Washington Nationals' Rookie Joins Absolute Legends in Baseball History

It took all of three major league starts for Washington Nationals' rookie D.J. Herz to join Greg Maddux and Clayton Kershaw in baseball history.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher DJ Herz (74) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Nationals Park on June 15.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher DJ Herz (74) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Nationals Park on June 15. / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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It took all of three major league starts for Washington Nationals' lefty D.J. Herz to join some absolute legends in baseball history.

The lefty dominated the hapless Miami Marlins on Saturday afternoon, going 6.0 innings and allowing no runs on just one hit. He walked none and struck out 13.

Per Sarah Langs of MLB.com on social media:

DJ Herz’s 13 strikeouts are tied for the most in an outing of fewer than 85 pitches since pitch counts have been tracked (1988), with:

4/13/22 Clayton Kershaw
9/23/00 Greg Maddux

That's certainly amazing company to be in for Herz, who threw 57 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

The 23-year-old is now 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA through his first three starts. He made his debut back on June 4. The North Carolina native was an eighth-round pick of the Chicago Cubs back in the 2019 MLB Draft out of the North Carolina high school ranks.

He's listed as the No. 12 prospect in the organization, according to MLB.com.

Per a portion of his MLB.com prospect rankings:

The 6-foot-2 left-hander picked up a Vulcan changeup grip from Cubs senior pitching coordinator Casey Jacobson, and the pitch perfectly fit his natural pronating motion. The 79-81 mph cambio separates nicely off Herz’s low-90s fastball and drops nicely off the table as it approaches the plate, leading to impressive whiff and chase rates at Double-A. Late life on the heater helps it get more whiffs than the velo alone would indicate. His 81-85 mph slider is the more consistent of his breaking balls, and because he can’t land his upper-70s curveball for strikes as often, he’s more vulnerable to walking righties despite the changeup advantage.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS

Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.