After two months in Tampa, I kind of feel like ended this day on a positive note. Thankfully, David Phelps can help with that.
After he’d gotten loose in the bullpen, been called into the game, thrown his warmup pitches on the mound and let Russell Martin take one practice throw to second base, Phelps walked to the back of the mound to get ready for his first big league appearance. It was Derek Jeter who stopped him and jogged over for a few quick words.
“Same as it’s been,” Jeter told him. “Just a few more people.”
Phelps major league debut was a short one – a strikeout and a groundball to second – but it was a good one. In a weekend full of negatives for the Yankees, Phelps provided a positive moment.
“This game is all about first impressions,” he said. “So you want to go out there and do the best you can, the first time out especially.”
“The kid came in and threw strikes with all his pitches,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s not a situation he’s used to coming into, he’s used to being a starter and he came in and did a nice job.”
In the past three weeks – less than that, actually — Phelps has become a father for the first time, made his first big league roster and made his big league debut. His parents, brother, wife and newborn daughter were all in the stands today. His wife, Maria, is flying home to Pittsburgh tomorrow and would have missed his debut if it hadn’t happened tonight.
“They’ve been here all three days, hoping I’d pitch,” Phelps said. “I was really hoping I would get in these three games because she really didn’t want to miss it. To have it on Easter, you can’t ask for anything more.”
Associated Press photo