The Padres got pounded in Tuesday’s loss to the Mariners, but it doesn’t mean they can’t find something fun to take away out of it all. Catcher Christian Bethancourt showed off his arm strength and his knuckleball within one at-bat.
If you are going to have to lose the way the Padres did, at least you can throw in (a couple) position players to pitch and no one gets hurt. No Jose Canseco appearance leads to TJ surgery, though admittedly no Mark Grace / Mike Fetters impersonations either.
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Bethancourt is known for his strong arm, and he showed that part of his game off first, hitting 96 on the gun. He also threw in a 54 MPH knuckleball to Seth Smith before hitting him on the next pitch. The former Padres outfielder did not seem as amused as Bethancourt was in the whole experience.Alexi Amarista
had been the last Padre position player to pitch on June 17th of last season, and he still holds the title now of last Padres position player to pitch in a game as he came in to finish off the inning. Naturally Bethancourt had taken his spot at SS and Amarista induced a bases loaded ground ball – to shortstop. Bethancourt fielded and uncorked an awkward though effective throw to end the inning on a close play. Bethancourt also played outfield in the game.
Padres Manager Andy Green seemed to have the right perspective on it: “You want to flush a game like this and leave it behind.” Green said. “But, it’s OK to smile and laugh, too. You can’t live in a morgue. It’s a tough game. These guys enjoyed watching Christian pitch, I think mostly people probably did. It was fun for us to watch him pitch today. You definitely don’t want to be in that situation, but I think he brought some fire to the game.”
I agree with that assessment and Perdomo had already been used up to his max effort with the team having to head straight down to San Diego for Wednesday night’s game.
SNo Mariner had the indignity of their first home run coming off the infielders. When Mark Grace pitched for the Diamondbacks in 2002, a young David Ross homered off of Grace for his first career home run. He recently hit his 100th career home run in the league 14 years later.
Hopefully the Padres won’t have to use a position player in a game again unless they are the ones leading by a large amount. If they are though, they apparently now have two options to turn to in case of needed relief.