Michael Grove made his 2023 MLB regular season debut Monday night with a start on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Grove pitched four-plus innings, struck out four, and retired 11 hitters in a row from the first through the fourth inning.
After allowing two walks and a hit in the fifth, the Wheeling native was pulled from the game by Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts. While it was a quick hook for the young pitcher, who had only thrown 63 pitches, Roberts noted that Grove was not 100 percent going into his first start of the year.
“He’s been under the weather, and it was kind of touch and go tonight if he was going to make the start. But he was determined to make the start tonight,” Roberts said after the game. “We kind of had a shorter leash on him. I thought in that fifth inning, he started to kind of poop out a little bit. But he gave us everything he had, and the stuff was good.”
Roberts noted that Grove’s determination to make the start, and the abilities he showed during it, were a strong showing of his character.
The LA manager also noted that while Grove was able to get his work done during the week to be prepared to make the start, the young pitcher did have to leave the field early a few days before taking the mound Monday night.
“I just can’t say enough about a guy that can make the start tonight,” he added.
Grove, who was handed a no-decision, spoke about his performance and health after the contest.
“I was feeling OK, just more weak than anything. Just haven’t been able to eat a whole lot,” he said. “But it didn’t affect me too much.”
Grove acknowledged that having to pitch under the weather has become a bit of a reoccurrence in his short big league career. The Wheeling native earned the first win of his career while being under the weather last September.
The right-hander is scheduled to make his next start for the Dodgers on Sunday, April 9, on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.