(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Blake Dewitt made his big league debut in impressive fashion on Monday. The rookie third baseman got a hit in his first at bat, a single to left/center. He would come around to score on a hit by Rafeal Furcal. Blake would fly out to the warning track in his second at bat and would walk twice in his final two plate appearances. Not a bad day indeed.
There is still plenty of youth to either blend — or clash — with veterans like Kent. For example, there’s Blake DeWitt, whose three-week meteoric rise from Minor League camp to Opening Day third baseman included starting a key second-inning double play and singling in his first Major League at-bat.
DeWitt’s unusually calm exterior finally cracked, but not until the final play when Takashi Saito threw out Ray Durham on a comebacker.
“That’s when I started shaking,” said DeWitt. “I can’t explain it. Nothing bothered me before or during the game.”
DeWitt, however, credited some of his cool to the advice of Kent, a teammate perceived by some as a troublemaker last year for sounding off about his frustration with the approach of some young players. But DeWitt said Kent made a difference for him Monday.
“He came up to me and was great before the game, telling me to stay within myself and not try to do too much,” DeWitt said of Kent. “I think I was relaxed as much from that as anything.”
Here is Blake’s reaction about making his first start, from the AP:
“I’m pretty excited to get out there and play,” the 22-year-old DeWitt said 90 minutes before game time. “This has been a pretty wild spring, starting in the minor league camp and ending up here.”
When asked if he was nervous, DeWitt replied: “Not yet. I’m sure I’ll feel a few pregame jitters. I feel pretty good.”
His reaction after the game, also from the AP:
“I felt great. I was really pumped up to get out there. I don’t think I’ve ever run that first in my life,” DeWitt said regarding his trip to first base. “I felt like I was floating. I was pretty excited. You dream about it when you’re a little kid. It was a great day.”
From his teammates:
“He played good, man,” winning pitcher Brad Penney said. “That kid’s a good player. He’s going to be around for a while.”
From the prickly Jeff Kent, “”Because of injuries, he’s been on a fast track, he’s handled everything right. That’s more than half the battle, being able to be emotionally stable in a game.”
Dodger manager Joe Torre, “”We’re not asking him to do anything other than play his position. We’re not asking him to carry us. He’s a quiet kid, not trying to convince any one of anything. He’s very calm. He’s got me tricked if he’s not.”
The Cardinals were rained out after jumping on the Rockies early. Yes, it is was only three innings but it was nice to see the team produce some runs against a talented left hander.
Mizzou dropped to Number 4 in this week’s Baseball America Top 25.
J.R. Bizzell is hitting .317 in the leadoff spot for the Number 23 ranked Rhodes College Lynx.