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Sep 3, 2018 5:53 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Kyle McGowin Makes His Major-League Debut

Sep 6, 2018 9:57 AM

UPDATE: Thursday, 9 a.m.

Just two days after being summoned from the minors, Kyle McGowin made his major-league debut with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Coming in relief of starting pitcher Tanner Roark in the top of the sixth inning, McGowin got his first out when he induced Harrison Bader to pop out in foul territory to first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. McGowin fell behind in the count to the following batter, Yairo Munoz, who took a 3-1 pitch out to left field for a home run to give the Cardinals a 7-1 lead. But McGowin regrouped nicely, forcing opposing pitcher Miles Mikolas to hit a ground ball out to his shortstop Trea Turner, then getting Matt Carpenter to fly out to Bryce Harper in center field.

ORIGINAL STORY

It’s been a long haul for Kyle McGowin, but after 117 games and more than 615 innings pitched in the minor leagues, the Sag Harbor native has finally reached his dream.

Following Monday’s 2-0 victory for the Syracuse Chiefs over the Buffalo Bisons—in which McGowin started and needed only 50 pitches to get through five innings, retiring 15 of the 16 batters he faced, while striking out five—McGowin was called into manager Randy Knorr’s office. He was told he wasn’t driving back home to the East End of Long Island, but instead to Washington D.C., where he’ll be joining the big league ball club, the Washington Nationals.

“Honestly, it still hasn’t sunk in,” McGowin said of his promotion, when reached on Monday. “When I get [to D.C.] tomorrow I’m sure it will.

“When they called me up to the office, you pretty much have an idea of why they’re calling you in there, but you don’t want to think about it because you don’t want to jinx it,” he said. “But I said thank you to the manager after he told me and that I really appreciate it. I tried not to cry but it’s tough holding it back. This is what I’ve been doing my whole life.”

McGowin was a part of a large group from the Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Nationals, who were called up on Monday, with rosters expanding from 25 to 40 players in September around Major League Baseball. The 26-year-old certainly earned his promotion. He went 8-6 this season with a 2.80 earned run average in 23 games started between Single-A Advanced Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg and then finally Syracuse. In his eight starts with the Chiefs since being called up in July, the former Sag Harbor Whaler of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League went 3-2 with a 1.20 ERA and held batters to a .147 batting average, striking out 44 in more than 52 innings pitched.

A 2010 graduate of Pierson High School, McGowin said his mental approach to the game has improved this season which has led to his recent success.

“It’s not like I developed a new pitch. My mind was finally in the right place, everything was clicking. I’ve been working with the pitching coach, and working with a different mindset did wonders for me,” he said.

McGowin was drafted in the fifth round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft out of Savannah State University by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2013. He spent the next three years or so within the Angels farm system. During that time, he suffered a strained elbow that initially looked like it might require season-ending surgery. Instead, McGowin was able to recover after a few weeks of rest and rehab, avoiding what could have been a momentum-derailing major injury.

McGowin eventually reached the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees. On December 10, 2016, McGowin was traded to the Washington Nationals, along with fellow minor-league pitcher Austin Adams, for veteran Danny Espinosa.

“There were times where I was giving up on myself, especially the past few seasons, and in 2014 when I had that injury,” McGowin admitted. “Having a strong mind and battling back, it’s been an unbelievable road.

“I feel especially proud coming from such a small town, where people only dream of these things.”

With the Nationals out of playoff contention, McGowin figures to get at least a few looks on the mound in the nation’s capital. When that will be, and how—whether it will be as a starting pitcher or reliever—McGowin was unsure and, frankly, didn’t care all that much.

“Whatever they want me to do I’ll be ready,” he said. “I’m assuming tomorrow I’ll find out. I can’t be too picky. Whatever they want me for, if they want me to throw, I’ll throw. If they just want me to sit and watch the other guys and learn from them I’ll do that, because just to be around those guys will be great.”

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Good Luck....
By knitter (1506), Southampton on Sep 3, 18 5:58 PM
Good Luck !
By AndersEn (157), Southampton on Sep 3, 18 7:45 PM
Bravo!
By V.Tomanoku (665), southampton on Sep 3, 18 8:23 PM
WOO HOO!!!!!
By bigfresh (3834), north sea on Sep 4, 18 6:36 AM
Congratulations!
By Robert I Ross (239), Hampton Bays on Sep 4, 18 11:55 AM
Good Luck, stay focused young man and throw first pitch strikes! What a proud moment for you and your family.
By mtkfishman (54), montauk on Sep 5, 18 12:17 PM
IMG_3705.mov
My buddy was at the game last night....
By tikishack (1), southampton on Sep 6, 18 7:41 AM
Hello,

Would you mind emailing me the video? I'd like to share it on the site if I can. dbudd@pressnewsgroup.com
By Drew Budd, Sports Editor (7), Southampton on Sep 6, 18 8:47 AM