This isn't how Tampa Bay Rays rookie Colin Poche envisioned his first day in the major leagues.
The 25-year-old left-hander was summoned from Triple-A Durham to provide some depth for the Rays bullpen during Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Red Sox.
But that's pretty much where the good news ends.
First, he was frustrated and worn down by Boston's traffic. Hours later, he was defeated by the Red Sox bats in his MLB debut.
As the story goes, Poche was taking an Uber from the team hotel to Fenway Park near the end of Game 1 when they ended up getting stuck in traffic. Rather than wait out the situation and risk being late to his own MLB debut, Poche grabbed his bag, got out on foot and walked the final mile.
Poche was trying to get from team hotel to Fenway toward end of 1st game, was in Uber stuck in traffic so he got out and walked about a mile carrying his #Rays bag. Got a few odd looks but no one said anything. “Couldn’t be late on first day,” he said.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 8, 2019
We've all been there.
Well, not under these circumstances specifically. But we’ve all had places to be when traffic gets backed up and causes us to lose our minds.
Fortunately, Poche made it to the ballpark in plenty of time to celebrate the Rays’ 9-2 victory in Game 1 and have his call-up made official before the nightcap.
Unfortunately, his debut was just as frustrating as his travel.
Poche entered the game in the second inning after opener Ryne Stanek recorded the first four outs. Poche recorded four outs of his own before being relieved by Austin Pruitt. He then watched on helplessly as the two runners he left on base were knocked in on Michael Chavis' double.
Those two runs would be all Boston needed in their 5-1 victory, meaning Poche was handed a tough-luck loss.
On the bright side, the feeling is Poche will have a role in the Rays bullpen beyond Saturday. He was untouchable last season, posting a 0.82 ERA over 66 innings at Double-A and Triple-A. And though he has struggled this season, posting an underwhelming 6.26 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 27.1 innings at Durham, he's also managed to strike out a remarkable 48 batters.
The Rays definitely believe in Poche's ability and his makeup. His deceptive delivery figures to make him a difficult matchup for left-handerd hitters and a welcome addition for manager Kevin Cash.
He'll also have a unique story to tell about his first day in MLB.
Everyone’s debut is a little different. But few are like Poche’s.
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