ST. LOUIS -- Growing up in Connecticut, Nick Greenwood was a New York Yankees fan, and his favorite player was outfielder Curtis Granderson.

One can imagine Greenwood's feelings when he arrived at the Busch Stadium mound for his major league debut Monday night and the first batter he faced was Granderson, now the New York Mets' center fielder.

"It was a surreal moment," Greenwood said, "but I wasn't really nervous. I was focused more on making a pitch. When I was warming up, I knew I was facing left-handers. That's why I'm here -- to get left-handers out."

Greenwood walked the patient Granderson, but then retired the next nine batters, including Granderson on a fly ball to start the eighth. By the time Greenwood was pulled after allowing back-to-back singles, St. Louis owned a 6-1 lead and Greenwood was about to earn a win in his first big-league game.

The best part of it from his perspective? It came in front of his fiancee, close friends and his mother.

"She hadn't seen me throw in a couple of years," Greenwood said of his mother. "It was a pretty unbelievable night from start to finish."