HOUSTON – Garrett Stubbs had to wait two days to make his Major League debut after he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock. He looks like he belonged all along.
Stubbs, starting at catcher and batting ninth in his first game in the big leagues, went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI while catching five different pitchers in the Astros’ 9-6 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Stubbs, an eighth-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft out of USC, doubled to left-center off lefty Jon Lester in his first at-bat during the second inning and blooped an RBI single to left field in the fourth to tie the game.
“Pretty crazy to just be facing a lefty for my first AB, and let alone it be Jon Lester,” Stubbs said. “It was pretty cool. When I hit it, I was praying, praying, praying for it to fall. When I saw it fall, it was a pretty big relief.”
The Astros called up Stubbs – their No. 12-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline – on Sunday to take the place of catcher Max Stassi, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with left knee soreness. Stubbs was hitting .250 with four doubles, four homers, seven RBIs and a .810 OPS at Triple-A.
With his family in attendance, Stubbs’ first RBI came in the fourth, when he went to one knee and poked a Lester pitch into left field to score fellow newbie Jack Mayfield -- who also had an MLB debut to remember in Monday's victory. Stubbs wound up scoring on a Michael Brantley double that put the Astros ahead, 6-3.
“Me and Jack were talking the whole time in the dugout about how badly we wanted to win,” Stubbs said. “In the Minor Leagues, you want to win, but just not the same as the feeling you have when you’re up here wanting to get that W.”
Astros manager AJ Hinch, a former catcher, praised Stubbs for maintaining his composure.
“I think he did a good job of navigating some traffic,” Hinch said. “Good thing he was in camp with us the last couple of years. He was able to catch these guys over and over again. Not an easy ask. We use a lot of resources today to get him up to speed, but also in the game to get through 27 outs against certain guys. He certainly deserves a lot of credit.”