Top prospect Justus Sheffield has officially become “rookie” Justus Sheffield, making his MLB debut against the Boston Red Sox in a 10-1 Yankee win. Sheffield still has a long way to go before he runs out of rookie status, but he made his first step toward the next phase of his career on a big stage versus the Yankees’ biggest rival. As was thought to be the case, as reported by the Inquisitr, Sheffield made his debut in a blowout game, so the pressure on him to perform was low, and in case he did have struggles, there would be plenty of time to get someone else in to shut the door on a potential Sox rally.
Sheffield has been staying in a Midtown Manhattan hotel since his call-up, and he told NJ Advance Media that he took the subway to the game. He said no one recognized him, or they just didn’t want to bother him. After last night’s performance, he will be much more recognizable and may see those signs of recognition on people’s faces the next time he takes public transportation to the stadium. Sheffield said it was a big day in his post-game interview, first not knowing if he would even play, and then throwing a scoreless inning to nail down a win.
It wasn’t just the subway to the stadium or making his debut that was new to Sheffield. The “bleacher creatures” gave him his first roll-call chant from right field when he entered the game. Sheffield gave fans an idea of what it felt like to enter a big league game for the first time in his post-game interview.
“The fans were awesome. I even heard my name. They were chanting. That’s how I knew I wasn’t really locked in because I was hearing the fans. But it was awesome. The first thing I was thinking was don’t trip running to the mound. Just don’t trip. Once I got out there it felt like when I got on the mound that everything was going to settle down a little bit, but nerves and adrenaline were pumping. It was pumping heavy.”
Sheffield threw 21 pitches during his debut, recording three outs, the last pair coming on a double-play grounder off the bat of Mookie Betts. The magic pitch for Sheffield that got him out of the bases loaded jam he was in was a 94 MPH knee-high fastball on the outside corner of the plate. Betts, a friend of Sheffield’s from the Nashville area, had no choice but swing or go down looking. He swung, and as they say, the rest is history.