ARLINGTON, Texas -- There's no doubt about who was the happiest guy in an otherwise morose Rangers clubhouse following Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
Right-handed relief pitcher Mark Hamburger was wearing a big grin after making his major league debut.
Hamburger worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting two groundouts sandwiched around a soft fly to right field. He threw 11 of his 15 pitches for strikes.
The 24-year-old from St. Paul, Minn., was the fifth Rangers reliever of the night and the fourth to not allow a run.
“Every time the phone rang in the bullpen, I thought they might call my name, but it was ‘not this time.’ When the call came before the ninth it was ‘all right, we’re about to do this.’ ’’
Hamburger, called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, said he didn’t want to change his mindset from what has been working for him.
“I wanted to focus on the game I was playing and have fun,’’ he said.
He said he was a little in awe by it all.
“Michael Young throwing me the ball after an out, I mean, wow,’’ Hamburger said.
Several of the Rangers players watched Hamburger's inning from the top step of the dugout.
Upon entering the dugout after his inning of work, manager Ron Washington greeted him with a high-five.
“When it comes from the manager, that’s a great feeling,’’ Hamburger said.
You can read about Hamburger's journey to he majors here.