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Matt Magill shines in MLB debut

Magill pitched the 13th quality start by the Dodgers in 23 games this season.

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers didn't win on Saturday night, but that didn't make it any less special for Matt Magill, who dazzled in his major league debut.

"He was great. It was even more impressive than the video I watched of him before the game," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "I was amazed by his confidence and composure to be able to slow the game down. When I first came up, I remember how fast the game felt and how fast everything was going. Today he was in complete control of his mannerisms and his body."

Ellis didn't catch Magill in a game during spring training, and only caught one of his bullpen sessions. Aside from video of Magill's starts from Albuquerque, Ellis relied on a 10-minute pregame conversation with Isotopes catcher Matt Wallach.

"He's got confidence in his pitches. He's got an outstanding slider to go along with it. We had a pretty good game plan against these guys," Ellis said. "I don't think he shook me off once. He kind of let me drive. I told him before the game that I'd take care of the selection and he'd focus on the execution, and we'll go from there. It was a big pick me up for our team."

Magill got the call on Thursday night that he would be making his debut on Saturday. He was with Triple-A Albuquerque on a road trip in Round Rock.

"I woke up and was excited to come to the game," said Magill. "I felt good, I was a little nervous, and had a little anxiety. I was trying to give my team the best chance to win."

Magill did just that, allowing two runs while pitching into the seventh. He struck out seven in his 6⅔ innings, with just four hits and two walks allowed.

"He seemed to be getting better as he went along," said manager Don Mattingly. "He settled in, and he showed us why he's one of those guys on the rise."

Magill was selected in the 31st round in 2008 out of Royal High School in Simi Valley. He had family and friends in attendance on Saturday night.

"It was awesome. I have big supporters who have been with me all through the minor leagues," Magill said. "Being able to pitch here, in L.A., it was the greatest experience of my life."