Mets’ Tyler Jay discusses ‘special’ debut after roller coaster journey to majors

Tyler Jay admitted that there were numerous times over the past few years that he'd find himself thinking he'd never throw a pitch at the big-league level.

However, after being called up by the Mets earlier this week, that day finally came for the southpaw as he tossed the final two innings in front of numerous family and friends in the team's 16-4 win over the Braves on Thursday.

"It was incredible," Jay said postgame. "It was crazy. After the first couple of pitches, I kind of settled down a little bit and was like okay it’s just baseball, it’s 60 feet 6 inches there. But it was honestly everything I could ask for.”

Jay was considered one of the top pitching prospects heading into the 2015 MLB Draft and he was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Minnesota Twins.

The southpaw's career quickly was derailed by injuries and he was converted from a starter to a full-time reliever before being traded to the Reds.

Jay was forced to step away from the game after experiencing health issues during the 2019 season, but he continued throwing, and eventually received another opportunity with the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League.

He pitched well with the Slammers, posting a stellar 1.24 ERA and 0.86 WHIP across 22 appearances, and the Mets decided to purchase his contract towards the end of last season.

Jay appeared in just six games down the stretch in Triple-A, but he built off his success with a strong spring training showing, allowing just one baserunner and striking out seven batters over five scoreless innings.

With the Mets needing fresh arms early on, and some of their top options still unable to be called up, the 29-year-old finally received his opportunity on Thursday.

Jay ended up being honored by the team following the win and was presented the team's Pitcher of the Game belt by Reed Garrett.

“It means a lot,” he said. “The guys were super pumped and super happy for me. I just had two daughters who are four months old, so they get to know that dad never quit, which really means a lot to me.”