Jameson shuts down Padres in MLB debut

No. 9 prospect is latest D-backs pitcher to find success in first start vs. SD

September 16th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- Once again, a D-backs pitcher making his first big league start had success against the Padres.

This time it was , the fire-balling right-hander who shut down the Padres as he worked seven shutout innings in his Major League debut in a 4-0 win Thursday night at Chase Field.

"That was awesome," Jameson said. "I can't really talk about it because I don't really know what to say about it. It's just an experience that not many people get to do and I'm going to cherish every moment of it."

Jameson's debut comes 10 days after Ryne Nelson's debut for the D-backs, in which he tossed seven shutout innings against the Padres at Petco Park.

And last year both Taylor Widener and Tyler Gilbert made their first Major League starts against the Padres. Widener worked six shutout innings while Gilbert threw a no-hitter.

Jameson was activated from the taxi squad to start Thursday after going 5-12 with a 6.95 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) for Triple-A Reno. Ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the D-backs’ system by MLB Pipeline, Jameson possesses a fastball that can touch 100 mph and he's added a two-seamer over the last year to go with the four-seamer.

Jameson also throws a slider, change and curve, though it was the fastball that carried the day in his debut, touching 98.9 mph.  But it was more about command than velocity.

"I was getting ahead of guys. That's big," Jameson said. "And when I did fall behind, I relied on the sinker to get a ground ball or soft contact, and it worked out well. Just commanding the zone and not getting behind guys helps a lot with letting other pitches feed off that."

The Padres drew one walk off Jameson and Brandon Drury had both hits off Jameson -- a single to center in the second and a double to left in the fifth.

"A guy goes in his Major League debut, he gets seven innings, two hits, you don’t score -- it looks bad," Padres manager Bob Melvin said. "But he didn’t pitch bad; that’s nothing against their guy. He pitched well. But we’re lacking a lot right now. So when you go out there and you give up a couple runs and we’re playing like this, it’s not going to hold up. He had good velo. First Major League start, you’re going to probably have a little something else behind them. He gets through the first couple innings with nothing, and then you gain some confidence as you go along."

Jameson doesn't lack for confidence. He said he remarked to a few teammates and coaches before the game that he didn't feel nervous.

"It's late in the season and I've been doing this for, you know, for a while, not at the big league level, but at the end of the day, it's just another game," Jameson said. "As long as I throw my pitches, and trust in my stuff, everything's the same. I mean there's obviously a little bit of nerves and I have that in every game just because I'm stepping on the mound and competing but there was nothing outlandish or anything like that."

Lovullo praised catcher Carson Kelly for the way the veteran handled Jameson in his first start, and Jameson said he "locked in" on Kelly, so that helped him to not be overwhelmed by the moment.

Kelly was also behind the plate for the debuts of Nelson as well as lefty Tommy Henry, who made his debut in August against the Indians.

"It's electric," Kelly said of Jameson's stuff. "He's got good life on both his sinker and his four-seam. A lot of guys, it's very hard to do both the sinker and the four-seam. And I think he also had really good command of his breaking stuff and was able to get enough over the plate to keep them off of his heater. So, just again, all in all really impressed."