NEW YORK - Michael A. Taylor collected his first major league hit in his major league debut. He also ripped his first home run. And it all came in a 7-1 win.
Decent little night.
Taylor, called up from minors on Sunday, got his first taste of big league ball tonight with Jayson Werth sidelined with a shoulder injury, and the 23-year-old provided one of four Nationals home runs.
Doug Fister worked seven scoreless, picking up his 12th win.
He had a stellar outing, and a number of Nats did damage with the bats, but Taylor was the main topic of conversation after the win.
Here are quotes from the clubhouse:
Manager Matt Williams on Taylor’s game: “It’s fantastic. He’s worked really hard. He’s taken all the extra BP and worked his way to get here. It’s gratifying for everybody. The bench was really excited on the first base hit. And then the homer, they were even more excited. So, great for the kid and certainly a memory he’ll remember forever.”
Williams on if seeing debuts like this ever gets old: “Oh, no. No. Because everybody since the time they were yay big wants to be here and wants to experience something like this. And then to have a good game your first game is icing on the cake for everybody. We’re proud of him.”
Williams on Taylor helping to fill in while Werth is ailing: “Yeah, he’s played really well all year. The thing we worry about is getting him enough at-bats so he stays in his rhythm and his timing. Ordinarily, without Jayson being out today, he might not get a chance to get in there. So it’s nice to see. He’s a really good player with a lot of upside. So good first night.”
Williams on if Werth got an MRI today: “He did. Got the MRI tonight and we’ll get the results at some point late tonight or tomorrow and see where he’s at.”
Williams on if Werth could play tomorrow: “We don’t know. We’ll get them tonight and review them. Radiologists will review ‘em, (Dr. Weime Douoguih) will review ‘em and we’ll get answers and see where we’re at. But once again, I don’t expect anything serious. But it’s nice to get a picture and get an idea.”
Williams on Desmond hitting the 20-homer mark on the season: “It’s difficult to do. He also steals some bases for us, and his defense has been fantastic. He’s certainly been one of our leaders on the club, and he wants to play every day. So you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Taylor on if he knew his first homer was out when he hit it: “I didn’t. I thought it was actually going to be caught.”
Taylor on his first hit: “Up the middle. I was actually a little nervous. Got to two strikes pretty early. I was actually a little nervous. I’m just trying to battle up there. I was able to enough barrel up there to shoot it through the middle.”
Taylor on what was going through his head after the hit: “I don’t know. I was kind of numb out there. I wasn’t really thinking about much after that. I definitely kind of slowed it down a little later, was able to enjoy it a little more.”
Taylor on what teammates were telling him after the homer: “I don’t remember. I was just trying to breathe, trying to relax and trying to enjoy it. Before the game, a lot of guys were talking about how it’s just the same game. Go out there and do the same thing, just enjoy the moment.”
Taylor on if it felt the same: “A little bit. Definitely a bigger stadium. Pretty much the same.”
Taylor on how many texts and calls he had on his phone: “Quite a few text messages. I didn’t really look at the number. It just keeps vibrating.”
Harper on Taylor’s debut: “It’s exciting. I knew Mikey in Hagerstown, and getting to play alongside him again was awesome. Of course, huge homer. Got his first knock out of the way in his first AB. He had a great debut, so it’s fun to see.”
Harper on what he said to Taylor after his first hit and homer: “First homer, just, ‘Congratulations.’ It’s awesome. Gave him a big hug and told him, ‘It’s great, keep going and keep doing your thing.’ “
Harper on Taylor filling in: “Absolutely. We’ve got a great minor league system, and the Nationals do a great job in the draft every single year. They draft great guys and Mikey has done a great job in the minor leagues, progressing from Hagerstown to Syracuse. He’s a lot of fun to watch. He’s got a lot of speed. He’s a five-tool guy and he’s gonna be like that for hopefully a long time to come.”
Harper on if he knew he’d get a first-pitch strike in the second inning after Desmond drew a four-pitch walk: “I wasn’t sure. Just trying to jump on something early. He gave me a heater that was out over the plate and I was fortunate to barrel it up. It was nice to get that early lead. During the rain delay, I was just hoping we would get going so Mikey’s hit wouldn’t come back.”