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Duane Underwood Jr. Gives Cubs Exactly What They Needed in MLB Debut (Except Runs)

It wasn’t spectacular by any stretch and at times looked like it was dangerously close to going completely off the rails, but Duane Underwood Jr.’s Cubs debut was about as good as anyone could have hoped for. Once listed among the top prospects in the organization, injuries and inconsistent performance had relegated the hard-throwing righty almost to afterthought status.

But a confluence of hard luck and weird timing had Underwood taking the mound Monday night in LA. His standout stuff was on display right from the jump as he flashed a 93 mph fastball and a looping curve before striking Joc Pederson out on a fading changeup. It took Underwood only four pitches to record his first MLB out. It’d take another 37 pitches to record the next two outs.

Nerves were clearly evident throughout that first frame as Underwood struggled to hit his spots and lost the grip on his change more than once, buzzing the tower on both Justin Turner and Matt Kemp. It didn’t help that home plate umpire Angel Hernandez appeared at times to be displaying his own lack of command of the zone.

The 14-pitch battle with Kemp was what Pat Hughes might well have called a turning …Read the Rest

Source:: Cubs Insider

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