The New York Yankees may have easily defeated the Chicago White Sox on Monday, but Giancarlo Stanton is going to get criticized as though they had lost. In the ninth inning of the contest, Stanton struck out with a position player on the mound.
Matt Davidson strikes out Giancarlo Stanton
With the White Sox trailing 7-0 in the ninth, the team called upon third baseman Matt Davidson to take the mound. After Brett Gardner grounded out, Stanton came to the plate.
Stanton fouled off the first pitch and took the second pitch for a ball. With the count even, Stanton fouled off the next two pitches. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, he swung and missed at a 71.4 mph curveball from Davidson.
While your first inclination is to laugh at Stanton, Davidson actually threw a surprisingly good pitch.
Not Matt Davidson’s first time on the mound
Davidson has been called on to pitch a few times in 2018. Prior to Monday’s appearance, Davidson had pitched two perfect innings in the majors. He had one strikeout over those two innings.
Monday was Davidson’s third appearance as a reliever in 2018. That put him in elite company.
15+ Home Runs & 3 pitching appearances in a season
American League history
2018 Matt Davidson 16 HR, 3 pitching appearances
1919 Babe Ruth 29 HR, 17 pitching appearances
2018 Shohei Ohtani is close (11 HR, 9 pitching appearances)
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 7, 2018
Obviously, this doesn’t mean Davidson is Babe Ruth. It just goes to show you how rare it is for power-hitting position players to get multiple shots on the mound in a single season.
Matt Davidson’s perfect pitching performance came to an end
While striking out Stanton will go down as a career highlight for Davidson, Monday marked his worst pitching performance of the year. After getting Stanton out, Davidson allowed a walk to Didi Gregorius to put on the first base-runner of his pitching career. He then allowed his first hit to Aaron Hicks.
With men on first and third, Davidson got Gleyber Torres to fly out to end the inning. He may no longer be perfect, and he may have finally given up a hit, but Davidson still has a 0.00 ERA in three innings out of the bullpen.
As for Stanton, he’s no stranger to striking out, but we’re guessing this one might bother him more than most.
Giancarlo Stanton might hear it from teammates after striking out against a position player. (AP Photo)
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