Russell beats jitters in Majors debut
Reliever settles in, throws perfect ninth in first big league effort
CHICAGO -- Pitching with an 11-run lead in the ninth inning of Tuesday's victory over the Pirates, White Sox reliever Adam Russell had to be working with a great deal of confidence and comfort during his Major League debut.
"I was nervous off the bat," Russell added. "Once I got out there, I just tried to slow everything down and get the ball in the zone."
Russell received the official lineup card from manager Ozzie Guillen, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski gave him the game ball. For the hard-thrower, it was just good to get that first Major League inning out of the way.
"My warmup pitches weren't great," said Russell with a laugh. "I was thinking, 'Oh, boy. Here we go.' But then once I got that first strike across, I knew I could do it."
Russell was called up last Friday to replace an injured Esteban Loaiza.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.