Gore impresses in debut 5.1 innings, full of fastballs

Padres MacKenzie Gore

Credit: MLB.com

Padres MacKenzie Gore
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller selected MacKenzie Gore with the third overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft 1,768 days ago.

Across the 1,768 days between being drafted and making his major league debut, Gore dealt with blister issues, became the top pitching prospect in baseball, and struggled with pitching mechanics.

Gore got the call and made his first professional start Friday night in front of a packed Petco Park crowd while donning the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier 75 years ago to the day.

His final pitching line after 73 pitches over 5.1 innings included three strikeouts while allowing just three hits and walking just two batters.

It took little time for the southpaw to settle in as he struck out Ozzie Albies to retire his first major league hitter. The first ball to be put in play against Gore was a fly-out to CJ Abrams, the 2019 first-round pick of the Padres.

Fastball velocity ranged from 93 to 98 MPH on 53 pitches, which averaged 95.6 MPH. Offspeed pitches were sprinkled in from Gore as he relied on that fastball for the entirety of his outing. His most used off-speed pitch was the curveball, which he threw just nine times.

Gore went through the Atlanta Braves lineup the first time without surrendering a hit while striking out two hitters. Matt Olson was the only Braves batter to reach the first time around when he worked a full count walk. Albies punished Gore with two outs in the third inning by belting a home run on the first pitch.


Atlanta got things going in the fourth inning as well. After Austin Riley led off with a 112 MPH double, he came around to score the second run.

As it lines up, Gore will next start against the Cincinnati Reds at home on Wednesday.

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Dominic Stearn on Twitter
Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Senior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the "Devils Talking Padres" podcast and is the producer and co-host of the "Padres EVT Podcast.

3 thoughts on “Gore impresses in debut 5.1 innings, full of fastballs

  1. Just imagine what this staff will look like with a healthy Clevinger also in the mix…Darvish, Manaea, Musgrove, Martinez, and Gore…it they stay healthy, not many staffs in the MLB world be better….
    But…the offense is clearly another story… and the biggest concern… How many 2-1 games can go on, before the offense starts doing their part…, need Tatis to return, and a trade, or two….

  2. I was at the game. He looked great. He looks like he belongs. I am surprised he threw so many fastballs. I also think he got squeezed on some calls. I’m happy our farm system seems to have finally put out such a promising starting pitcher. I’m wondering if the new pitching coach is responsible for his sudden turnaround. If so, I hope he impacts others so positively. I’m wondering if he could have done the same with Paddack. We will never have that question answered.

    1. Needs a better mix and to tighten his miss radius moving forward. He was either an inch OR two feet outside of the zone – The big misses made it too easy for Atlanta hitters to “work” deeper and flip the count in their favor – That said, his stuff is legit and often cancelled any disadvantage.

      He does appear to belong and currently at a level where he can consistently provide a winnable start with the stuff to slide toward the top of the rotation. Very exciting.

      I unfortunately watched the game from home – The umpire was all over the place. He gave and took away pitches from both sides. One at bat belonged in Bizarro world with each strike called a ball and each ball called a strike. Two starting pitchers with electric stuff combined with a moving strike zone…Tough game for MLB hitters…

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