Broderick learns from rocky debut

This was not the debut that Nationals right-handed reliever Brian Broderick was looking for in his first chance on the mound.

Broderick allowed four runs in just two-thirds of an inning on two hits, a walk and a balk. The Braves ended up scoring six runs in the inning to blow the game open, and eventually won, 11-2.

But a debut is just that: A start to his career. He won’t be measured by the first outing and he will learn from the experience. He did, however, admit to being a little bit nervous during that first chance.

“I mean, yeah, who wouldn’t be?” Broderick said. “Your opening day, going out there your first time pitching in a professional ball park. Yeah, I was nervous.”

But Broderick also said that he didn’t let that feeling overwhelm him for the entire outing.

“The nerves didn’t get to me at all,” Broderick said. “I fell behind guys, you can’t do that. You fall behind guys (then) you have to throw strikes. They hit strikes.”

Later in the inning, with pinch-hitter Eric Hinske at the plate, Broderick was called for a balk, allowing Jason Heyward to score. Broderick says it was a freak play during his windup.

“My cleat got caught before I got to the end of it,” Broderick said. “There was nothing I could do. I was either going to throw it way over the catchers head or not throw it at all.”

Broderick said despite the rough spots, he did see some good things that occurred in the inning.

“The second batter I got the ground ball,” Broderick said. “That is the thing I wanted to get. Things happen, you got to take positives out of that. You got to throw more strikes. You have to go more right after hitters instead of trying to be too fine.

“I want to get back out there. It was good to get my feet wet the first time and come back stronger the second time.”

Broderick primarily throws a sinker, curveball and changeup. How was the sinker Sunday?

“I felt good about it and the movement,” Broderick said. “I just wasn’t throwing it for strikes.”

The Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he did see that Broderick was a little jittery, but that can be expected for a major league debut.

“I think he was probably a little nervous,” Riggleman said. “I think most people would be. You add that to we are not playing good behind him today. Balls are finding holes all over the place, it was just an ugly day.”

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