The Pirates' newest arm, James McDonald, acquired from the Dodgers in the Octavio Dotel deal last week, makes his Pittsburgh debut on Friday against the Rockies and couldn't be happier about it. With a clear chance to be a starter at the Major League level, the move to Pittsburgh was a positive one for the 25-year-old.
"I'm happy that they want me here," McDonald said. "There trying to do things here by building with youth. They have a lot of good young players. I'm happy to be a part of it."
And his new team is glad to have him. Especially since he's an arm that manager John Russell has coveted for some time.
"I've been talking about this guy for a year and a half," Russell said. "I saw this guy pitch last year and he was dominant against us. Live arm. Velocity. Good breaking ball, changeup. He's got the arm to be a very good starting pitcher. I'm very excited about it.
"He's a very talented pitcher. I was surprised when [general manager] Neal [Hunginton] called and told us we got him. It's a guy that I kind of myself targeted. I'm glad we finally got him."
Against McDonald, the Rockies will be trying to get their road trip off to a strong start and prevent a slide such as the one the team took on its last 2-9 trip. And Colorado hasn't played particularly well at PNC overall either. The Rockies are 13-23 when facing the Bucs on the road.
The Rockies have been playing up-and-down baseball since the break -- following their 2-9 road trip, they went on to sweep the Cubs in convicing fashion. The road has been an unfriendly place for Colorado as it hasn't won a road series all year. If they have any chance of reaching the postseason, the Rockies have to turn it around on the road now.
"We have not had a winning road trip thus far this year," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "We've had some .500 series, but we haven't had any really good road trips. Obviously, there would be no better time than the present to start having some.
"I'm a big believer that if you split your games on the road and you play baseball at home the way we've been playing it since May of last year, you get to the middle part of September and you're playing for something."
Pirates: Hanrahan gaining confidence in closer role
In the aftermath of the Dotel trade, Joel Hanrahan got his first save in over a year on Tuesday when he closed out the win over the Reds. Hanrahan will play a big role at the end of games from here on out, but he isn't officially the closer; that's a role he'll share with Evan Meek. It's also a role in which he's struggled in the past, but he's not letting that discourage him. "I put a lot of pressure on myself when I was in Washington," he said. "A couple bad games here or there and I was trying to lower my ERA every time I went out there. Now, I just go out there with confidence in the role that I'm in now and believe in myself. It's kind of the same thing you've got to do if you go into that role."
Rockies: Francis eyes another strong outing
The Rockies will turn to Jeff Francis to earn them a victory on Thursday. The left-hander has been very tough of late, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his past three starts. Last time out Francis limited the Cubs to just two runs in six innings of work to pick up his fourth victory of the season. The Rockies didn't even need him to be that tough though, as they exploded for 12 runs in the eighth inning.
The Pirates have lost just one series to the Rockies in the 10-year history of PNC Park. That was in 2007, when Colorado swept Pittsburgh in three games. Overall, the Pirates are 21-13 all-time here against the Rockies.
Thu, 8/5 7:05 PM ET
McDonald comes out firing in Bucs debut
James McDonald pitched six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in his debut with the Pirates, and he received all the support he needed off the bats of Garrett Jones and Ronny Cedeno, who both homered.
|Smith, S, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.277|
|Gonzalez, C, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.316|
|Stewart, I, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.257|
|Flores, R, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|McCutchen, A, CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.287|
|Jones, G, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||0||3||.267|
|Snyder, C, C||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.230|
|McDonald, Ja, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Gallagher, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Thomas, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
TB: Barmes; Tulowitzki 3; Hawpe; Stewart, I; Francis.
RBI: Tulowitzki (43).
2-out RBI: Tulowitzki.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Barmes; Stewart, I; Giambi.
GIDP: Giambi; Smith, S.
Team RISP: 1-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.
Outfield assists: Hawpe (Jones, G at 2nd base).
2B: McCutchen, A (21, Francis), Walker (17, Francis).
HR: Jones, G (15, 2nd inning off Francis, 0 on, 0 out), Cedeno (6, 2nd inning off Francis, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: McCutchen, A 2; Tabata; Walker 3; Jones, G 5; Alvarez; Milledge; Snyder, C 2; Cedeno 4.
RBI: Jones, G (62), Cedeno 2 (24), Walker (31), Alvarez (23).
2-out RBI: Cedeno 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Alvarez 2; Clement 2.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 6.
DP: 2 (Jones, G-Cedeno-McDonald, Ja, Walker-Cedeno-Jones, G).
Groundouts-flyouts: Francis 5-4, Corpas 0-1, Flores, R 1-1, Street 1-0, McDonald, Ja 5-3, Ledezma 1-0, Gallagher, S 0-1, Thomas, J 0-1, Resop 0-1.
Batters faced: Francis 25, Corpas 5, Flores, R 2, Street 3, McDonald, Ja 21, Ledezma 5, Gallagher, S 3, Thomas, J 3, Resop 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Corpas 2-0, Flores, R 2-0, Thomas, J 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Mike Reilly. 1B: Bill Miller. 2B: Todd Tichenor. 3B: Eric Cooper.
Weather: 86 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media