David Wells didn't care that this was an exhibition game at Dunedin Stadium as opposed to the World Series at sold-out Yankee Stadium. Just getting back on the mound was enough to excite the Boomer.
"The adrenaline was pumping out there," said Wells, who was traded from the World Series champion New York Yankees to Toronto last month for Roger Clemens. "It doesn't matter if its preseason or postseason. The butterflies are there anytime you face major league hitters."
Wells threw only 11 pitches in the sixth inning, retiring Ivan Cruz on a grounder to second, striking out Brant Brown and getting Al Martin on a weak popup to short.
"You don't want to be out there all day," he said. "My philosophy has always been strike one, strike two and whatever happens, happens."
Wells threw seven strikes, mixing in a few breaking pitches with a fastball that topped out at 92 mph. His first couple of pitches to Cruz were up in the strike zone, but he quickly settled down.
"Normally you don't see David work that high in the strike zone, but the adrenaline was pumping," pitching coach Mel Queen said. "He was excited. Overall, it was a good outing."
Wells' return to the Blue Jays was delayed by back spasms that sidelined him for five days earlier this month. He will throw on the side Monday and the Blue Jays plan to start him against the Phillies Wednesday.
"My back feels fine," he said. "There was a little cringe in my side when I followed through. I felt a pinch a couple of times, but hopefully it's not too big a deal."
© 1999 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved