Manager Clint Hurdle said he gave “not much” consideration to sending James McDonald back out for the ninth inning today on a steamy afternoon at PNC Park. McDonald tossed eight scoreless innings in the 4-1 victory. The righty threw 103 pitches and matched his career high for innings pitched in a game.
“He finished strong, retiring 12 straight going out the door,” Hurdle said. “It was another great step forward for him. The pitch count was manageable. It was a hot day and in the third and fifth innings he had to pitch through some traffic. We took what we got from him and moved on. Very strong outing from James today.” McDonald, who’s been yearning for his first career complete game, was diplomatic about Hurdle’s decision: ” Every pitcher wants to go back out there. But coach knows best. He sees the game and knows what’s going on. That’s why he’s the coach.”