Rain cut Lucas Giolito's much-anticipated MLB debut short.
On a balmy June evening almost three years ago, the 21-year-old right-hander - universally considered the game's preeminent pitching prospect - was flummoxing the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Through four scoreless innings, Giolito had allowed just three baserunners: a single from Curtis Granderson to lead off the game and a pair of walks. In the top of the first, he struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a 96-mph fastball. He threw 29 of his 45 pitches for strikes.
Then the skies opened up. A delay ensued. When the rain finally relented, Nationals manager Dusty Baker turned the game over to his bullpen.
The untimely downpour proved to be a prescient metaphor for the start of Giolito's career, which had, until recently, very much been defined by unrealized potential. Following his promising - though abbreviated - debut in Washington, failure became so routine for Giolito that he now struggles to recall any of the early successes.
"In 2016," Giolito recently told theScore, "I don't remember a single game I pitched in the big leagues where I pitched well."
Indeed, Giolito finished his debut season with a 6.75 ERA over 21 1/3 innings.