Quality Start for Bronx Native Tom Koehler in Mets Win

Howard GoldinTom Koehler of the Miami Marlins returned to the city of his birth to make his fifth appearance at Citi Field on Saturday evening as the starter of game two of the weekend series. Interestingly, Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Marlins, was also born in New York City, and the team’s president, Jeffrey Samson, was raised in New York City.

The 28 year-old hurler retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. A lead-off single in the fifth by Travis d’Arnaud was the first hit Koehler yielded. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a double to drive in the first run for the Mets. A sacrifice by Rubén Tejada scored Nieuwenhuis to knot the score at two.

The Miami starter gave up no other hits and walked four before departing after 6.1 innings. His final walk, to Tejada, with one out in the seventh led to his exit.

After the contest, Koehler spoke with great disappointment of giving up that walk, “Can’t have it! It led to my being taken out of the game. I expect more of myself. That’s why games like today are frustrating.”

Manager Mike Redmond remarked that the walk was the only drawback of Koehler’s performance, “The only thing that was tough was walking the eight hole hitter.”

Unfortunately the father of a baby girl born nine days earlier could not receive the win because the first batter faced by reliever Bryan Morris, pinch hitter Chris Young, homered to tie the score at four. Koehler, who pitched a quality start by yielding only three runs in 6.1 innings, did not figure in the decision as he was removed from the contest before the score was tied.

The manager of Miami spoke strong words of praise regarding the Bronx born starter which showed his confidence in his pitcher, “I thought he did great. He got himself out of a couple of jams. This guy is strong. He’s continuing to improve and he will continue to improve. He’s got all those things a manager looks for in a starter.”

Miami’s starter was born in the Bronx on June 29, 1986. Although his family moved to New Rochelle when he was two years of age, Koehler remained a devoted fan of the New York Yankees throughout his childhood.

Koehler culminated his four years on the baseball team at New Rochelle High School with a senior season in which he compiled a 6-1 mark with a superlative ERA of 0.86. He fanned 108 batters while walking only 12.

He remained in New York State for his college years, attending Stony Brook University. He pitched four years at the university, where his won/lost mark was 17-19 with a 4.88 ERA.

The right-hander was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Miami Marlins. He made his major league debut on September 5, 2012, and pitched in New York City as a professional 17 days later in relief against the Mets.