Kolby Allard will be back.
The left-handed pitcher’s first trip to the major leagues was short – and most successful - as he earned the victory in a Braves’11-6 win over the Marlins on Tuesday at SunTrust Park. While Allard will return to Triple-A Gwinnett to continue his development, the 20-year-old gave the Braves the confidence thta he can handle another call.
“It was a surreal moment and something I’ll never forget,” Allard said after earning the victory.
Allard pitched five innings and allowed nine hits and five runs (four earned). In addition to the win, he got his first major league hit.
The plan all along was for Allard to make a start and return to the minors. The Braves want him to continue on this routine in case he is needed again.
“I thought he handled himself great,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He didn’t look like he was overwhelmed with the situation. Long rain delay and making your debut, I thought he handled himself really, really good.”
Yes, Allard had to wait through a rain delay of an hour and 27 minutes before he could finally take the mound. It did offer the chance to soak in the moment.
“I’m a super competitive guy,” Allard said. “I just wanted to come up here and compete and help them make their run for the playoffs. That’s my ultimate goal but everyone has been on my butt to enjoy the moment and take a deep breath. Before the game I kind of looked down, looked up and tried to take it all in for a minute. But my ultimate thing to start the game was go out there and compete. That’s what I want to do.”
Allard, one of the top prospects in the Braves’ pitching rich farm system, pitched the team to a third consecutive victory. The Braves remain a half-game behind the Phillies for first place in the National League East. This call-up was to give the Braves starters an extra day of rest with a packed stretch run ahead.
So, it’s back to waiting another turn.
“Go back down there and make a few more starts,” Allard said of the pending roster move. “My ultimate goal is to help these guys however I can get to the playoffs and beyond. My main goal is winning.”
Allard became the second Braves starter to win his major league debut this season, joining Mike Soroka. He also became the youngest Braves left-hander to win his major league debut since Charlie Vaughan did it at age 18 in 1966.
“It was fun to check that first box off – first game, first win, first hit,” Allard said with quite a wide smile. “I didn’t throw the ball as well as I would have liked but it was nice that we could get a lot of runs to support me and get that W.”