Did somebody say McDonald?

jmac1.jpgThey say first impressions mean everything.

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.

jmac2.jpgWhile 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

7 Comments

As excited as I was for his performance, I think I’ll hold off on saying he “solidified himself as the Pirate’s ace” until a trend develops.

Well with the struggles of the Pirates pitching, maybe that 1 dominant start was enough for him to be the Ace! Congrats to McDonald :)
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

I guess people now know why the Rays were giggling with excitement when the Dodgers wanted to talk about a deal with McDonald involved. Great that he made such a great immediate impact on getting a win for the Pirates.
No matter what ends uphappening for the rest of the year, this is a solid and great sign of a possbile rotation highlight for 2011.
9 weeks can change a lot of the attitude and karma of the Pirates….I see the sun rising brightly for them soon.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I hope so Matt…. Something has to give. I hope after him there will be more to follow.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

I still think the Pirates have good rotation capabilities, maybe now they’ll find themselves a pitching coach worthy and come back next year and suprise the sh-it out of everyone…

-peter

Phillies Outside

Have not been here in awhile, but I just found this post. Best wishes to JMac, but I must say the Dodgers did give him plenty of opportunities to establish himself as a starter. Maybe he just needed a change of scenery to thrive. Do you know the last 3 guys we’ve sent you in trades are all not just ex-Dodgers, but native Angelenos as well?–Lambo, McDonald and Delwyn Young.
On another subject–I wanted to ask if you’ve seen the movie “Chasing 3000″ and if so, what you thought of it. Saw it twice here in S.D. over the last couple of weeks and really enjoyed it.

http://behindblueyes.mlblogs.com

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