English makes Major League debut
With two outs in the fourth inning and the Phillies leading, 5-1, on Monday at Nationals Park, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman decided to take left-hander John Lannan out of the game in favor of left-hander Jesse English.
It was English’s Major League debut and he was a bright spot in an 11-1 loss. He shutout the Phillies in 1 1/3 innings.
English entered the game with the bases and Ryan Howard stepping up to the plate. It took three pitches before Howard grounded out to second baseman Adam Kennedy to end the inning. English then retired the side in order in the fifth.
“I’m glad Riggs threw me in there. I felt good. I didn’t have any nerves. It was like another game,” English said. “It was the same game, but in a bigger [stadium]. I think it says a lot. They put me in that situation in Spring Training several times. I think they felt comfortable with me there.”
But playing in his first Major League game wasn’t the highlight of his day. His big moment came before the game when he met President Barack Obama.
“It was amazing just to see him and shake his hand. He is just a normal guy,” English said. “He said the oval office is smaller than [the clubhouse]. That was funny.”