Detmers' debut a 'dream' despite home runs

August 2nd, 2021

ANAHEIM -- showed potential in his Major League debut, but he was ultimately done in by a pair of homers as part of a five-run third inning by the A’s on Sunday.

Detmers, ranked as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect and No. 56 overall by MLB Pipeline, went 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on six hits and two walks in an 8-3 defeat in the series finale at Angel Stadium. Detmers looked solid early with two scoreless frames, but couldn’t quite keep it going.

Despite the loss, Detmers took it in stride and was happy his parents, two brothers, girlfriend and other close friends were able to watch his debut in person.

"It was definitely a dream come true,” Detmers said. “I've been dreaming of that moment since I was a little kid. Obviously, it didn't go as planned, but that's baseball. Just gotta bounce back. I'm looking forward to my next start, but just enjoying the moment right now. I got to see my family after the game and that was a cool moment. But yeah, I'll be ready to go."

Detmers, 22, earned the call after posting a 3.50 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 54 innings at Double-A Rocket City before throwing six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in his lone start at Triple-A Salt Lake. It was a quick ascent to the Majors after being the No. 10 selection in the 2020 Draft.

The Nokomis, Ill., native pitched around a walk and an errant throw from first baseman Matt Thaiss on a pickoff play in the first inning to throw a scoreless frame, including two strikeouts. His first punchout came against Matt Olson on a 3-2 curveball and the ball was sent back to the dugout as a keepsake.

Olson, though, made Detmers pay in the third with a three-run homer on a first-pitch sinker after Elvis Andrus and Starling Marte reached on singles. It tied the game at 3 as the Angels gave Detmers an early three-run lead, keyed by a two-run homer from Max Stassi in the first and an RBI double from Jack Mayfield in the second.

“He had good stuff and he started out well,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We got off to a great start and felt pretty good about it and Reid looked good, but he couldn’t land his breaking pitches.”

The A’s quickly took the lead after Olson’s blast, as Ramón Laureano drew a two-out walk before Yan Gomes smacked a two-run shot on a 1-0 fastball over the middle of the plate. As Maddon noted, Detmers pointed to his lack of command on non-fastballs as an issue that led to the homers.

“I wasn't landing my curveball or anything for strikes, so they were just sitting on the heater,” Detmers said. “The heater didn’t have the life it usually does. But that's baseball, you're not going to have your pitches all the time. Next time, I just need to land a couple more offspeed pitches to get them off the fastball and I'll be fine."

Detmers bounced back with a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, but he was removed with one out in the fifth after hitting Olson with a curveball and allowing a single to Jed Lowrie. Reliever Austin Warren allowed an inherited run to score on an RBI single from Gomes, with the run being charged to Detmers.

“I wanted to send him back out to go five right there,” Maddon said. “We gave him every opportunity to fight through it. It’s important for all our young pitchers. He never lost his composure, but just never had command of his breaking stuff.”

Detmers threw 82 pitches in his debut, getting eight swings and misses, including three with his four-seamer and three with his curveball. His fastball averaged 93 mph and peaked at 94.8, which is much higher than what he featured while at the University of Louisville in 2020 (90.7). His increase in velocity this year is a reason why he’s continued to see his status as a top prospect rise.

But A’s hitters didn’t go down easy, as Detmers struck out just two and had 21 foul balls hit against him, which drove up his pitch count. Along with the lack of command, Detmers believes he was trying to do too much in his first big league start.

"I think I was just trying to overthrow,” Detmers said. “My offspeed has been there all year. It just wasn't there today. But that's going to happen. I think it's just all the emotions settling in and just trying to overthrow.”