DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Butterflies. Nerves. Anticipation. That's how right-hander James McDonald felt when he took the mound for his first Spring Training game on Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. After going through two weeks of Spring Training workouts, conditioning, and bullpens, McDonald was anxious for his first start this morning.
"It’s good to feel those nerves again, just to feel that anticipation. The nerves when you get to the mound," McDonald said. "Just that feeling [when] I woke up this morning knowing I was going to pitch. Butterflies. To me, I like the feeling…It was exciting to feel all that."
After throwing a 1-2-3 first inning, striking out All-Star slugger Jose Bautista, McDonald gave up two runs in his second inning of work.
"The first inning was very clean and efficient," Manager Clint Hurdle said. "I thought he still threw some good off-speed pitches in the second inning. The one thing with Mac, he’s got to trust his front side. When the front g...