PHILADELPHIA -- When Jake Thompson struck out four Rockies in the second inning of the Phillies 10-4 win Friday night, it was more than just a fun anecdote. It proved he can put away Major League hitters.The one knock on Thompson has been that he doesn't have strikeout stuff. Despite
PHILADELPHIA -- When Jake Thompson struck out four Rockies in the second inning of the Phillies 10-4 win Friday night, it was more than just a fun anecdote. It proved he can put away Major League hitters.
The one knock on Thompson has been that he doesn't have strikeout stuff. Despite his dominant run at Triple-A before making his Major League debut on Saturday against the Dodgers, Thompson didn't fan more than six in a single outing, even while posting a 1.08 ERA over his final eight Triple-A starts.
Thompson had so ignored the punchout, he didn't even realize he had completed the rare four-strikeout inning until he was back in the clubhouse icing his arm.
"That's definitely a first," Thompson said. Unsurprising, as he had seven starts just this season with fewer Ks than he recorded in the second inning.
It was hardly a breeze to get there, though. Thompson's first victim wasn't so much a victim as benefactor. David Dahl swung and missed at a curveball in the dirt and hustled to first. A single and an error brought Dahl home.
But Thompson stranded Gerardo Parra and Nick Hundley, the two batters who reached after Dahl strikeout. Parra and Hundley didn't even advance a bag as Thompson sent down Ben Paulsen, Daniel Descalso and Jon Gray consecutively on strikes to end the inning and the scoring threat.
It took all of one inning to match his strikeout total from a disastrous debut and one more to multiply it by five.
"A lot better than the first one, that's for sure," Thompson said. "I felt more comfortable out there. I was able to spin the ball for more strikes which I wasn't able to do in my first outing."
Although Thompson progressed a mile in one start, manager Pete Mackanin is still excited about what's to come. Thompson allowed only two hits, but he issued three free passes.
"He was a little erratic," Mackanin said. "His command wasn't the greatest, but he battled and like I said this is a very tough team. They've got a great offense."
Thompson sees greener pastures ahead, too, after picking up his first MLB win.
"It's kind of nice to get the first one out of the way," Thompson said. "Hopefully I'll gain more confidence on the mound and keep it rolling."
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.