Aug. 4, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Former Thundering Herd starting pitcher Dan Straily became the first Marshall player in over eight years to play at baseball’s biggest stage, and the right-hander made the most of his debut as he allowed one run in six innings Friday night at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Straily was in line for the winning decision until Jeff Mathis’ three-run home run off Athletics closer Ryan Cook erased a 4-1 Oakland lead. Mathis battled back from an 0-2 count with two out and two on in the top of the ninth and tied the game with a line drive shot to left-center.
Straily, who received a promotion from Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate, Sacramento, joined Major League Baseball’s Athletics on Thursday and pitched six innings while allowing one (earned) run on five hits in his big-league debut. The Springfield, Ore. native struck out five and walked one.
In 144.1 innings pitched this season, Straily has struck out 180 batters. The 180 punchouts appear at three different levels of competition: 108 in Double-A, 67 in Triple-A, and five in the majors.
Straily’s six-inning, one-earned run performance goes down as a quality start, making it 12 consecutive quality starts over the last two months. The last time the 23-year-old threw a non-quality start was on May 30, when he allowed five runs in six innings while playing for the RockHounds in Midland. Since then (and even before then), the righty has been on fire, boasting a 6-2 record and striking out as many as 13 in one game.
Straily’s only blemish Friday night came in the fourth – with the Athletics holding a 2-0 lead – when Blue Jays first baseman David Cooper won a nine-pitch at-bat with a double to left-center and set up an RBI-sacrifice fly from left fielder Rajai Davis four pitches later.
The earned run over six innings set Straily’s earned run average to 1.50.
Straily became the 12th Major Leaguer who has played for Marshall, and only the third since 1974, joining fellow pitchers Rick Reed and Jeff Montgomery.
Without Mathis’ late-game heroics, Straily would have become the first former member of the Herd to win a Major League game since Reed won a 5-4 decision with the Minnesota Twins in 2003.