Tuesday was Grayson Rodriguez night at Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. The pitcher who played high school ball at Central Heights made his first start in front of the home crowd.

He had a strong, yet sometimes erratic, Major League debut against the Texas Rangers in Arlington a few days before. Now, one of the top prospects in baseball would have a new set of nerves to conquer...trying to impress the hometown crowd.

How Did Grayson Do?

Rodriguez gave up 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out 6 Oakland batters, but it appeared the rookie ran out of gas in the 5th. Grayson would walk the bases loaded before making his exit.

He threw a total of 99 pitches, by far the most of his young career. That may have taken a toll on him as he tried to locate the strike zone in that final inning.

The Orioles would end up winning the game 12-8 thanks to a monster night from Ryan Mountcastle who had 9 RBIs. Rodriguez would come away with his second straight 'no decision'.

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

On his second Major League start, Grayson Rodriguez showed flashes of his brilliance, but he also showed that the consistency of his pitch location is not quite there.

Do you know what that means?

Rodriguez is just like 99% of the Major League pitchers who have played the game. There is a learning curve when you get to this level. Not to mention, you have to battle nerves in your first few starts.

I did a quick look at the first career starts of Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander, two of the best active pitchers in the league. Neither one of them showed the dominance that they are known for. Heck, Verlander lost his first two Major League starts.

11 Strikeouts in 9 Innings

Just looking at that stat, it's obvious that Rodriguez can be a huge force for the Orioles. Central Heights, Nacogdoches, and for that matter, all of East Texas can be proud of this young man who is representing our area.

Once he gets a few more starts under his belt, I believe that Grayson Rodriguez will be racking up the wins on his way to a stellar Major League career.

Grayson Rodriguez Home Debut

Grayson Rodriguez Major League Debut

Grayson Rodriguez who played high school baseball at Central Heights made his Major League debut on April 5, 2023, pitching against the Texas Rangers.

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