KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander Edwin Jackson made his Nationals debut on Saturday, pitching two shutout innings in a 3-1 loss to the Astros.
Jackson struggled in the first inning, allowing a leadoff walk to J.B. Shuck and a single to Jose Altuve. However, Travis Buck hit into a double play and Jack Cust grounded out to second baseman Danny Espinosa to end the inning. Jackson's only blemish in the second inning was a one-out walk to Jed Lowrie.
Pitching coach Steve McCatty said Jackson was rushing a little bit on the mound. McCatty also wasn't concerned about Jackson's mechanics, which have been a big concern since the team acquired his services last month. When Jackson pitched from the windup last year, opponents hit over .330 against him. The two walks in Saturday's game came while Jackson was pitching in the windup.
"Right now, we are not going to make a mechanical issue about anything, tipping [pitches] nothing," McCatty said. "I want him to be athletic. I want him to feel nice and smooth. I want him to feel everything is working together, not worry about all this other garbage that goes on with it. Obviously, the first time trying to get out there, we had a good bullpen session. We talked about working on some stuff and just taking that mental approach, 'I'm going to be athletic and make pitches.'"