NewsMVNU's McLeary Slated to Make First Major League Start
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
(See Related Article on Pittsburgh Pirates' website)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Former Mount Vernon Nazarene University standout and current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Marty McLeary will make his first ever start at the Major League level on Sunday afternoon against the San Diego Padres at 4:05 p.m. EST.
McLeary, a Mansfield native who originally made his Major League debut with the Padres during the 2004 season, has appeared in three games for the Pirates since being called up in late August with a 1-0 record and a 4.76 earned run average. In 5 2/3 innings of relief work, he has struck out four batters and issued two walks. He has not pitched since working 1 2/3 innings on September 5 in Chicago against the Cubs.
"I am looking forward to this opportunity,” said McLeary. "I am really just trying to keep things in perspective and focus on going out there to do the job that they have asked me to do. Although it will be 19 days between appearances for me, I have been doing plenty of throwing in the bullpen in order to be ready any time my name is called.”
"This is a great opportunity to pitch against a team that is battling for a playoff spot,” said McLeary of facing the National League West-leading Padres. "I did play with several of the guys there, and it will be interesting to see what lineup I get to face. I am looking forward to the challenge, and I want to make the most of this opportunity.”
McLeary posted a 3-3 record with a 2.58 earned run average as a starter at Triple-A Indianapolis this season. In 69 2/3 innings as a starter, he struck out 76 batters and issued just 22 walks while opposing hitters batted just .236 against him. On the season at Indianapolis, McLeary pitched in 35 games overall with a team- and career-high 115 strikeouts in 104 innings of work.
"We are really excited for Marty to get this opportunity,” said MVNU baseball coach Keith Veale. "He has persevered through 10 minor league seasons and a lot of long bus rides to get to this point. However, he has always kept working hard and stayed focused on his goal. While he has made a few relief appearances at the Major League level, I know that getting to start a game is a significant event for him.”
"I really appreciate all the support that people have given me throughout every point in my career,” said McLeary. "It has been great to have so many people pulling for me along the way.”
After this weekend’s series in San Diego, the Pirates will close out the season at home with a three-game series against the Houston Astros and a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.
McLeary is the second former MVNU player to pitch at the major league level as he joins Tim Belcher, who was the #1 draft pick overall in 1983, won a World Series ring with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, and pitched for seven different major league teams over 14 seasons in posting a 146-140 career record.