Things couldn’t have gone much better for Chad Bettis on Monday night.
The Colorado Rockies starter was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November and underwent surgery, but doctors discovered in March that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, forcing him to go through chemotherapy. But you wouldn’t know that if Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves was the first time you’d heard of Bettis.
The 28-year-old made his return to the majors, pitching seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win over the Braves. Bettis also ran onto the Coors Field grass to a standing ovation.
“You try to get your mind clear because of the task at hand, and then to be hit with that emotion, it was unbelievable,” Bettis said of the crowd, per The Associated Press. “Walking in it was deep breaths.”
Bettis allowed just six hits to go with two strikeouts and zero walks, which is pretty darn impressive considering it took him a while to settle in.
“I don’t think I was in tune to what was going on until the fifth,” Bettis said. “So many emotions. I was trying to get them under control. It was taking much longer than what was expected.”
It probably didn’t hurt that Bettis had the whole baseball world on his side, too.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images