Alexy's stingy start to career makes history

No. 22 prospect leads Rangers' shutout of Angels

September 7th, 2021

ANAHEIM -- What’s better than a scoreless start in your MLB debut? Another, longer scoreless outing in your second big league start.

Rookie would know. After tossing five shutout innings in his debut last week against the Rockies, Alexy followed it up with another gem, throwing six scoreless frames in the Rangers' 4-0 win over the Angels on Monday at Angel Stadium. He’s now up to 11 innings without allowing a run to begin his big league career.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first MLB player since at least 1893 to go five-plus shutout innings and allow one or fewer hits in each of his first two Major League appearances (both starts).

“It's really impressive, honestly,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “What he does between starts and how he talks about the game and you watch him pitch, I've been impressed. I thought today he was much better with his fastball. It doesn't get hit. That's one thing about his fastball, it's got a lot of life and a lot of extension, a lot of vertical movement on it. It just doesn't get squared up ever. Today, he threw a lot of strikes with it, but also used the slider and changeup when he needed to.”

Alexy, Texas’ No. 22 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was effective and efficient throughout his outing, finishing with 85 pitches (53 strikes), while allowing just one hit. He also tallied seven strikeouts against two walks.

The right-hander cut down his fastball usage against the Angels (53%) compared to his first start (64%), which Woodward said was a product of being amped up for his MLB debut. On Monday, Alexy was able to place his fastball where he needed to and executed all of his pitches as a result.

Both Woodward and catcher Jose Trevino praised Alexy’s ability to process and execute a game plan. This is just the third time the Rangers have pitched a shutout this season and the first on the road. It’s also the first shutout away from home since a 1-0 win at Houston on Sept. 16, 2020.

Alexy was acquired in the Yu Darvish deal with the Dodgers at the 2017 Trade Deadline that also brought Willie Calhoun to Texas. Drafted in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Alexy posted a 1.66 ERA combined over 16 games (10 starts) at Double-A and Triple-A before getting the call.

“I had a lot more confidence going into this game,” Alexy said. “The first one’s always the one you get a bit anxious for, but I wanted to go into this game having a lot more confidence behind my delivery and my pitching. Just getting in the zone as much as possible. Having [Trevino] behind the plate putting the fingers down helps a lot.”

The only hit Alexy gave up was a leadoff bloop single from Jared Walsh in the bottom of the second inning. He followed it up by walking Jo Adell and looked to be in a bit of a jam. Instead of imploding in a tough situation, Alexy held steady. He got Brandon Marsh to ground into a double play and Luis Rengifo to fly out to left field to get out of the jam.

“That was big,” Woodward said. “It was the first time we really saw him fall behind. Like I said, he doesn’t get rattled out there. He definitely [has] a lot of conviction at what he does out there. Honestly, he's a competitor. He's not scared. That was one thing that stood out to [Trevino] today catching him. He is not afraid to go out and execute a pitch against anybody.”

Following the second-inning jam, Alexy retired the next 13 batters in order to complete his scoreless outing. Woodward joked that he was glad Walsh got a hit early, avoiding a potentially tough decision if Alexy managed to carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Woodward and Trevino applauded Alexy’s calmness and confidence on the mound in tough situations. Trevino noted that you wouldn’t even know Alexy was a rookie just watching him.

“He looks like nothing affects him,” Trevino said. “And, honestly, when runners get on, he gets stronger. It's pretty impressive, especially for a young guy like that. It's cool to see.”