Officially, Zach Plesac received a no-decision in the Cleveland Indians' stunning 7-5 comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
The right-handed rookie, however, hardly left his Major League debut empty-handed.
As he returned to visiting team's clubhouse following the Indians' victory on Tuesday night, Plesac found that a pair of baseballs had made their way into his locker. But while the 24-year-old may not have been surprised to receive the balls from his first career pitch and first strikeout -- as well as the scorecard from the game -- what wasn't expected was the handwritten note from his Red Sox counterpart, David Price, that was also waiting for him.
"He told me, 'Congrats on your debut.' Just a, 'good luck, kid' kind of thing," Plesac told reporters after the game. "It was awesome. Really cool."
Despite Plesac's family ties to professional baseball -- his uncle, Dan Plesac, was a 3-time All-Star and enjoyed an 18-year Major League career, while another uncle, Joe Plesac, was a second-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1982 -- the rookie said he has no prior relationship to the 5-time All-Star, Price. Rather, he chalked the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner's words of encouragement to his status as one of baseball's elder statesmen with a big league career of his own that dates back to 2008.
"I'm sure he's just being the vet he is," Plesac said. "Taking care of the rookie pitching in my first game at Fenway [Park]. He's a class act. If he sees this, tell him I said, 'Thank you.'"
If his debut performance was any indication, Tuesday may not Plesac's last time crossing paths with Price. Despite being interrupted by a 69-minute rain delay, Plesac allowed just four hits and one earned run in 5.1 innings pitched, making a bid to become a regular in a Cleveland rotation that's been hampered by injuries through the first two months of the season.
Prior to being called up for his spot start, Plesac was arguably the most impressive player in the Indians' minor league system. In 9 combined appearances between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, he tallied a 4-1 record, 1.41 ERA and 56 strikeouts.
As of Tuesday, Plesac's hot start to the season only continued. And it appears one of baseball's most accomplished pitchers took notice.