"He told me, 'You know you're going to have nerves. Everyone does. It's just being able to take a deep breath and settle in and be able to throw strikes,'" Godley said after Thursday's 8-3 win over the Brewers.
Although Godley said he was feeling those jitters, it wasn't apparent on the mound, where he became the first pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) to throw six scoreless innings with at least seven strikeouts and no walks in his first career start.
Godley was recalled from Double-A Mobile to fill in for the injured Chase Anderson. The right-hander was acquired by the D-backs in December from the Cubs in the Miguel Montero trade and worked as a reliever for the past two years.
He has spent most of this season at Class A Advanced Visalia before making three starts in Mobile, where he had some struggles while continuing his switch to starting. There were none, however, in his first Major League inning, as Godley retired the Brewers in order, even notching his first career strikeout against Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.
"We knew this guy had big league stuff," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He fit right in and didn't seem to be bothered by anything."
Godley kept his composure even as he had to strand a runner on third base in the second inning and turn an unconventional 1-6-2 double play to get out of a two-runners-on, no-out jam in the third.
Godley relied on a heavy dose of sinkers and cutters, mixing in some off-speed pitches, while allowing just four hits.
"I was locating my pitches pretty well, all of them, anywhere from fastball all the way to the changeup and curveball," Godley said. "Everything seemed to be working pretty well."
When the D-backs announced Godley would get the call to the Majors on Wednesday, Hale said the organization liked the high intensity that the 25-year-old brought into every start. That is shown in the way Godley sprints on and off the field every inning, a tradition he started when he began starting as a junior at the University of Tennessee.
"He's a max-effort guy, mentally and physically," Hale said. "I think that sort of helped him in this situation, the adrenaline was just like any other time for him pitching."
Godley saved a lineup card, several ticket stubs, and the ball from his first career strikeout as mementos. He also had a large contingent of family and friends in attendance, including his parents, his fiancee, and his high school coach.
"It's unbelievable," Godley said. "It was great to have them here."