Tim Melville made his Major League Debut on Sunday for the Cincinnati Reds. The right hander was filling in for Anthony DeSclafani who isn’t ready to return from an oblique injury just yet.
Things didn’t start out well for Tim Melville as he walked the bases loaded in the first inning. The first two batters reached via the walk. He would get a line out and a strikeout of Starling Marte before walking Gregory Polanco to load the bases. The inning would end on a ground out to shortstop after 41 pitches in the inning.
The second inning saw him allow a solo home run, a single and a double in the inning, but he also added three strikeouts in the frame and threw 22 more pitches. After two innings he had thrown 63 pitches. The third inning went much better as he’d need 18 pitches to get three outs and picked up strikeout number four of the game.
In his fourth and what would be his final inning he worked around a leadoff single and a 2-out walk to Andrew McCutchen to keep the Pirates lead at 1-0. He needed another 18 pitches to get through the inning, racking up 92 pitches in four innings where he would throw 55 strikes. After the first inning he seemed to have better control of his fastball, but his offspeed stuff was still very hit-and-miss when it came to finding the strikezone. He held the Pirates to one run in the game, but he was in a jam in every inning, allowing nine base runners in just four innings.
The pre-game scouting report that I gave held up strongly. Let’s take a look at his pitch usage and how they played out:
He only threw one change up in the game, which fits well with what was expected. Despite what was said during the television broadcast, Melville actually did use his curveball often in the minors and he went to it often enough in the game yesterday.
The 26-year-old right hander showed the kind of stuff he was expected to show. Sitting 90-93 with his fastball, touching 94 once with two breaking balls in the low-to-mid 80’s. The control was a real problem, particularly early on. That could have been nerves, especially since a majority of his walks came in that first inning. Still, as he moves forward, he’s going to need to show a better ability to throw his offspeed stuff for strikes as even after he settled in, that was a bit of a problem.