Pirates Rookie Paul Skenes Issues Bold Warning to Hitters Ahead of Second MLB Start

The former No. 1 draft pick is backing up his bold words, too.
Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes eyes up the runner on first base during his MLB debut.
Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes eyes up the runner on first base during his MLB debut. / Michael Longo/For USA Today Network /

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Paul Skenes hasn't lost any confidence as he toes the rubber at Wrigley Field for his second career start Friday afternoon.

Ahead of the Pirates' matchup against the Chicago Cubs, Skenes was asked by SportsNet Pittsburgh reporter Hannah Mears if batters will be able to adjust now that there is more film of the right-hander on the mound.

"I mean, go ahead and adjust," Skenes said. "Good luck. I'm ready for it."

Skenes is backing up his words, too. He struck out the side in the first inning, whiffing Cubs batters Mike Tauchman, Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger on fastballs all clocked at over 100 mph. He did it again in the second inning, mowing down Christopher Morel, Michael Busch and Miles Mastrobuoni on strikes.

Six up, six down, six strikeouts. Good luck indeed, MLB hitters.

Skenes's hot start against the Cubs follows his MLB debut on May 11 against Chicago at home. In four innings, Skenes allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven batters.

Skenes, the No. 1 pick of the 2023 MLB draft, appeared in seven games (27 1/3 innings) for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indianas before receiving the call up to the big leagues on May 8.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a staff writer and editor on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He joined SI in November 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports and NBC Sports. Dierberger has a bachelor's in communication from St. John's University. In his spare time, he can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.