SAN DIEGO -- Brooks Raley made his big league debut Tuesday for the Cubs, but was mad at himself the day after. The left-hander gave up seven runs over four innings against the Padres, striking out four, including leadoff man Chris Denorfia.
"There were some bright spots and I had some rough spots, but that's part of it," he said. "Obviously, I had high expectations for myself. That was the shortest outing of the year for me. I pride myself on going deep and throwing strikes. I might have been trying to do too much."
Raley has been on the fast track despite not opening the spring in the Cubs' big league camp. He started the season at Double-A Tennessee and moved up to Triple-A Iowa in late May. Now, he will likely stay in the rotation for the final two months. The Cubs are short-handed following the trades of Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm and an injury to Matt Garza. Raley's next start will be Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Reds.
Give pitching coach Chris Bosio credit for helping Raley, 24, feel relaxed at the start.
"Bosio took me in the bullpen and after the first 15 pitches, he told me to sit down and kind of collect my thoughts," Raley said. "My first 15 [pitches], I don't even know where they were going. I thought that was the best way to handle that situation. I was able to calm down, finish my bullpen and warm up strong. I was ready to go first pitch. Striking out the first guy was awesome. I know I can be successful."
And he's got the baseball to prove it.