Enter Saupold: A few good innings, a bunch of tears

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Warwick Saupold

Baltimore — Warwick Saupold’s mother had one heckuva weekend.

Deanna Saupold found out Thursday night that her son had been called up to the major leagues. She immediately booked a flight that would take her from Perth, Australia, to Sydney, to Los Angeles and finally across the United States to Baltimore, where the Tigers and her son were playing.

Thirty-some hours later, she arrived at Orioles Park Saturday, about two hours ahead of the first pitch.

Then, some four-plus hours after that, it all became worth it. With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, she got to see her son, Warwick, come trotting out of the bullpen and into his first major league game.

“I don’t think she has any more tears left,” Saupold said. “She kept crying non-stop. It was a long 30 hours for her, flying all the way over here, but I really appreciate it.

“It was great to have her here. I was really privileged to have her here.”

Saupold retired the first hitter he faced, Hyun Soo Kim, on a grounder to second. He gave up a single to Joey Rickard, but got Manny Machado to tap one back to him.

“I was a little nervous leading up to it,” he said. “But once I got warm and started warming up, all the nerves kind of went away.”

He did allow himself to pause in the middle of the diamond, before he threw his first big-league pitch, and register the moment.

“Before I stepped up there, I kind of looked around and took it all in,” he said. “Just the experience. This is what I’ve always dreamt of as a kid growing up. To be finally out there was an awesome accomplishment.”

For an encore, he picked up his first big-league win on Sunday, working 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

“It’s great,” he said. “Always when you get a win it’s great and I was lucky enough to get it. Exciting to get my first.”