It goes in the box score as a 1-3 putout, but Chicago Cubs minor league pitcher Javier Assad deserves extra credit for his play on Friday.
Just two batters into the game, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans starter drew a bunt from Salem Red Sox second baseman Marco Hernandez and fielded the ball cleanly. But after dropping the ball, he did the only thing he could to salvage the play: kick it to the first baseman.
Amazingly, the punt was right on target, and Assad got the runner by a step for what will be in the running for the highlight of the year.
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) May 4, 2019
First baseman Cam Balego did well to stay with the play even though he didn’t expect the ball to be kicked at him.
"At first, I saw it fumbled and thought the play was going to be ended," Balego said, via MiLB.com. "The next thing you know, I have a baseball at my chest and was like, 'Oh, wow,' and kind of processed it, that he kicked it to me. It was kind of crazy, him kicking a baseball. Usually, you'll see if a ball's foul, a guy will kick a ball foul or something like that. Seeing someone kick a ball up to make a play is kind of crazy. It honestly caught me off-guard.”
Although Assad didn’t have to use his feet again in the game, he cruised through six scoreless inning and didn’t allow a hit until Hernandez got redemption with a fourth-inning single.
More from Yahoo Sports: