Sep 7, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park will host a rare pitching matchup tonight.
A major-league debut is always a big deal. There's just something about a rookie pitcher taking the mound for the first time in his career, the anticipation and uncertainty surrounding a guy's unveiling in front of a big crowd.
Well, if you're at Nationals Park tonight, you're going to see something really rare: Two starting pitchers making their major-league debut against each other. Yunesky Maya, the 29-year-old Cuban right-hander signed by the Nats in July, has arrived after five minor-league outings. He'll be opposed by 24-year-old right-hander Dillon Gee, who is getting the call for the Mets after Johan Santana was scratched with a nagging injury to his pectoral muscle.
Gee isn't necessarily a highly touted prospect. He was New York's 21st-round draft pick in 2007 out of the University of Texas-Arlington. He made 28 starts at Class AAA Buffalo this season, going 13-8 with a 4.96 ERA. He's got a chance to make the back of the Mets rotation next spring.
Maya, of course, figures prominently into the Nationals' plans the rest of this season and beyond. We'll see if his wide-ranged repertoire, featuring an assortment of pitches from an assortment of arm angles, works at this level. He won't completely take the Mets lineup by surprise tonight, because he faced several of their Class AAA hitters only 11 days ago, allowing one unearned run and two hits in 4 2/3 innings for Syracuse against Buffalo.
Maya was one of three pitchers the Nats promoted from Syracuse today, along with left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-hander Joe Bisenius. Yes, Joe Bisenius. Who's he? He's a 27-year-old reliever who spent the last six years pitching in the Phillies' farm system, then signed with the Nats as a minor-league free agent in May. A power arm, Bisenius pitched at three levels of the Nats system this season, going 4-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 34 appearances between Potomac, Harrisburg and Syracuse. He's now a member of the Nationals bullpen.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Bisenius, the Nats designated catcher Carlos Maldonado for assignment.
Check back for updates throughout the evening…
METS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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