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March 24, 2013

Cardinals' marooned draft pick Mitch Harris makes long awaited pro debut

The St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday blew a six-run lead against the Mets. But it's not THAT it happened which bums me out. It's HOW it happened.

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Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

The St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday blew a six-run lead against the Mets.

But it's not THAT it happened which bums me out. It's HOW it happened.

The Redbirds were cruising along in the top of the seventh inning when manager Mike Matheny brought in pitcher Mitch Harris who was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 2008 amateur draft following his time as a pitcher at the U.S. Naval Academy. Harris, who was required to serve nearly five years on active duty before the Navy would release him to chase his dream of playing professional baseball, made his professional debut with St. Louis in the lead at Roger Dean Stadium.

What should have been one of the most memorable moments of his young life was largely forgettable after that.

Harris was tagged for a pair of no doubt home runs to lose the lead and take the loss in the game before he departed after a third of an inning of work. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk.

It must have been a tough situation for Harris, who warmed up to the strains of "Anchors Aweigh" after the stadium announcer informed the crowd of his service and his situation.

For the record, Cardinals fans gave Harris a hearty standing ovation as he left the field for a reliever. 

Hopefully Harris' next appearances will be under more favorable conditions.

Jake Westbrook started the game for the Cardinals. He allowed five hits and three runs in six innings of work.

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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