Utility infielder Ryan Flaherty admitted after Saturday’s game that position players all want one chance to pitch. He got his in the ninth inning, giving up two runs on three hits including a homer to Jason Castro, the first batter he faced.
It was the first time Flaherty had pitched in a game since high school.
“Wasn’t very good then, and still not,” said Flaherty, who threw his fastball between 81 and 85 mph.
Flaherty said he initially wanted to throw a scoreless inning, but once he gave up the homer, he just wanted to get the inning over as quickly as possible.
He’s the first Oriole position player to pitch since Chris Davis was the winner on May 6, 2012 in a 17-inning game in Boston. That one was different; Showalter had run out of pitchers. This time, Showalter said he just didn’t want to put some of his relievers who threw Friday – like Vance Worley and Zach Britton – in a game that was essentially over.
“I don’t like it period, but what are you going to do?” Showalter said. “I started looking at options about four innings earlier because I knew we had a chance to get there.”
The Orioles will add another pitcher for Sunday’s game. Odrisamer Despaigne, who was recalled Saturday and then gave up four runs in three innings, was sent back to Triple-A Norfolk after the game.
Flaherty, by the way, now owns a strange distinction. He gave up a home run as a position player one season after he hit a home run against a position player (Philadelphia’s Jeff Francoeur).
“I think I had it coming for me after last year,” he said.