I used to interview this kid from California on a semi-regular basis back in 2006 and now this young man who was a bit cocky, even back then as a teenager, is now in the Florida Marlins starting rotation.
We used to call him tough luck Tuck back when he was struggling at First Horizon Park but he’s not struggling now and I can say I was right there with this kid and I knew well, and today he probably wouldn’t know me from Adam’s housecat, but I am here to say, let’s here for the boy, “Way To Go Tuck”…..
Ryan Tucker, right-handed pitcher, a member of the Florida Marlins starting rotation…..
MIAMI — The Marlins may have just found a new arm.
On Friday night, Ryan Tucker got word that he was being brought up from Double-A Carolina and would start the third of a four-game series against the Reds. The 6-foot-2 right-hander remembers pacing around his house all of Saturday trying to calm himself down because he was so worried about how well he would do.
After five solid innings on Sunday, Tucker’s anxiety was put to rest.
The California native allowed just one run on two hits, and the Marlins pounded out 13 hits en route to a 9-2 win in front of 12,444 at Dolphin Stadium. After dropping eight of 10 games, the Marlins have now won two straight riding a high from Cody Ross’ game-winning homer on Saturday.
Tucker will take Burke Badenhop’s spot in the rotation — for now — and start again on Friday against the Rays.
“He mixed his pitches and he pitched well — he really did,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He pitched inside, wasn’t afraid. We’ll see what happens five days from now if he could do it again.
“It was a tough 10-day stretch, and then we won some ballgames like we did last night. But we were able to come out [Sunday], pitch pretty decently and swing the bats.”
After the game, with a media circle around him, Gonzalez handed Tucker the scorecard from his first Major League win. Tucker — whose parents, sister and girlfriend came to the game — threw his fastball in the low- to mid-90s, topping out at 95 mph twice. He used his changeup as a secondary alternative and made one pitch he probably wished he could’ve had back — a 3-2, get-me-over fastball to opposing pitcher Aaron Harang that resulted in a two-out, RBI single in the second inning.
“I was still a little nervous in the first two innings, but I did what I can to settle down and control the walks,” said Tucker, who left after throwing 89 pitches — 45 for strikes — and walking five. “I just told myself to relax, take a deep breath and make pitches.
“I’m going to stay as long as they want me, and hopefully, I could keep giving them wins.”
+++++This is still hard to believe, but it’s the stuff dreams are made of.(AD)+++++