Kyle Harrison

How Giants prospect Harrison fared in MLB debut vs. Phillies

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Kyle Harrison became the youngest Giants pitcher to make his MLB debut since fellow lefty Madison Bumgarner, but when it comes to pure stuff, Harrison is actually much more similar to another former Giants superstar.

Harrison has the best repertoire from a Giants starter since a young Tim Lincecum, and on Tuesday, he had a debut that was eerily similar to Lincecum's in 2007.

Like Lincecum, Harrison took a big league mound for the first time against the Philadelphia Phillies, and he also had a roller-coaster first inning. Back on May 6, 2007, Lincecum struck out three in his first MLB inning but also gave up a two-run homer. Harrison did the same at Citizens Bank Park, showing his electric fastball while freezing Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm, but also giving up a two-run blast to Bryce Harper, a player the Giants tried to sign a year before they drafted Harrison. 

The 22-year-old ended up going 3 1/3 innings in his debut, allowing two earned runs on five hits. Harrison's first five outs all came via the strikeout. He also walked a batter and hit one. 

Harrison threw 65 pitches and did a good job filling the zone, especially with his fastball. He joined Carlos Rodón as the only left-handed Giants starters to touch 97 mph over the last decade, and he topped out at 97.6 mph. Harrison got 11 swinging strikes on a fastball that averaged around 95 mph, and he used the pitch for all five of his strikeouts. 

Harrison took the field with a 1-0 lead but the Phillies struck back when Harper smoked an elevated slider into the first row in right. That was part of an odd trend for Harrison, who dominated lefties in the minors and made his debut against the Phillies in part because they're heavily left-handed and -- in theory -- a better matchup than anyone else the Giants are facing during this stretch. 

The left-handed Phillies ended up accounting for all of the damage, combining for five hits and a walk against Harrison. His first big league strikeout came against the right-handed-hitting Turner, and he also whiffed Castellanos, Bohm, J.T. Realmuto and Johan Rojas. 

Harrison's night ended in the fourth, which wasn't a surprise. He has been on a pitch count all season and had not thrown more than 60 since coming off the IL earlier this month. He also appeared to have a cut on his left ring finger, which was checked by trainer Dave Groeschner after each of the first two innings. 

It was a busy night all around for Harrison, but also one that showed off why the Giants are so excited about his future.

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