ANAHEIM -- Carson Fulmer realized the first hitter he'd face in his Major League career was going to be Albert Pujols as Fulmer entered in the seventh inning of the Angels' 8-1 victory Sunday.But the top White Sox prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, didn't focus upon the name on the back of
ANAHEIM -- Carson Fulmer realized the first hitter he'd face in his Major League career was going to be Albert Pujols as Fulmer entered in the seventh inning of the Angels' 8-1 victory Sunday.
But the top White Sox prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, didn't focus upon the name on the back of the jersey as he took the mound, despite Pujols having hit career home runs No. 576 and 577 earlier in the victory.
"I'm just trying to stick to my approach like I always do and try not to necessarily think about who is in the box," a smiling Fulmer said after throwing two scoreless innings in the White Sox fourth straight loss.
So how did that Fulmer/Pujols battle turn out? It was fastball, changeup, curve, and Pujols became Fulmer's first career strikeout.
"He's one of the game's best," said Fulmer of Pujols. "Obviously you have a ton of respect for a guy like that. See him step in the box, especially with my growing up watching him play, it was a special moment."
"I wasn't thinking about Pujols, I was thinking about [Fulmer]. I was trying to do the best for him," said White Sox catcher Omar Narváez, who doubled for his first career hit with one out in the third and scored on Adam Eaton's double. "He was good. He was amazing."
After working exclusively as a starter for Double-A Birmingham this season, Fulmer joined the White Sox roster prior to this forgettable series in Anaheim. He took a walk on the wild side control-wise earlier this season, but after realizing he had slowed down his delivery tempo too much, based on Spring Training work, Fulmer corrected that issue with the Barons and looked Sunday like the hurler who found vast success at Vanderbilt.
Fulmer allowed one single and hit one batter. He also picked up a strikeout of Jett Bandy to open the eighth.
"He came out just throwing strikes. It was impressive," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He was throwing hard. He got two innings in today, which you don't know how much he's going to bounce back. I just thought coming in for his first game, it was good."
"It's one of those moments that you try to cherish as much as you can," Fulmer said. "It was definitely an opportunity I'll never forget."
The baseball from the Pujols strikeout pitch will be kept by Fulmer, but he also received a couple of other baseballs from his outing that his parents will receive. Being with the White Sox for a couple of days allowed Fulmer to get acclimated to the big league routine, and with "God Bless America" being performed before the bottom of the seventh, Fulmer was able to gather himself in the bullpen in preparation for the moment.
That moment for the eighth-overall pick in the 2015 Draft resulted in a strikeout of one of the game's greatest hitters.
"I'm just going to go at him with everything I have, and fortunately it turned out in my favor," said Fulmer, who threw 15 of his 21 pitches for strikes. "I'm getting comfortable with how things kind of work. But I still have to continue to keep my head down and do my job."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.