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As you might expect, with Major League Baseball playing under a full moon on Friday night, the 13th of September, there was no shortage of strange moments.
Thanks to an afternoon game in Chicago and a rainout in Cleveland, there were 13 games on the evening slate. A fitting number for the occasion. But only one can lay claim to the strangest occurrence of the evening.
While pitching against the Oakland Athletics in the eighth inning, Texas Rangers right-hander Shawn Kelley shocked fans by launching a baseball into the second deck behind home plate at Globe Life Park.
The toss was not out of anger or frustration, which was what prompted current Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer to launch a baseball over the center field fence during his final start with the Cleveland Indians. It wasn’t even due to lack of command on the hill.
Kelley didn’t really mean to throw it halfway to the moon. It just sorta happened after the batter, Mark Canha, was granted timeout halfway through his pitching motion.
There was no turning back then.
Pitchers really don’t appreciate a late timeout call. It’s been at the center of spats before between pitcher and batter, as well as pitcher and umpire. It can be an added strain on the arm if they don’t follow through and release the ball. On the flip side, following through and releasing the ball during a timeout can be dangerous for the hitter, catcher and umpire.
Some pitchers hold the ball. Others spike it. In this instance, Kelley just let it go and got the best distance we’ve ever seen on a pitch that wasn’t.
The odd moment didn’t impact Kelley’s performance. He was one of only two Rangers pitchers to post a scoreless outing in Friday’s game, which the Rangers lost 14-9.
It did, however, remind us of two things that are always true in baseball.
The first, you should always keep your eyes on the field. You never know when or how a baseball will come in your direction.
Angel Hernandez would’ve still called that a strike
— SadDodgersFan🥺 (@innocentfernie_) September 14, 2019
Baseball fans will never miss an opportunity to take jabs at umpire Angel Hernandez.
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