2 counts there for a while,” said Manager Chap Hale after the game. But he gave us six innings. That was really important for us and I am sure he can do even better than that. That’s the great thing about it.”
Cool under pressure: Bradley faced his first real adversity in the game after giving up a walk and then a Howie Kendrick double in the fourth which gave the Dodgers runners on second and third with only one out. How did Bradley respond? By getting a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the fourth and then in the fifth, he struck out the side in order. His confidence grew as the game went on and never allowed the Dodgers hitters to get into his head. He finished with six strikeouts, four of which came after he gave up his first hit.
“He’s a confident kid,” mentioned Hale. “It’s exciting for him, it’s exciting for the ball club and it’s exciting for the organization.”
Style on the mound: Watching Bradley in person is an experience. The MLB front office is going to love how quick he moves with the pace of play initiative a big focus of the league this year. Bradley works very fast between pitches and keeps batters on their toes. His fast ball on the radar measures between 92-94 but like Tuffy Gosewisch mentioned after the game, it feels and looks more like 96. He does a great job of disguising he ball in his approach and the ball just seems like it explodes out of his hands. He throws with confidence and it showed especially as the game rolled along.
Standing ovation: The starting rotation for the Diamondbacks had given the fans a lot to cheer about through the first week of the season. It has been the bullpen that had carried the staff through the first four games. But coming off the field after getting through the sixth, the fans came to their feet as he walked back to the dugout. Bradley mentioned after the game that at that point, he was having trouble holding in his emotions.
“I was trying to hold it in,” Bradley said. “I saw people stand up and heard people start cheering real loud and when I got into the dugout and everyone was there, that’s when it hit me and let out a little smile and was like alright, this is pretty cool.”
What’s Next For Bradley: Bradley will enjoy a near flawless Major League debut on Satiurday but then it’s back to work as he will take the mound on the road against the defending champion San Francisco Giants next week. He showed he responded when adversity showed in game one but AT&T Park will be less forgiving.