After his first big-league game, Jose De León has a 6.00 ERA, a number that doesn’t come close to reflecting how good he looked Sunday.
De León, who struck out 33 with no walks in his final three minor-league games this year, became the first Dodger pitcher ever to strike out nine and walk none in his MLB debut, a 7-4 victory over San Diego.
The 24-year-old, who became the first ever to wear No. 87 for the Dodgers, had the most strikeouts in a big-league initiation for the Dodgers since Kaz Ishii in 2002.
Jose De Leon
First 4 innings:
74% four-seam fastball, 16% changeup
Last 2 innings:
50% four-seam fastball, 50% changeup
— Positive Residual (@presidual) September 4, 2016
De León was touched up by a two-run homer to Yangervis Solarte in the third inning, followed by three singles and a sacrifice fly for another pair of runs in the fifth.
But he never seemed particularly on his heels at any given time, and he finished with a flourish — picking off Wil Myers to end the fifth, then striking out the side in the sixth.
“He kept his composure, and I think for a young kid to make his debut in this environment says a lot about Jose and how much we’ve seen him grow,” Dave Roberts said.
“It’s just a credit to our development to have guys like that. I think in the last seven days, we’ve had seven starters, and these young kids who come in there are really coming and contributing. So I can’t say enough about what Jose did.”
On his behalf, the Dodgers twice rallied from deficits in the same inning to take the lead, most loudly with Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer (his first for the Dodgers since Independence Day) that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the third.
Then, following walks by Justin Turner and Puig in the fifth, Chase Utley and pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal had RBI singles to put the Dodgers ahead a second time. Grandal added a two-run homer in the seventh, and the Dodger bullpen pitched three shutout innings.
With the Giants losing in 13 innings to the Cubs, the Dodgers built their lead in the National League West back to three games, with 26 remaining.