It wasn't evident from his performance, but Miami Marlins right-hander Jordan Yamamoto spent the hours before his major league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals last week with a bad case of the jitters.
"I was really nervous," said Yamamoto, 23. "I was sweating all day."
Once the first pitch left his hand, however, Yamamoto made the Cardinals perspire, tossing seven scoreless innings. He struck out five while allowing two singles, two walks and one double in a 9-0 victory on June 12.
On Tuesday night in St. Louis, the Cardinals will get a second chance to hand Yamamoto his first major league loss. Yamamoto (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will be opposed by Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-3, 4.28 ERA).
Yamamoto, a Hawaii native, was called up from Double-A Jacksonville ahead of the start last week. When he was told about his promotion, he invited his parents to come to Miami and was met with some initial resistance.
"They were like, 'No, it's too expensive,'" Yamamoto said of the flight. "I said, 'Mom, I don't care. Get out here. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing.'"
Flaherty is coming off an interesting week, although certainly not as memorable as what happened to Yamamoto. Flaherty gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the New York Mets on Thursday.
That would have resulted in a loss for Flaherty had the Cardinals not rallied for two runs in the ninth inning, taking him off the hook. St. Louis added a run in the 10th for a 5-4 win.
That game was also notable, in a way, for Flaherty because he struck out Mets catcher Wilson Ramos. Right before that strikeout, while Ramos was in the on-deck circle, his wife had held up a sign saying she was pregnant with their third child.
On Saturday, things got really crazy for Flaherty. He was used as a ninth-inning pinch runner and was cut down at the plate by a throw from Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil. Flaherty stumbled around third base, and he wound up getting tagged out by Ramos for the final out of an 8-7 Cardinals loss.
As for his pitching, Flaherty, 23, is still trying to find the form that helped him finish fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting last season after he went 8-9 with a 3.34 ERA. He hasn't earned a decision in his past five starts, but he gave up a combined eight runs over nine innings in his past two outings.
Flaherty has made one career start against Miami, a loss on June 6, 2018. His six runs allowed in that game remain a career high, but only four of them were earned. He pitched five innings and yielded eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
The St. Louis offense likely will get a player off the injured list in time for Tuesday's game: third baseman Jedd Gyorko, who has not played since June 7 due to a strained lower back.
In addition, Cardinals prospect Rangel Ravelo, who was promoted from Triple-A Memphis on Monday and plays first base, third base and outfield, may get a start on Tuesday. He was used as a pinch hitter on Monday and grounded out in the seventh inning in his major league debut.
Ravelo, a 27-year-old Cuban native who has played 838 minor league games, signed with the Cardinals in April 2017. In 63 Triple-A games this year, he was hitting .333 with nine homers.
"He had a great spring," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "It's time for him to get his opportunity up here."
--Field Level Media