Blue Jays’ Cliff Pennington Became the First Position Player to Pitch in a Postseason Game
Teams have been playing postseason baseball since in 1903, when the first ever World Series was held between the winners of the National and American Leagues. But on Tuesday night in Toronto, somehow, we saw something we’d never seen in 112 years: a position player pitching.
Of course, fans in Toronto would have preferred Game 4 between the Blue Jays and Royals didn’t come to that. But hey, if you’re going to get blown out, you might as well have a little fun with it, right?
In the top of the 9th inning, with the Royals having knocked starter R.A. Dickey out of the game in the second and gone through four other Blue Jays bullpen pitchers to take a 12-2 lead, manager John Gibbons didn’t want to use up his good bullpen arms on a lost cause. He knew he’d need them fresh if he wanted to win Game 5 on Wednesday and send the series back to Kansas City. So, after two batters reached base on Mark Lowe with two outs, Gibbons decided to stick veteran infielder Cliff Pennington on the mound to finish out the game.
Amazingly—or again, if you’re a Blue Jays fan, sadly—Pennington proved to be the second-best pitcher the Blue Jays had all night. Sure, he gave up two hits, which scored two runs. But those were guys Lowe had put on base. Pennington was throwing 91 mph fastballs and mixing in an off-speed pitch here and there. And eventually he got the last out on a pop up foul territory.
Take a look:
Even after a hundred-n-something years, baseball can still surprise us. You gotta love it.
Hat Tip – [Cut4]