In desperate need to stop the bleeding, rookie pitcher Jackson Tetreault delivered with one of the Nationals’ best starts of the season.
Called up last week after Stephen Strasburg landed on the IL, 26-year-old Jackson Tetreault was shelled in his MLB debut. Against the Braves, he only lasted four innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, while walking one and striking out two. Atlanta’s veteran-led roster jumped all over Tetreault and never allowed him to recover — taking him deep three times in a 10-4 loss.
Fast forward to today against the Phillies and Tetreault seemed more relaxed on the mound. Knowing what to expect, he was able to put the nerves behind him and just pitch.
Losers of eight straight and 12 straight against the Phillies, Tetreault wasn’t fazed by the Nationals’ circumstances and started off his outing with a 10-pitch 1-2-3 inning, that included a strikeout on a nasty cutter against Rhys Hoskins. This was just the beginning of what was to come, with the rookie picking up his first career win in a 9-3 victory.
“It’s awesome,” Tetreault told reporters. “Hopefully many more to come, but to get the first one under the belt is a really good feeling. And to be able to celebrate it with all the guys here was really cool.”
With the bullpen in drastic need of rest, the righty delivered — throwing seven excellent innings. He didn’t allow an earned run while walking two and striking out two. All three of the Phillies runs were unearned, with two coming after Lane Thomas dropped a ball in deep center. The third run occurred when catcher Keibert Ruiz overthrew first base on a backpack attempt and the ball rolled into the outfield.
Despite the Nationals’ mental mistakes, Tetreault was able to put it behind him and just continue to attack the Phillies hitters. His outing seemed to come to an end when he was nailed by a comebacker in the top of the seventh. He was on the ground for a bit — leading the coaching staff to come and check him out.
It was widely assumed he was going to be pulled, but Tetreault wasn’t having it. He threw one warmup pitch, told the Nats he was good to go, and then retired the next three batters in a row. On the last out of the inning, he let out a roar — pumping up an already loud Nationals fanbase.
An under-the-radar prospect, Tetreault was not a household name amongst Nats fans entering the season. He started the year at AAA, making 12 starts and going 5-3, with a 4.19 ERA, and 52 strikeouts. Against Atlanta, his inexperience was on display, but he wasn’t discouraged.
“Obviously not the result I was looking for,” Tetreault told reporters after his start against Atlanta. “But still, I’m not going to shy away. I’m eager to get back out there and throw again. Just happy to get the first one under my belt.”
His mental toughness to flush the bad start from memory and then dominate a red-hot division rival was on full display. For now, Tetreault is lined up to stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future.