- Doug Padilla, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cubs will now decide if and when the rookie gets another start after an impressive major-league debut Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Rusin gave up just one hit, an infield single, over five innings, but ran into trouble when he hit two batters and walked another to load the bases in the fourth inning. The infield single, off his foot, scored the only run he allowed.
He added to his impressive evening with a triple in his first major league at-bat, the first time a Cubs pitcher had ever tripled the first time he had come to the plate in the big leagues.
“He was a little effectively wild, but got the job done for his first night,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He had some jitters and I don’t know how many times the first pitch a pitcher’s ever seen he hit a triple. Maybe a home run but I don’t know about a triple.”
Rusin claimed he closed his eyes and swung on his extra-base hit. He was wide-eyed for everything else.
“I was pretty nervous the first inning but after that I settle down and took it from there,” Rusin said.
He did a good job at not letting the nerves show. He retired the first nine batters he faced before running into trouble in the fourth inning when he tried to mix things up slightly during his second time through the lineup.
“I couldn’t get my secondary stuff over for a strike so that kind of put me in a hole,” Rusin said. “But I was able to throw some changeups to get them to swing out of the zone and get some ground balls.”
With six starters on the roster, the Cubs could start using Rusin out of the bullpen or they could send him to Iowa for a start before bringing him back when rosters expand in September.
“We’ll evaluate that but I know it’s not going to be the next start that he is going to be in there,” Sveum said. “But we’ll look into it later.”
Rusin is just fine with any timetable the Cubs have for him.
“It’s whatever they think,” Rusin said. “If they decided to keep me here then I’ll do my best in every outing. If not, then I’ll do the same thing down there. It’s whatever they think.”
2dJohn Jackson, Special to ESPN.com