Game #78 It is Lucas Giolito debut day: Game Thread

We have all been trying to guess the MLB debut date for Lucas Giolito, and if you had June 28, 2016 as your date, it looks like you are the winner. Since the day Luc was drafted in the 1st round in 2012 at #16, Nats fans have dreamed about this day. Lucas is still 21 years old and has a birthday coming up in 2 weeks. As his pitching coach Mike Maddux described him, “He is a child in a man’s body” as he described Luc as a full-grown man 6’6″ and 240 to 250, but clearly still a kid at age 21. Yes, he is mature beyond his years, and a polite young man who was raised well in a wonderful family setting in Santa Monica, California.

Yes, I have stood next to Lucas, and he is a big big man and his size helps his downward plane on his ball making it more difficult to hit.

Who can forget former Mets GM Steve Phillips describing what he saw from Lucas Giolito from earlier this year, “The angles on his fastball, and the downhill power—just domination. Then he broke off a hook that my bowels locked like nobody is going to hit this thing. [laughter]. “Ohhhhh Nationals fans. He is un-be-lieve-able! Elite stuff. Top level. Top shelf stuff. Belvedere Vodka of pitching.”

The Mets have seen Lucas before in Spring Training, and that was not the same Lucas Giolito they will see today as he will be going max effort today. As Mike Maddux said, “Lucas might be revved up to 120mph and we might have to throw him for an hour before he starts to calm him down” which all was tongue in cheek except the part that he will be revved up because he will be. You dream your whole life of this day, and it is difficult to control the emotions.

lucas giolito debut

Lucas Giolito is certainly on an innings limit which Mike Rizzo does not disclose, and you will know it when it happens. Right now, Lucas Giolito has pitched 71 innings so far this year and you can figure he has 12 to 14 more starts remaining unless the team puts him in the bullpen at some point. Almost anything is possible.

We constructed this chart projecting a 20% innings increase from 2015 to this year. Mike Rizzo knows the number, and it could certainly go to a 25% increase which would be 147 innings.

Giolito Projected Innings

Who could forget the greatest debut in Nats history when Stephen Strasburg on June 8, 2010 stepped onto the field for the first time to flashbulbs and standing ovations at a standing room only crowd 40,315 at Nats Park. Strasburg threw 14 K’s that night in 7.0 innings of work with 2 earned runs.

We will find out tonight how this debut stacks up alongside Stephen Strasburg’s. Each player is different, but one tidbit we learned from Mike Maddux is that Giolito has been watching Strasburg, Scherzer and Roark and learning about their arsenals and especially the change-up. Giolito is a fastball, curveball, change-up pitcher where the velo will touch a tick or 2 below 100mph on the radar gun.

Giolito will be caught today by Wilson Ramos. Ramos joined the Nats in the same year that Strasburg made his debut. For those who don’t remember, it was Ivan Rodriguez who caught Strasburg’s debut and Pudge’s protégé was Wilson Ramos. Ramos clearly has caught some big games in his career, and this will be one to remember and tell the grandkids about one day.

Lucas Giolito will face-off against Matt Harvey of the New York Mets. The Mets will certainly have a line-up loaded with left-handed batters.

The Nationals have already beat Harvey twice this year, and that has helped the overall stats against him.

Here are the Nats stats against Harvey:

Washington Nationals and New York Mets
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network, SNY,

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Jayson Werth LF
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Daniel Murphy 2B
  5. Wilson Ramos C
  6. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  7. Anthony Rendon 3B
  8. Danny Espinosa SS
  9. Lucas Giolito RHP
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