The scene was set for Jennings as the Rockies played the New York Mets in New York on Thursday night. Called up earlier this week, JJ actually got his first action at the plate as the Mets batted around in the top of the first. Jason ended the inning, swinging on the first pitch he saw and flying out to left field.
On the mound, Jason looked a little nervous and struggled to locate the corners in the first two innings. However, a huge moment came three batters into the game when Jennings faced all-star catcher Mike Piazza. After falling behind 3-0, the big Bear fought back and took Piazza to a full count. The Mets' catcher fouled off six pitches from the Diesel before weakly flying out. It was a big moment for Jennings and Piazza was impressed.
"I had a pretty good battle there with Piazza in the first," said Jennings. "That was a pretty big confidence booster. I got away with a couple of pitches there."
Piazza was impressed with the rookie pitcher as well. "He was throwing me a lot of curve balls and he kept coming with good pitches [in the first inning]," Piazza said. "Even the ball I hit to center I fought off. I guess it's not a good at-bat unless you get a hit. He had a lot of life on his fastball and was throwing a lot of strikes. He did a great job."
After the second, Jennings seemed to settle down and throw hard breaking pitches at the corners almost at will. He struck out Benny Agbiani to end the third and sat Piazza down looking in the sixth.
Over nine innings Jennings gave up only five hits and no runs.
At the plate, Jennings was on fire too. After flying out in the first, JJ went 3-for-4 with two singles and his first homer in the majors. The homerun came in the top of the 9th with no one on base.
As a sidenote, the Den staff and friends met at Damon's last night and enjoyed watching the game. Most of the Baylor Baseball team was there as were coaches Mitch Thompson and Hoot Johnigan. So, Diesel if you happen to read this, everyone back here in Waco is cheering you on.