In the midst of a blowout, Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes seized upon a golden opportunity to pitch in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees.
New York was already up by a score of 13-2 when Gomes strode to the mound. He was called into duty as a means to save Atlanta’s bullpen in a game that was already a lost cause.
It wasn’t exactly pretty, but boy was it an entertaining half-inning of work by the outfielder, who had never before pitched at any level of competition.
To say he was excited for this chance is an understatement. He came charging out of the bullpen with boundless enthusiasm and sprinted to the mound. Unfortunately, he allowed a home run immediately, but his reaction to the bullet shot was priceless.
Hilariously, he did manage to strike out Bryan Mitchell, who went down looking.
After the game, Gomes talked about the bittersweet nature of his pitching excursion.
“Any time you’re between the lines in a big league ballgame, it’s not really a laughing matter, when you’re up or down,” Gomes said (MLB.com). “With that being said, it doesn’t take the loss out of the loss column, but hopefully there were a couple chuckles.”
Gomes was the first position player to pitch for the Braves since 1989.