Fielders must sometimes wonder how hard pitching can really be when their man is having a day to forget. For Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, it was his day to find out yesterday.
The player, despite next to no serious pitching experience, stepped up to the mound at the eighth innings to pitch against the Colorado Rockies.
Despite the game being all but lost with the score at 12-1 in the Rockies favour, Moreland pitched a clean innings, retiring Jordan Pacheco and Corey Dickerson on fly balls and struck out Charlie Blackmon.
The 28-year-old admitted he was a little nervous heading towards the mound and wanted to impress.
Speaking to MLB.com, Moreland said:
“I pitched in the past and I didn’t want to go up there and get him. I wasn’t really going to take it easy.”
On top of his pitching feat, Moreland was able to grab a single in the eighth to get to five consecutive pinch-hits.
In fairness to the first baseman, who has spent his whole majors career with the Rangers, his pitching was impressive.
Although instructed by manager Ron Washington to keep it simple with fastballs, Moreland mixed it up with a change up to Blackmon while maintaining 90-94 mph fastballs:
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Moreland explained.
“I’ve begged skip for years in situations like that.”
To the delight of his teammates, Moreland was given the opportunity and didn’t disappoint- becoming the sixth position player ever to pitch for the Rangers in the process.
The last player being David Murphy at Fenway Park against Boston Red Sox on June 14, 2013.
However, Moreland was unable to inspire his offence partners as the Rangers notched up just one run all game off eight hits and one error.
Rangers must have been envious of the Rockies batting power after they smashed their way to 12 runs of 21 hits in eight innings.
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