Chicago Cubs Rookie Dazzles In Electrifying MLB Debut

Chicago Cubs rookie Porter Hodge had a dominant MLB debut against the Atlanta Braves.
Chicago Cubs rookie Porter Hodge.
Chicago Cubs rookie Porter Hodge. / Chloe Trofatter / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Wednesday was a tough loss for the Chicago Cubs, who got thumped at home by the Atlanta Braves, 9-2. Justin Steele and the Cubs' bullpen collapsed in the late innings, yielding seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined and turning a winnable pitching duel into a one-sided blowout.

On the plus side, the lopsided score gave Chicago a perfect opportunity to give rookie pitcher Porter Hodge his first taste of the big leagues. With the game already out of hand, Cubs manager Craig Counsell summoned the 23-year-old right-hander to handle the top of the ninth.

Hodge quickly took care of business, striking out the side in short order.

Hodge only needed 10 pitches to mow down the Braves' No. 2-4 hitters, coming within one pitch of an immaculate inning.

Hodge came out throwing pure gas, strictly firing 95 and 96-mph fastballs. He struck out Ozzie Albies looking on three pitches (all fastballs), then did the same to Marcell Ozuna. He needed four pitches to dispose of Matt Olson, who went down swinging on Hodge's 10th and final heater of the day.

Blowing away three All-Stars to kick off your MLB career is tough to top, but Chicago fans are eager to see what he can do for an encore. The injury-riddled Cubs could use a boost, especially in the bullpen.

Prior to getting called up, Hodge ranked as the organization's No. 23 prospect on MLB Pipeline. Chicago drafted him out of high school in the 13th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, giving him five years to develop. Porter struggled at Double-A last year (5.13 ERA) and Triple-A this year (6.55 ERA), but the pitching-strapped Cubs are desperate for arms and were willing to give him a shot.

So far, so good for Hodge, although he may want to mix in something offspeed next time.

Tyler Maher


Tyler grew up in Massachusetts and is a huge Boston sports fan, especially the Red Sox. He went to Tufts University and played club baseball for the Jumbos. Since graduating, he has worked for, The Game Day, FanDuel and Forbes. When he's not writing about baseball, he enjoys running, traveling, and playing fetch with his golden retriever.