To say that Alec Bettinger’s first outing as a Major League pitcher did not go well is an understatement.
Facing the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, the Hylton graduate tied an MLB record for most runs allowed by a pitcher in his debut. The Milwaukee Brewers’ right-hander gave up 11 earned runs in four innings, a total that included grand slams in the first and second innings in an eventual 16-4 loss.
Bettinger and Arnie Munoz of the Chicago White Sox are the only two pitchers to surrender that many runs in their debut. Munoz set the initial record June 19, 2004 against the Montreal Expos.
“They kicked my butt. I've got to be better,” Bettinger said. “But I mean, I competed with what I had today and left it all out there. That's the big takeaway from today.”
Even though the Dodgers battered Bettinger early, the Brewers needed him to stay in the game as long as possible to help rest an exhausted and depleted bullpen.
Bettinger was one out away from completing a scoreless first inning when he failed to touch first base after teammate Keston Hiura tossed Bettinger the ball following Matt Beaty’s grounder.
With Beaty safe at first, Los Angeles’ AJ Pollock followed with a grand slam that made the score 5-0.
Besides tying the MLB record for most runs allowed in a pitching debut, Bettinger set a Brewers record for that category.
Bettinger also is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to give up multiple grand slams in his MLB debut.
“I've been punched in the mouth plenty of times in this game,” Bettinger said. “This game is going to humble you many, many times. Anybody who's played it for as long as we have here knows that. I'm just going to keep pushing forward. That's all I can do at this point.”