In a season is devoid of anything positive, yesterday’s brilliant start by Glenn Otto was most definitely something to get excited about.
The twenty-five-year-old right-hander was allowed to go only five innings and seventy-three pitches in his first ever major league appearance. But he certainly dominated in his brief time on the mound.
Five innings, seven strikeouts, two runs, no walks. Not bad for a big league debut against the second-best team in the American League.
Not bad actually doesn’t do justice to Otto’s brilliant start. His slider was devastating Astros hitters. Professional hitters like Michael Brantley, who came into the game with the best batting average in all of major league baseball, struck out looking foolish. Rarely does Brantley look bad swinging. It befuddled Alex Bregman as well.
Otto totally tied them up in knots.
It’s always exciting to watch a pitcher’s first ever start. His parents in the stands living and dying with every pitch. Their hearts beating harder than his, watching their son come out and do what he has dreamed his whole life of doing. Watching him leave the field with a 4-0 lead and the opportunity for his first major league win. Unfortunately for them, they stayed for the entire game and were forced to watch the Rangers bullpen blow it.
But it was Otto’s night. The Spring, Texas, native, went to Rice University, was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round in 2017, and came to the Rangers in the Joey Gallo deal. Pitchers like Otto, Dunning, and Allard show a lot of potential. Not coincidentally, they weren’t drafted and developed through the Rangers farm system, where hope goes to die.
Chances are pretty good Otto won’t pitch five shutout innings every start. But it sure was refreshing watching him do it in his first one.
Welcome to the big leagues, Glenn Otto. Thanks for the memories. There haven’t been many.