Atlanta Braves’ Dylan Lee makes history with first career World Series start, lasts 15 shots
ATLANTA – Dylan Lee walked into the Atlanta Braves clubhouse around 2 p.m. Saturday and was called into manager Brian Snitker’s office.
The 27-year-old southpaw learned he was making his first major league start six hours later.
In the World Series.
“I was shocked, of course,” Lee said.
Lee only lasted 15 shots for the Braves in their 3-2 win over the Houston Astros. Atlanta has a 3-1 lead in the World Series.
Never before has a pitcher’s first start in a big league been in the World Series. Lee faced four batters and allowed a run while getting one out, the shortest start in the series since the Yankees’ David Wells in Game 5 of 2003.
“My God, we put him in an incredible situation,” Snitker said. “Your first big league start will be in a World Series game, are you kidding? “
Lee made his major league debut 29 days earlier and his resume included 80 pitches to 21 hitters, only 29 to nine hitters in the regular season.
On his first start at any level in over four years, Lee didn’t make a decision and walked away with a 9.00 ERA in two Series starts.
“His command was a bit out of step with what I’ve seen before, which is understandable,” Snitker said.
Snitker was running out of starters due to Charlie Morton’s broken leg and scheduled nights in the reliever pen for Games 4 and 5. Lee’s late notification was intentional.
“Just for him,” said the manager. “He probably wouldn’t have slept because people texted him and his phone would have been ringing all night.”
After discovering he was making his first start at any level since July 23, 2017, a five-innings outing for Class A Greensboro against Asheville, Lee passed the astonishing development on to fiancee Courtney White.
“I told my fiancee, her family and my family that they should come a bit early for the game,” he said.
Wanting to feel like it was a relief appearance, Lee asked Snitker to call reliever box coach Drew French to call him into the game – even though he hadn’t yet. begin.
All eight positional players were on the field when Lee walked out of the reliever box, wearing bright red spikes. He threw just five strikes, allowing the single into Jose Altuve’s infield on his first offer, a 94 mph fastball. Lee left with the goals laden walks to Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez around Alex Bregman’s strikeout on a 2-2 change.
Kyle Wright started to warm up after Lee’s second throw, a shot that was predetermined.
A radical change from the playing days of the World Series of Dusty Baker.
“I grew up watching Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale and Juan Marichal and all the greats,” the Astros manager said. “I remember when I was a kid my dad used to say ‘Spahn and Sane and pray for the rain’, and you looked forward to pitching clashes. There is nothing better than a old-fashioned pitcher clash. “
Snitker, another lifelong baseball player, said throwing injuries were inevitable.
“They play so much baseball now, I think at a young age. And I think that’s part of why, for me, they break,” he said. “They never rest. These guys go to barns and take pitching lessons in the winter. The guys used to play basketball, soccer and pitch in the spring and whatever sport the season was it was. their favorite. I think guys specialize in throwing at a very young age. “
Lee’s two regular-season major-league appearances were the fewest for a starting pitcher in the series, according to Elias’s athletic office. The previous low was six by Marty Bystrom of Philadelphia and Steven Matz of the Mets.
A 10th round pick by Miami in the 2016 Fresno State Entry Draft, Lee was released by the Marlins in spring training and signed a minor league deal with the Braves in April.
He went 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett. He made his big league debut on October 1 and pitched again the next day. Not a part of the Braves’ initial two playoff teams, he was activated for Game 4 of the NL Championship Series after right-hander Huascar Ynoa injured his pitcher’s shoulder.
After throwing the first throw after “Play ball!” Lee doesn’t expect to make his next start anytime soon.
“I know I’m a reliever now,” he said in the interview room as his teammates laughed.