MacKenzie Gore didn’t have his best stuff in his Padres debut; his near-ball approach also showed how far he’s come – The Athletic

MacKenzie Gore got his long-awaited first start in the major leagues on Friday by throwing three consecutive fastballs, a common pattern for any pitcher relaxing into a game. What he did with those fastballs was proof of his progress after two years of upheaval and uncertainty.

Each fastball registered at considerable speed, ranging from 94.5 mph to 96.7 mph to 98.5 mph. Everyone found the attacking zone. Braves star leadoff hitter Ozzie Albies fouled all three. Then, after throwing a high curveball, Gore lifted a 95.9 mph fastball over the zone. Albies swung through, the first strikeout casualty of Gore’s big league career.

Five pitches later, it was clear why Gore is one of the sport’s best candidates since the Padres drafted him third overall in 2017. The competitive strike presented a major challenge.

“You never want to go through it when you go through it,” Gore said late Friday, “but now that we got through it, today was great. It makes it where all the work and that time – it was worth it.”

Nine of the people closest to Gore were at Petco Park to see the payoff. Parents Evan and Selena, his sisters Meredith and Lexie, and Gore’s two closest childhood friends were there. So were Gore’s high school head coach Brett Harwood, Harwood’s wife, and Fielding Hammond – Gore’s high school pitching coach and Meredith’s husband.

https://theathletic.com/3254088/2022/04/17/mackenzie-gore-didnt-have-his-best-stuff-in-his-padres-debut-his-fastball-heavy-approach-also-showed-how-far-hes-come/?source=rss MacKenzie Gore didn’t have his best stuff in his Padres debut; his near-ball approach also showed how far he’s come – The Athletic

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