(BaseballStL) -- Michael Wacha’s fast trip to the majors hit a minor snag thanks to Mother Nature delaying his debut by an hour on Thursday night.
After a break from her scattered showers, Wacha rained on the Kansas City Royals and their new hitting coach George Brett’s hit parade. In his first coaching job, Brett watched on from the visiting dugout as the Cardinals top pitching prospect mowed down 13 consecutive batters to start the game.
It was a better start than expected for the highly-anticipated Wacha, who has been on a quick track to the majors since being selected No. 19 overall last June. The start made him the fastest Cardinal pitcher to debut from the draft since Cris Carpenter in 1988.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound righty continued the theme of ‘instant rookie success’ for the big league squad, which has seen three rookie pitchers debut as starters in the first 53 games this season (John Gast and Tyler Lyons being the other two).
Wacha struck out his first batter faced, Alex Gordon, and proceeded to shut down the Royals anemic offense until one out in the fifth inning when Lorenzo Cain doubled to break up his perfect game. Two batters later, Elliot Johnson singled to right field to ruin any chance of a shutout.
Those would be the only two hits off Wacha, who issued no walks and struck out six batters, in seven innings pitched in the 2-1 win.
The numbers obviously prove he was worthy of a victory in his debut, but a solo home run from Jeff Francouer in the ninth off Mitchell Boggs coupled with Victor Marte’s relief effort ruined that chance.