Muller revels in meaningful Opening Day start vs. Angels


Thursday night was quite memorable for Athletics' rookie starting pitcher Kyle Muller. 

One of the A's newest arms, who was acquired in the trade that sent catcher Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves during the offseason, Muller received the Opening Day start and pitched well, (5 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 3 K) receiving a no-decision in the A's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Muller fed off a lively crowd of 26,805 which included friends and family who were on hand to support the 25-year-old in what he described as his MLB debut all over again. 

"The first pitch the crowd was pretty loud, so the adrenaline was flowing there," Muller told reporters after the game. "After the first one, you kind of settle in and as the game went on, I felt like I was even more comfortable."

A's manager Mark Kotsay named Muller Oakland's Opening Day starter on March 24 and over the last week, the young southpaw thought about the honor nonstop. After the game, Muller had no desire to watch film from his impressive outing.

Instead, he wanted to take his mind off baseball for the remainder of the night. 

"I'm not going to look at it at all. I've been thinking about today for the last week," Muller admitted. "It was great, but I'm happy to have it done. I'm going to go home and relax and not think about baseball for the rest of the night."

Not only did Muller receive the Opening Day nod, but he faced off against two of the game's biggest superstars in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.

"Super cool. I mean, it was awesome. That's what you dream about," Muller added. "And you get to face the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world back-to-back in the first inning. You can't write it up any better than that."

Muller almost went toe-to-toe with Ohtani (ND, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K) through five innings and held both the Angels' stars to a combined 1-for-3 night with a walk.

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After striking out Ohtani to end the first inning, Muller couldn't contain his emotions.

"I've never yelled after the first inning before in baseball, but I was hyped, I was really excited," Muller said. 

If he continues to pitch as well as he did on Opening Day, Muller should continue facing off against Trout, Ohtani and MLB's other stars as a mainstay in the A's starting rotation. 

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