Rookie Pitcher Stuns in Historic Debut

Pirates' pitching shines in tight victory over Rockies.

by Nouman Rasool
Rookie Pitcher Stuns in Historic Debut
© Justin Berl/Getty Images

In an awe-inspiring display of pitching prowess, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jared Jones commanded the mound with a historic performance against the Colorado Rockies this past Saturday. Despite not being the pitcher of record in the Pirates' narrow 1-0 victory, Jones's standout outing is one for the ages, raising his profile in a season that has been less than favourable in terms of wins.

Jones, who holds a record of 2-3 this season, shook off any prior struggles with a masterful showing. The young right-hander tossed seven shutout innings, relinquishing just one hit and striking out 10 Rockies with zero walks.

His command was on full display as he coaxed 17 swings and misses out of 96 pitches and clocked a fastball that blistered the radar gun at 100 mph. As he exited the field to a resounding standing ovation, the excitement at PNC Park was palpable.

This remarkable performance etched Jones's name into both team and major league record books. He became the first Pirates pitcher to achieve seven scoreless innings featuring only one hit, no walks, and at least 10 strikeouts.

At just 22 years old, Jones also recorded a franchise milestone as the second-youngest Pirates hurler to strike out 10 without issuing a walk in a game. Furthermore, he's the first major league pitcher since 1901 to notch 50 strikeouts while walking five or fewer batters across his first seven starts, a testament to his precision and control on the mound.

Jones's Milestone Inning

Managing Jones's innings has been a priority for the Pirates, considering he logged 126 1/3 innings in the previous season. His readiness was evident when manager Derek Shelton allowed him to pitch into the seventh inning for the first time in his career a decision that clearly energized Jones.

"Having him let me go out for the seventh, yeah, it pumped me up," Jones reflected on the trust shown by his manager. Adding to the drama of the game, outfielder Jack Suwinski played the hero with a pinch-hit, walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning.

This not only ended his own 0-for-12 hitting slump but also snapped the team's five-game losing streak. The combined effort from Jared Jones, Colin Holderman, and David Bednar secured the Pirates' fourth victory in their last 18 games, marking it with a rare one-hitter.

Jones's modest yet confident takeaway from his performance encapsulates his rising trajectory: "I’m just going out there and doing me," he said. "I’m sure I’ve had some spurts in my career where I’ve pitched just like this." As the Pirates look to rebuild and improve, Jared Jones stands out as a beacon of potential and a key figure in the franchise's future successes.

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