Colorado Rockies pitcher Christian Friedrich hasn't always been dazzling since being selected by the Rockies in the first-round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but the 24-year old lefty sure did turn heads in his first MLB start on Wednesday. Friedrich allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out seven in his first start after being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier in the week.
The 24-year-old had his work-ethic and love of baseball challenged by general manager Dan O'Dowd after a forgettable season in Double-A last year (as noted by Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post), but a strong offseason and a better commitment to conditioning has helped Friedrich jump out to a strong start in 2012. The jitters got to him a bit in the first inning -- he gave up two hits, a walk and a run in the opening frame -- but after that everything went smoothly. As Friedrich told Thomas Harding of MLB.com: ""It felt like that [first] inning was forever, and I wanted to get back in the dugout with the team...I was trying to be as calm as possible through this entire process, it's definitely soaked in."