James McDonald’s first impression with Pirates fans was as beautiful as his performance on the mound.
Pittsburgh defeated the Rockies 5-1 thanks in part to the Southern Califonia native’s stunning debut.
McDonald went six full innings allowing just four hits and one walk. The golden number for McDonald on Thursday was eight.
The newly acquired Bucco struck out the side to start the first inning. Came out firing in the second mowing down two more and at one point after facing just seven batters McDonald fanned six of them.
I was very excited to turn on FSN Pittsburgh to watch his debut. Las Angeles used him mostly as a reliever but the 25 year old has been fairly touted throughout his career as a future starter. I was proud of the Pirate’s decision to give him the starting nod and all who watched the game cheering for the black and gold were pleased as well.
While I was excited I was also nervous. Listening to the pre game show on TV McDonald seemed very timid and not sure of himself. He was very soft spoken and only talked in that “player speak” giving vague responses.
He let his pitching to the talking.
What is even more impressing is that his battery mate is also new to the club. It’s not like he was throwing to someone he was used to or somebody within the organization who is used to the ways and tendencies of PNC Park.
McDonald solidified himself as the Pirate’s ace with his masterful start tonight. He has earned a spot in a struggling rotation and has the potential to be the leader that trickles strong starts into other pitchers.
PHOTO CREDITS: Gene Puskar, espn.com