WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Lucas Giolito had a debut to remember even though it was cut short by rain during the Nationals' 5-0 victory over the Mets on Tuesday night at Nationals Park. He pitched four shutout innings, allowed one hit and struck out one batter.
Although he didn't get the victory, Giolito didn't forget who helped him make it to the big show on this day. Sitting behind home plate were his parents, Rick Giolito and Lindsay Frost, and many other family members.
"I don't know if my dad was even able to watch. He might have been hiding somewhere and nervous," Major League Baseball's top prospect said. "He probably kept it under control. My family has been there every step of the way, going back to when I was in Little League. My mom and dad driving me to games, to travel baseball, waking up at five in the morning going God knows where in the middle of California. It all led up to this moment."
Rick Giolito was in control throughout the game. The smile on his face said it all. The highlight of the day was watching him pump his first and shaking hands with a baseball fan next to him after his son was able to get Mets first baseman James Loney to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Lucas told his parents about the debut on Sunday morning and, and according to Rick, they were taken by surprise. It came three-plus years after Lucas had Tommy John surgery.
"He is 21 years old and he spent a year-and-a-half in rehab. We are so proud of him," Rick said. "We thought he was going to Triple-A and then he called us Sunday morning and he said, 'Look, you might want to make plans to come to Washington.' I said, 'Oh, my goodness, really?' We were shocked."
Frost said words can't express how proud she is of her oldest son. She was in Vermont with her parents when she was able get on a conference call and her husband and Lucas gave her the great news.
"It's a phenomenal experience," she said. "My husband was in California with our other son. I got a call from Lucas and Rick. I knew when Rick said, 'Oh, I have Lucas on the phone, too,' I knew there was some extra special news. It was very quick. We all switched flights, made flights. It's been a hectic couple of days, but totally worth it."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.