Asche impresses in first big league start

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Phillies third baseman Cody Asche. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

For fans with expectations that the front office would fix the team with an extreme makeover, trade deadline edition, Wednesday was a forgettable day. For Kyle Kendrick, who endured one of his roughest starts of the season, it was a forgettable night.

But for Cody Asche, putting on the uniform, running in between the lines to his position and seeing his parents in their seats at Citizens Bank Park for his first major league game was unforgettable.

"It was really special," the 23-year-old Asche said afterward. "I had to hold back a little tears when I saw my mom tearing up. It’s heartwarming to know how happy they are for me, and they’re behind me 100 percent."

Asche's parents, Todd and Julie, arrived in town around 1 p.m. Had their son made his first major league start a night earlier, when he was summoned to the big leagues, they would have missed it.

The Asches weren't alone. Cody's girlfriend, his brother, his brother's fiance, his best friend from his hometown, his high school summer coach and his host family from Williamsport were all at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.

All of them were likely on their feet in the first inning.

After three straight Giants batters reached on hits, Asche briefly put the skids on the rally when he dived and speared a hard hit ball down the line off the bat of Hunter Pence. Then he jumped up and fired a strike to Michael Young for the out.

The ballpark erupted in cheers for the rookie third baseman.

"He made one heck of a play," manager Charlie Manuel said.

"It’s fun to make plays like that and it’s awesome when the crowd gets behind you like that," Asche said.

Asche did not pick up his first major league hit. After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance on Tuesday, Asche went 0-for-4 on Wednesday.

"I felt good ... I missed a couple of pitches I should have done more with," Asche said. "Overall I saw some pitches, swung at some good pitches, had a couple of tough outs."

"He didn't hit the ball real hard," Manuel said, "but he will."

Although the emotions nearly got to him when he saw his mom, Asche didn't try to make too much of his first major league start. He wanted to treat it like any other game.

"I didn’t want to be that guy that’s out there just trying to soak it in and then I’ve got a couple of balls slammed down my throat," Asche said with a laugh.

 

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