LUBBOCK, Texas – Lubbock native and former Texas Tech right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis made his Major League Baseball debut as the starting pitcher of the Colorado Rockies on Thursday evening during an 11-2 loss at National League Eastern Division leading Atlanta at Turner Field.
Bettis became the 27th Red Raider to make his MLB debut while pitching five innings allowing five runs (5 ER) on six hits with one strikeouts and five walks while giving up a pair of two-run home runs. Bettis exited the game with the Rockies trailing 5-1 after throwing 88 pitches (54 strikes) through five innings.
Bettis, 24, is the fifth Red Raider to tally at least five innings pitched during an MLB debut – while becoming just the seventh Tech pitcher to make a start for his big-league debut. He becomes the seventh youngest Red Raider to make an MLB debut at 24 years, three months and six days of age.
Bettis gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to Justin Upton while the Braves took an early 2-0 lead. The Rockies and Braves alternated runs in the second before Braves outfielder Jason Heyward hit a two-run shot over the right-field wall to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead over Bettis and the Rockies in the fourth inning.
That’s when the former Red Raider settled in as Bettis retired six of the next seven Atlanta batters he faced to end the fourth and to leave one runner on base in the fifth inning before his day was done.
There have been four Red Raiders that have made their MLB debut in 2013 – that marks the most in program history during one year. Texas Tech has had at least one player debut in the big leagues every year for the past five years and have had a total of 11 players make it to the show since 2006.
Since 2000, Texas Tech along with Oklahoma State and Texas are tied for the Big 12 lead with 20 former players that have made it to the major leagues. Former league member Nebraska also has 20 former players that have reached the big leagues since 2000.
Bettis was in a familiar jersey number as he made his debut wearing No. 35 – the same number he wore during his career at Texas Tech.
Bettis became the second pitcher in school history and the first Red Raider in 28 years (Ruben Garcia, 1970-72) to lead the team in wins during three consecutive seasons (2008-2010) while earning All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore and junior.
He was also named to the All-Big 12 Tournament team in 2010 while earning Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors twice during his Tech career. In fact, he remains the only pitcher in school history to lead the team in wins and saves in back-to-back seasons.
He is currently ranked in 20 all-time school record books while owning the Tech record for career saves (17) and saves in a single-season (10).
Bettis' career record at Texas Tech was 17-10 with a 4.85 ERA in 59 appearances with 23 starts. He recorded 17 saves with 226.1 innings pitched, 201 strikeouts and 92 walks allowed.
- Texas Tech has at least one player from five consecutive MLB draft classes that have reached the big leagues (2006-2010), including a pair of draftees from 2006 Josh Tomlin, Dustin Richardson) and also two from 2008 Roger Kieschnick, Zach Stewart).
- Bettis is the first Texas Tech player to make an MLB debut as a member of the Colorado Rockies... Bettis was the 76th overall pick in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Rockies... Bettis is the fifth highest drafted player in school history.
- Bettis is one of five Red Raiders to pitch at least five innings during their MLB debut while joining Zach Stewart (7 IP – 2011), Josh Tomlin (7 IP – 2010), Dallas Braden (6 IP – 2007) and Jeff Karstens (5.2 IP – 2006)... Bettis’ five runs allowed and five walks are the most by a Tech pitcher during an MLB debut as a starter.
TEXAS TECH PLAYERS MAKING MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT:
Chad Bettis (2008-10) – MLB Debut 8/1/13 – Colorado Rockies (RHP)
Roger Kieschnick (2006-08) – MLB Debut 7/31/13 - San Francisco Giants (OF)
Colt Hynes (2006-07) - MLB Debut 7/14/13 - San Diego Padres (LHP)
Nathan Karns (2008-09) - MLB Debut 5/28/13 - Washington Nationals (RHP)
AJ Ramos (2006-09) - MLB Debut 9/4/12 - Miami Marlins (RHP)
Zach Stewart (2008) - MLB Debut 6/16/11 - Toronto Blue Jays (RHP)
Josh Tomlin (2006) - MLB Debut 7/27/10 - Cleveland Indians (RHP)
Dustin Richardson (2005-06) - MLB Debut 9/28/09 - Boston Red Sox (LHP)
Dallas Braden (2004) - MLB Debut 4/24/07 - Oakland Athletics (LHP)
Jeff Karstens (2003) - MLB Debut 8/22/06 - New York Yankees (RHP)
Chris Sampson (1999) - MLB Debut 6/2/06 - Houston Astros (RHP)
Joe Dillon (1996-97) - MLB Debut 5/18/05 - Florida Marlins (1B)
Steve Watkins (1998) - MLB Debut 8/21/04 - San Diego Padres (RHP)
Trey Lunsford (1999-2000) - MLB Debut 9/12/02 - San Francisco Giants (C)
Josh Bard (1997-99) - MLB Debut 8/23/02 - Colorado Rockies (C)
Travis Driskill (1991-93) - MLB Debut 4/26/02 - Cleveland Indians (RHP)
Stubby Clapp (1996) - MLB Debut 6/18/01 - St. Louis Cardinals (2B)
Matt Miller (1994-96) - MLB Debut 5/8/01 - Detroit Tigers (LHP)
Keith Ginter (1997-98) - MLB Debut 9/20/00 - Houston Astros (2B)
Brandon Kolb (1995) - MLB Debut 5/12/00 - San Diego Padres (RHP)
Travis Smith (1994-95) - MLB Debut 6/21/98 - Milwaukee Brewers (RHP)
Ryan Nye (1994) - MLB Debut 6/7/97 - Philadelphia Phillies (RHP)
Mark Brandenburg (1991-92) - MLB Debut 7/20/95 - Texas Rangers (RHP)
Donald Harris (1988-89) - MLB Debut 9/4/91 - Texas Rangers (OF)
Mike Humphreys (1985-88) - MLB Debut 7/29/91 - New York Yankees (LF)
Doug Ault (1971-72) - MLB Debut 9/6/76 - Texas Rangers (1B/LF)
Chuck Harrison (1961-62) - MLB Debut 9/15/65 - Houston Astros (1B)