Nationals pitcher Brad Peacock gave up a couple of hits and a walk in his major league debut, but didn't let that bother him. He still felt very good about his first outing. After all, he was excited and nervous during his first start with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs back on July 16. He settled down following that game and reeled off five straight wins from July 22 to August 29.
Peacock said during those last few weeks, Syracuse pitching coach Greg Booker helped him to calm down on the mound. Early on in his first start, he was still a little hyped up.
And with good reason, too. Peacock was with the Single-A Potomac Nationals for 18 starts in 2010. Since late in the 2010 season, Peacock has played at every level of the Nationals' minor league system and now into the major leagues.
"Yeah, when I got up to Syracuse, I started rushing (my delivery)," Peacock said. "I started walking people. (Booker) started yelling at me. He was telling me to slow it down. I was a little nervous. That has been it. I actually thought about that when I was on the mound (Tuesday). I started throwing some strikes."
Once Peacock lets his stuff take over, a mid-90s fastball, minus-10 mph changeup and a nice drop curveball, he can be too much for the opposition.
Shortstop Ian Desmond said he noticed how good Peacock's stuff was from his spot in the infield, and the Dodgers said the same thing.
"He has good stuff," Desmond said. "I talked to (Dodgers right fielder) Andre Ethier at second (base) and he said (Peacock's) fastball was nice. He was a little hyped up. He is not used to coming out of the bullpen. He is not used to pitching after (Stephen) Strasburg, in a tight ball game and in the rain. Everything was stacked up against him. I think next time when he is comfortable and acclimated that will give us a better evaluation."
Nationals director of player development Doug Harris told me recently this is a great example of how "cerebral" Peacock is getting on the mound, maturing from a thrower with great stuff to a pitcher who can control his emotions just like he can command his fastball.