With the possible exception of parents watching their kids, nothing beats a position player tossing an inning in a Major League Baseball game. The general awkwardness, the funky delivery, the potential for high comedy. The no-win situations. It's like the proverbial car wreck from which there's no turning away.
Texas Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia volunteered to pitch Wednesday night with his team getting blown out 10-1 by the Tampa Bay Rays, and the results were pretty good. Arencibia pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and throwing six of 10 pitches for strikes. Not as dominating as Chris Archer was for the Rays, with his 12 strikeouts, but also not as unfortunate as Miles Mikolas, with his 10 earned runs, was for the Rangers.
Even more compelling, Arencibia was the 35th individual to make an appearance on the mound this season for the injury prone Rangers, which puts them just two shy of making history:
If Arencibia pitches, #Rangers will be up to 35 pitchers, 2 shy of most pitchers ever used by a club (2002, Padres).— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) August 14, 2014
Yeah, it's not the kind of history one likes to make, but it's history nonetheless.
What's sort of odd: Three position players have pitched a combined three innings for the Rangers this season — Chris Gimenez and Mitch Moreland are the others — and they've retired nine of the 10 batters they've faced. Logan Forsythe's single against Arencibia is the lone exception. But for a team having lousy luck with its pitchers, it's pretty good luck.
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