Troy Scribner takes first impressions very seriously, which is a good thing for him, since the ones he's made this year with the Angels are nothing short of remarkable.
"Because I'm in a new organization this year, these guys have seen only bits and pieces of how I perform but not really," he said. "So coming to [Double-A] Arkansas the first time, being able to throw the five good innings there, that was crucial for my future. It was the same thing getting called up here and throwing the first game because who knows how I can perform at the Triple-A level? So I think the first starts are always the most important, and it might've given me that extra fire tonight, for sure."
Scribner tossed a two-hitter, walked two and struck out five in his Triple-A debut Saturday as Salt Lake blanked Sacramento, 7-0, at Raley Field.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous," the 25-year-old right-hander said. "I think the first inning I was a little jittery, but once I got those three guys out, after I saw that it's not that different from where I was and I'm fully capable of being here and pitching here, after that, I was fine and just went back to doing what I do."
Scribner retired his first 11 batters before allowing Matt Duffy's single in the fourth. He issued a two-out walk to Gorkys Hernandez in the sixth and gave up a two-out single to Kelby Tomlinson in the eighth before coming back for the final frame.
"I was throwing my off-speed for strikes," he said. "If I fell behind guys, I was able to come back with a good off-speed pitch, keep them off-balance as best as I could becasue if you don't, those guys are going to crush you."
Scribner got Hernandez to fly to right on five pitches before walking Ehire Adrianza on another five.
"We had a pretty comfortable lead, so I think [manager Keith Johnson] was giving me a longer leash than usual," the Connecticut native said. "I wasn't too worried after that walk, but I knew if it got any further and there was any other baserunners, he would either come out and talk to me or I would get pulled, but I didn't really worry about that."
Scribner struck out Ali Castillo, then got Miguel Olivo to foul out on the first pitch to finish his second career complete game and first shutout.
"The first thing I thought was I was relieved that it was all over with," he said, "because you're so focused the whole time. Throughout the game, you have no breaks, your body is always working, so it was just a good exhale after it was over. And that was great."
Scribner became the first Salt Lake pitcher to throw a nine-inning two-hitter since Trevor Belt on June 16, 2009 and the first Bee to throw any type of nine-inning complete game since Caleb Clay on July 20, 2014 against Las Vegas. He said he was pleased with not complicating things.
"I think that during the game, what I was most proud of was keeping everything as simple as possible," he said. "You have a really hard time thinking about the next inning and the next three batters, how long I'm able to go and all that stuff. Especially in some of those long innings and you're sitting there for a while, those ideas creep into your head, so what made me most happy about my performance was I was able to catch myself thinking about those distractions and keep my focus on the next batter because that's so hard to do sometimes."
Acquired from the Astros organization, Scribner pitched five hitless innings for Arkansas in his 2016 debut. He went 8-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts with the Travelers before getting promoted.
"I was surprised, who wouldn't be?" Scribner said. "It was very exciting. I got to call my dad and tell him I'm getting promoted; it was an awesome feeling. I mean, I've been promoted before, but it was in the lower levels, so it always gets better every step you make, and this was the best by far for me."
Quintin Berry paced the Bees offense with two hits and three RBIs, while Todd Cunningham, Nick Buss and Angel Rosa added two hits apiece and Angels No. 10 prospect Kaleb Cowart drove in two runs.