Reed, Houser have memorable debuts in loss

Reed, Houser have memorable debuts in loss

ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers pushed their tally of 2015 Major League debuts to 11 -- setting a franchise record -- in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday, when outfielder Michael Reed and right-hander Adrian Houser enjoyed highlights on a night otherwise short of them.

Reed delivered a pinch-hit double and scored in the sixth inning, and Houser worked around a hit and a walk in a scoreless eighth. Those contributions came in a defeat that sealed the Brewers' first 90-loss season since 2004.

"When I first got out there and stepped on the mound, the plate looked like it was 100 feet away," Houser said. "Everything just looked so big."

Said Reed: "I can't even explain how awesome it was. Just walking up to the plate and hearing my name called and hearing the cheers because they announced that it was my debut, it's just a very humbling feeling, and it's exactly what I dreamed of."

The Brewers' previous record for season debuts was 10, set in 1995 and matched in 2013. This year's total should climb to 12 on Tuesday, when right-hander and Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Year Jorge Lopez is scheduled to start in San Diego.

Houser, Lopez and Reed were among the six Double-A Biloxi players promoted to the Majors on Tuesday; five of them appeared in Saturday's loss. Starting pitcher Tyler Wagner, starting second baseman Yadiel Rivera and reliever Yhonathan Barrios had previously debuted for the Brewers.

"When I walked up there, I was thinking, 'Hack at the first pitch,'" Reed said. "But then I thought to myself, I'm just going to take it like any other at-bat like I'm in Double-A, Triple-A. It's the same game."

Two innings later it was Houser's turn. He retired the first two batters on comebackers, then surrendered a single and a walk before Tony Cruz grounded out to end the inning.

Houser's Major League debut

"Once the batter stepped in the box, I was locked into the glove the whole time," said Houser, one of four prospects acquired from the Astros in July for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. "I'll take it for the first one, especially with being a little amped up and having a little jitters there at the beginning. It's a good way to start."

But it was not a good night for Wagner, who made his only other appearance on May 31 against the D-backs, taking a no-decision in a game that went 17 innings. He surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings that day; the Cardinals added five earned runs on six hits and four walks in four innings. Four of the runs scored in the first inning.

"I don't think I was as comfortable as I wanted to be," Wagner said.

Manager Craig Counsell indicated earlier in the day that the pitching plans for the final series of the season, against the Cubs, were to be determined, so it's unclear whether Wagner will get another start. He went 11-5 with a Southern League-best 2.25 ERA in 25 starts for Biloxi.

"He showed in the Minor Leagues he's got the stuff, so I don't think you can judge a guy off two [Major League] starts," catcher Martin Maldonado said. "Especially against that lineup. Especially when you fall behind in the count. It's that way for everybody, unless you're [Jake] Arrieta or [Zack] Greinke."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.