Ian Thomas whiffs Bryce Harper for first MLB strikeout
Ian Thomas entered last night’s game in Washington in the bottom of the eighth, with the Braves holding a 6-2 lead. With the Nationals eying a comeback with the heart of their order due up, Thomas’s stuff was electric. He struck out Bryce Harper with a 93 mile an hour fastball, with Harper not being able to lay off the high heat. Harper was furious with himself after the at bat, smashing his helmet and a few other things in the Washington dugout.
Thomas then got Jayson Werth to fly out to center, which was followed by an Adam LaRoche single. Thomas stranded the runner however, once he struck out Danny Espinosa swinging as well. Despite having a four run lead, it was still a most impressive effort from Thomas, being thrown into the fire of one of baseball’s better lineups. Needless to say, there are few bigger stars than Bryce Harper against whom to rack up your first big league strikeout, and keeping Jayson Werth inside the ballpark is always an accomplishment.
This was Thomas’s second MLB appearance, after he pitched just a third of an inning at Milwaukee on Opening Day, March 31. His first batter faced in the bigs was Lyle Overbay, who grounded out. In two games and 1.1 innings, Thomas has allowed no runs, two hits and has two strikeouts without a walk in his MLB debut. Not a shabby start for the 2012 Revolution alum.