PHOENIX -- Mark Leiter finished a postgame interview Friday night at Chase Field, then he quietly walked up the stairs into the Phillies' clubhouse and crawled into the laundry cart that awaited him. Jeremy Hellickson wheeled him into the showers.Teammates followed with ketchup, honey and other accoutrements.Leiter had just notched
PHOENIX -- Mark Leiter finished a postgame interview Friday night at Chase Field, then he quietly walked up the stairs into the Phillies' clubhouse and crawled into the laundry cart that awaited him. Jeremy Hellickson wheeled him into the showers.
Teammates followed with ketchup, honey and other accoutrements.
Leiter had just notched his first big league victory with six scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory over the D-backs. He and his father, Mark Leiter Sr., became the 15th father-son combo in baseball history to start games for the same team. Leiter's father was in the stands Friday night.
"It's something I'll never forget," the younger Leiter said of his pitching performance. "I'll be honest with you: I think I was probably more excited for this than I was for my Major League debut."
But what about the condiment bath? Somebody said Leiter had to clean mayonnaise and guacamole out of his hair.
"It was tough," he said, smiling.
Leiter was tougher on the mound. The D-backs entered the game averaging 6.49 runs per game at home, which ranked first in the Majors. They scored 26 runs in their past two games in Colorado.
But Leiter allowed just three hits and one walk. He struck out five. He retired the first six batters he faced when Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera misplayed a ball in center field to start the third, putting Chris Iannetta on second with a double. Herrera made up for the mistake on the next play, when he caught a fly ball and threw out Iannetta at third.
Leiter allowed a one-out double to David Peralta in the fourth and walked Paul Goldschmidt to put runners on first and second. But Leiter threw a 2-1 fastball to Jake Lamb, who flied out to Aaron Altherr for the second out, and got Chris Owings to ground out to Maikel Franco on an 0-1 cutter to end the inning.
"He was outstanding," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "What a great pitching performance. He made it look easy."
Leiter retired eight of the final nine batters he faced.
"I think it was combination of fastball, cutter, breaking-ball command," D-backs manager Torey Luvollo said. "He had a good mixture of pitches and we just couldn't make a decision and attack the ball and barrel it up. And that's a credit to him. He made the road as bumpy as he possibly could for us and he did his job."
It remains to be seen if Leiter will make his next start, because there is a chance right-hander Jerad Eickhoff will return from the 10-day disabled list with a strained upper back. But if Eickhoff is not ready, Leiter will be.
"He's pretty strong between the ears," Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph said. "I've known Mark for a few years. He's always been under the radar. He's always been one of those guys that people doubted. When you've been like that for so long, his mentality, the way that he prepares and gets ready for this, it's second to none."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.