June 18, 2024

Skenes Continues To Set Records In Second Start

Skenes Continues To Set Records In Second Start

Paul Skenes, the MLB 2023 number-one draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates made quite the debut, last Saturday, against the Chicago Cubs, in Pittsburgh. In that game, Skenes pitched 4 innings while allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, and 2 walks while striking out 7 Cubs. Skenes would become the last player to debut for the Pirates within a year of being drafted. 

Not since Barry Bonds, who would be drafted in 1995 and his debut in 1996, has a Pirate player debuted faster. Skenes would throw 84 pitches in his debut including 17 pitches of more than 100 miles per hour. Skenes, age 20, with 7 strikeouts would be the second-most strikeouts by a Pirates started at age 21 or younger in a debut. The last this would be done for Pittsburgh was in 1907 when Nick Maddox struck out 11.

Fast forward to Friday, May 17th, when Skenes would make his second appearance once again as he battled the Cubs. Skenes would take the mound in historic Wrigley Field and wow the crowd. Skenes would finish with a stellar stat line as the Pirates would roll to a large lead and get the 9-3 win. 

The flame-throwing right-hander would finish his second start with 6 innings pitched while allowing only 1 walk as well as 11 strikeouts and zero hits on the day. Cubs faithful erupted, in the bottom of the 7th when the Cubs got their first hit of the game. Skenes would face 19 batters on the day while throwing 100 pitches. In addition, Skenes would make Pirates history in triple fashion with his performance on Friday.  

First, Skenes would become the first pitcher to throw as many as 11 strikeouts for any Pirates pitcher in a game played at Wrigley Field. Skenes would strike out 7 batters to begin the game which ties him with Jacob DeGrom, from 2014, for the longest run by a rookie in MLB History. This run also ties him for 5th all-time to start a game in league history. 

Skenes, who now has 18 strikeouts, would now tie the above-mentioned Nick Maddox for the most by any Pirates pitcher in their first two career starts. Skenes would also become the first pitcher 21 or under to go 6-plus innings, strike out 10 or more batters, and allow one or fewer base runners in more than 100 years of baseball. In addition to this, Skenes now is the 5th rookie pitcher since 1893, when the mound was extended, to have 10 strikeouts and no hits in a game. 

Skenes has made both appearances against the Cubs and has performed extremely well to put it lightly. Based on his first two starts we may see history made whenever he takes the mound. When will Skenes take the mound again? The Pirates host the San Fransisco Giants starting on Tuesday, May 21st through Thursday, the 24th. Skenes could very well see action in the Wednesday or Thursday games. 

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