Harrison enjoys big major league debut


Big congratulations are in order for Josh Harrison, who made his major league debut tonight, got his first major league hit off a guy that no one else on the Pirates was hitting AND drove in the tying run in the eighth inning with two on and two out.

No pressure, right?

“Harry coming in, doing great job, getting the biggest hit of the night in my mind, it was great to see,” said Neil Walker of Harrison.

Harrison said R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball was like nothing he’d ever seen before, yet he was the only one on the team who managed to get two hits off the guy.

“My first at-bat, I want to say I saw maybe five of them, so I had a pretty good idea of how to see it later in the game,” said Harrison, who grounded out his first at-bat. “That showed up big in I think the eighth inning. I was able to put a good swing on it.”

Yes, it was the eighth inning, but you can hardly blame the guy if the night was a little bit of a blur.

“It’s special, I’m so happy for him and proud of him. I can’t imagine how his folks feel,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s a very special feeling. It’s a day he’ll never forget. Started (Monday) and it hasn’t stopped. First impressions are hard to turn your head on so we’ll see where that leads for him.”

Only downer about the whole thing was that while Harrison’s parents flew in on Monday, they flew back out this afternoon and missed the game. They’ll be in Pittsburgh on Friday, however, to watch him play.
= Here’s a quote from Mets manager Terry Collins about James McDonald, with whom he became acquainted when both were with the Los Angeles Dodgers: “When we signed James McDonald, he really was a good-looking young pitcher out of Long Beach City College,” Collins said. “And he hurt his arm his second year. He was athletic enough that it didn’t require surgery. It was rehab. He was athletic. We put him in the outfield. We made him an outfielder for two years. And the injury went away. We put him on the mound two years later and now he’s pitching in the big leagues and very successful.”
= Hurdle switched up the lineup a little bit tonight, something I was originally exploring in my game story that wound up on the cutting room floor, so to speak, when the Pirates mounted their late-inning comeback. But he moved Garrett Jones from the No. 2 spot down to six, and said twice before the game that they needed to get Jones going or else they’d have to start thinking about plan b. Hurdle didn’t elaborate on what plan b is, but tomorrow I’ll try to get some clarification, as well as talk to Jones about what he thinks is going on with his offensive woes.
= ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law released his updated list of the top 25 prospects in baseball and the Pirates’ Jameson Taillon moved up from No. 30 to No. 19. Law wrote that he could be more of a breakout in 2010 when given more latitude, citing that he’s faced 20 batters in just one of his seven starts.