TORONTO -- Now that Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman has his major league debut behind him, he can concentrate on building off his first start.
The powdered mini-doughnuts were gone from his locker, a few boxes still straggling around the visitors clubhouse. Gausman will remain in the starting rotation for the foreseeable future. If the Orioles stay on schedule, his next start would be Tuesday night in Washington against the Nationals.
Before Friday’s game in Toronto, Gausman reflected on his major league debut and his goals moving forward.
On getting all the firsts out of the way:
I think I kind of experienced everything I needed to experience. I gave up walks. I had some strikeouts. I had some success but also learned that you casnt leave balls up. At this level, guys are so good that when you miss a spot by more than a couple inches, they’re going to make you pay for it. I gave up my first home run, so I can say that’s out of the way. I thought there were some hard-hit balls definitely. … It was just awesome though. It was the coolest day ever. There were a lot of first for me.
On what stood out about going though his debut:
One of the things I noticed that was really cool for me was my first pick off to first. I’m used to like two people booing and it was a couple thousand people booing. That was something that really jumped out at me when it happened. I was like, ‘Wow, they’re booing me because I picked to first base.’ It was awesome, just little stuff like that I noticed. … People being on me while I was warming up, just stuff like that, stuff you don’t get in the minors.
On getting the jitters out:
I felt stronger as I went on feeling wise. I felt like I was was better with not being amped up as the game went on. I definitely missed my spots a couple of times and like I said, they made me pay for it.
On learning from his first start:
I feel like I’m a pretty quick learner and I can make quick adjustments. I think that’s why I’m here. I think part of the reason I’m here in the first place is because I had a good spring training and then when I went to Bowie I had to make some adjustments with what I was trying to do. I definitely thing at every level you have learning curves. Nobody goes through anything without a learning scale. Hopefully I can learn from this and in every start get better. That’s something that I’ve been able to do during my entire career. Like my freshman year at LSU, I had a losing record. And then last year I had a great year. I just try to learn along the way and find out what works. You’ll leanr pretty quick what doesn’t.
Rating his stuff against big league hitters:
I gave up my first hit and my brain is like, ‘Oh jeez, here we go.’ But I knew that if I just pounded the strike zone that I had the feeling they kind of expected me to be all over the place. I was at some times. There were a couple of at bats that got away from me. But like Baustista, I walked him with two outs [in the third] and I hate walking guys, but a guy like that, I threw him good pitches but they were just down, so if he’s going to swing, I want him to swing at a pitch like that. I wasn’t too upset about that. I definitely felt like my fastball played. I was throwing it for strikes for most of the game. Honestly the one pitch that really got away from me was the home run ball and that was a pitch that was supposed to be outside low and away and it was up and in. I learned pretty quick that 96 gets turned around really quick.