By Laura Amato
He didn’t have a plan. He just wanted to throw strikes.
David Peterson, the Mets first-round selection in this year’s Major League Baseball draft, made his pro debut with the Cyclones last Friday. While it wasn’t a picture-perfect outing, the lefty was still happy with his effort.
“It was good to get out there, good to finally pitch in a game. I wish we would have gotten the win, but wins and losses come,” Peterson said. “The most important thing was to try and get a win for the team. It wasn’t our night. But my arm felt good and I felt like my stuff was pretty good tonight.”
Peterson threw just one inning — only 17 pitches — and while he gave up two hits and one earned run, he also notched a strikeout and a positive strike-to-ball ratio. The results were good enough for the former Oregon star to feel just a bit confident walking off the mound.
“I took it as a regular start because usually you don’t know how many innings you’re going to go unless you have a pitch count or something,” Peterson said. “So I tried to make it as normal as possible. I tried to start the game off on the right foot.”
Of course, Peterson was quick to admit to having some pre-game nerves. He did his best to keep things steady, but after nearly 10 weeks away from the game working with the Mets pitching staff to get him used to the organization, he was anxious to suit up and get the ball in his hand.
“I definitely had to be patient,” Peterson said. “I had to get my work in. I knew it was part of the territory of the Mets starting slow and kind of working me in there and I think we had a good timeline going. I was ready to throw today.”
If there was one major theme to Peterson’s first start, it was his fast pace. But that’s nothing new for the southpaw, who does his best to maintain a steady rhythm on the mound in order to keep opposing batters on their toes.
“I usually work at a quick tempo,” Peterson said. “I don’t really like to waste any time. I try and make the hitter as uncomfortable as possible. That’s kind of how I work, it’s just fast.”
Peterson’s one-inning start won’t remain the norm for long. He’s expected to pitch two innings for the rest of the Cyclones’ season, joining the rotation now that he’s game-ready once again. While he won’t spend a whole bunch of time on the mound, it’s enough that Peterson will be able to showcase more of his game.
“He wants to prove a lot, but to see him on the mound, I think it’s great. The way he’s working right now is great,” Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo said. “I think it’s good for him that he can get that out of the way, but I’m looking forward to the next start to see what happens.”
Peterson said he felt his fastball worked well in his first start, but knows there’s plenty of room for improvement. And while he would have loved a win in his pro debut, Peterson knows the only way to go is up.
“I think I can look at tonight and kind of see what I can improve on,” Peterson said. “The results will come, but, for me, my process is thinking about what I did well and what I can do better and then build off of that.”