Kyle Weiland became the 78th former Fighting Irish player to reach the Major Leagues when he got the start for the Red Sox yesterday. Boston won the game, but Weiland wasn’t part of the decision despite pitching into the fifth inning. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up six runs — all in the second inning — but that wasn’t why he was pulled. After hitting Vladimir Guerrero in the fifth, Weiland was ejected — just the third pitcher to be bounced from his first career start — as some of the emotions from Friday carried over into the series finale.
“It is what it is, and it’s a great experience,” Weiland said after the game. “I got the first one under the belt. Obviously I would have liked for a few things to go different. I got a little ahead of myself, and things kind of snowballed on me in the second inning. But obviously having this lineup is a luxury.”
Weiland’s first pitch in a 1-2-3 first inning was a 93-mph ball to J.J. Hardy, who later grounded out on a 1-2 pitch. The next batter, Nick Markakis, became Weiland’s first career strikeout, on a 94-mph four-seamer. Matt Wieters drew the first walk Weiland gave up, and then Derrek Lee recorded the first hit when he slugged a two-run homer to start the scoring in the six-run second.
It remains to be seen if Weiland will get another start coming out of the All-Star break, but with Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz still on the shelf with no timetable for their returns (and Lester isn’t even eligible to return until next Friday, July 22), Weiland may very well get a chance to redeem himself.