Mark Appel’s MLB debut for the Phillies is practically Hollywood-quality

Mark Appel had to travel a long way to reach the majors, but on Wednesday he finally did it and gave a performance straight out of a Hollywood production.

If choosing the less-trodden path is a commendable quality, then baseball fans should unquestionably admire Mark Appel.

The Houston Astros made the No. 1 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, and that prospect chose a route that, in all honesty, would hardly ever result in a player seeing a major league mound.

Appel retired from baseball in early 2018 after being dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 and experiencing subsequent failure. Then, in 2021, he made a comeback and made an effort to restart his career.

He was able to finish that comeback, or at least the first chapter of it, on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves.

In his eagerly anticipated MLB debut, Mark Appel excels

Appel entered the game in the top of the ninth inning and genuinely carried himself like a former first-overall choice. He pitched a scoreless inning for the Phillies to keep the gap between them and the other team as small as possible.

The fact that the Phillies were down 4-1 when Appel entered the game and pitched his scoreless inning to start his long-awaited MLB career was the only thing keeping it from being a genuine moment deserving of the big screen.

Naturally, in the movies, the goal would be to make a save and secure a victory, probably in the World Series or something similar.

Appel nonetheless produced a moment that would have Billy Beane (or Brad Pitt, to be more precise) asking, “How can you not be sentimental about baseball?” even if it wasn’t a wholly successful Hollywood production.

It is legendary for a player to experience hardships, take a three-year break from the game, and then return to the majors in less than a year.

And even if his debut came during a Phillies loss, any baseball fan would watch it because it was so good.