PHILADELPHIA -- When Jake Thompson struck out four Rockies in the second inning of the Phillies' 10-6 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
PHILADELPHIA -- When Jake Thompson struck out four Rockies in the second inning of the Phillies' 10-6 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, which is not surprising, as he had seven starts just this season with fewer strikeouts 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 a benefactor. David Dahl swung at and missed 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's 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.
"A lot better than the first one, that's for sure," Thompson said, reflecting on his debut, when he struck out one and allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings. "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, Phillies 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.