Thomas Diamond didn’t win his Major League debut against the Brewers last night, but he definitely pitched well enough to earn another start.
Diamond struck out 10 Brewers over six innings, becoming just the second Cubs pitcher to strike out as many in his big league debut since 1920. Mark Prior accomplished the feat on May 22, 2002 against the Pirates.
The Cubs lost 4-3, but Diamond well and gave the Cubs six strong innings, something that was needed after being taxed in a 18-1 defeat a day earlier.
Diamond threw 122 pitches over his six innings of work, allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking three. He will get another start on Sunday against the Reds.
If Diamond can continue to pitch well and earn a spot in the rotation for 2011, it would be some silver lining in an already disappointing 2010 season. It would also give the Cubs some much needed flexibility with their rotation with the trade of Ted Lilly, the heart concerns of Carlos Silva, and the uncertainty surrounding Carlos Zambrano’s future role with the team.
The only three certainties for the Cubs 2011 rotation are Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, and Tom Gorzelanny. Other in-house options would be Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Smardzija, and Sean Marshall.
A healthy Diamond could open the door for his chance at a spot in the rotation next year.