On Sunday, for the 10th time since moving to the Bay Area in 1968, the Oakland A's called on a position player to pitch. We all have fond memories of first baseman Ike Davis making two (scoreless) appearances last year, but this time the lucky hurler was catcher Josh Phegley. According to Susan Slusser, Phegley's last pitching experience came in college, for a grand total of one inning.
Phegley's arsenal included four offerings: an 86-88 mph four-seamer, an 86-88 mph cutter, a 76-81 mph slider, and an 80-82 mph changeup. When he's behind the plate he's known for a strong throwing arm that helps him throw out base stealers, so he makes sense as an emergency pitcher.
The right-hander used the cutter and the slider to get ahead of Adam Jones 0-2, but the next three pitches weren't close and the count ran full. After one more foul, magic happened:
That's a five-time All-Star, one-time Silver Slugger winner, on the cusp of 200 career homers at age 30, and he just struck out against a catcher on an 86 mph fastball that wasn't close to the strike zone. I don't care that the score was 11-3. I don't care if it had been 111-3. That will always be hilarious.
Click here to watch the full at-bat. (I'll embed when it's available.) Doo likes it:
Phegs wasn't done, either. He fell behind Mark Trumbo 2-0, but then sent over an 86 mph fastball and got a popout. But hey, at least Trumbo made contact.
(LOL Adam Jones)
Phegley's career pitching line: 0.00 ERA, ⅔ innings, 1 strikeout