One highlight in a 10-1 loss to the Mets was the major league debut for left-handed reliever Ian Krol. After allowing a double to lead off the sixth inning, Krol struck out the side.
The three hitters he struck out? Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda - the heart of the Mets order. The three combined for five hits, five runs, two doubles and a home run in the game. Just not against Krol.
"I was just trying to go out there and throw strikes," Krol said. "A little different with the big league balls, but front side was fine, opened up with my curveball. Other than that, I felt great."
Krol said the atmosphere was a thrill to take in, his first ever big league game at Nationals Park.
"I didn't take a breath until the seventh inning," Krol said. "It still hasn't sunk in yet, to be honest with you. I am still on cloud nine. I am looking forward to the next time I pitch."
This season at Double-A Harrisburg, Krol built his resume with a 0.69 ERA in 21 appearances over 26 innings, with 29 strikeouts and only seven walks.
Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart told me Krol has done a very good job this season of preparing for each game, building a routine and maintaining that regiment with a "great work ethic." All that preparation paid off in his first game in the big leagues. Now, Krol will build off the outing and get ready for his second opportunity.
Wednesday against the Mets, Krol displayed the good velocity, hitting 94-96 mph with his fastball. Krol was also able to self-diagnose what he would like to improve on with his breaking pitches.
"My front side was flying open on my curveball," Krol said. "It is usually decent, and I can throw it for strikes. I just went out there and battled. Made some pitches and got out of the inning clean."