James McDonald was impressive in earning his first victory last night in his Pittsburgh Pirates debut. He has officially been named the new Pirates pitching sensation after striking out eight Rockies and throwing six innings of shutout baseball. [Video]
McDonald used an impressive changeup that was just nasty and missed all kinds of bats, and when the Rockies did make contact it was weak and led to key double plays to escape damage. We had a thought that might help the team. McDonald needs to show his teammate how effectively he throws his change. McDonald threw it whenever he wanted last night.
We would suggest a meeting with RHP Brad Lincoln. Make it happen. McDonald still has some work to do on his slider, but how could a Pirates fan not be impressed with this first outing. McDonald loves the PNC mound and frankly, the kid should be able to thrive when he pitches at PNC.
McDonald will need to continue to get movement on his changeup, because frankly, without the change it could have been very different. He had sick movement on it and threw it effectively against left and right handed batters. We’re such suckers for a solid change up and McDonald got four swinging strikeouts with it.
But how cool was it for McDonald last night? He once played outfield to continue his dream….. then on Saturday found out he was traded to the Pirates by watching it on TV? Simply awesome.
McDonald also has something in common with a large number of athletes and entertainers including Snoop. No, JMac is not a fake Steeler fan, both he and Snoop went to Long Beach Poly. Maybe JMac can rock a Pens and Grays jersey soon too.
And if McDonald keeps pitching effectively, maybe we all will be wearing McDonald jerseys soon too.
Long Beach Polyis the place to go to school if you want to be famous. Check out just some of the stars that were Jackrabbits: Tony Gwynn, Chase Utley, Willie McGinest, DeSean Jackson, Carl Weathers, and Spike Jones. More players have come out of Long Beach Poly to the NFL than any other school in the country.
In 2005, Sports Illustrated named it the best high school athletic program in the country.