23-year-old Astros pitching prospect Jarred Cosart made his Major League debut tonight against the Rays. He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, losing it on a one-out single to right field by Ben Zobrist. He went eight-plus innings, shutting out the Rays and out-dueling reigning AL Cy Young award winner David Price.
Throughout the game, Cosart looked sharp and in control. Rays hitters had a tough time squaring him up as he induced grounder after grounder (12 of his 16 batted balls out were on the ground). After Cosart lost the no-hit bid, the Astros had Lucas Harrell warm up in the bullpen just in case, but with 91 pitches and three consecutive right-handed hitters due up in the ninth inning, Cosart was allowed to take the hill to complete the gem. He walked Kelly Johnson to lead off the inning and was relieved by closer Jose Veras.
Veras promptly induced a 6-4-3 double play from Yunel Escobar. Following a throwing error by shortstop Jake Elmore, Luke Scott won a nine-pitch at-bat with a line drive RBI single to center. Veras struck out Evan Longoria looking to end the game, sealing an Astros 2-1 victory.
The Astros acquired Cosart, along with Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade back on July 29, 2011.
Some trivia about Cosart’s debut:
No Astros has thrown a shutout in their major league debut. Ever. Closest was Carlos Hernandez in 2001 w/7 shutout innings.
— David Coleman (@MDavidColeman) July 13, 2013
Jarred Cosart has allowed 2 hits thru 8 IP. Last pitcher to allow 2 or fewer hits in 8+ IP in MLB debut? Chris Waters for Orioles in 2008.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 13, 2013
Cosart was attempting to become the first pitcher since Bumpus Jones in 1892 to throw a no-hitter in his Major League debut. The Astros had planned to option him back to the Minors after his start tonight, and likely will still do so even despite the impressive outing as they wouldn’t need him again until July 23.