WATCH: Cardinals back up catcher takes mound, records strikeout
In a scene similar to backyard baseball or batting practice, the St. Louis Cardinals sent their reserve catcher Rob Johnson to the mound with 2 outs in the 9th inning to preserve a depleted bullpen for another day. Holding a 13-4 lead, the Dodgers didn’t bother pinch hitting for relief pitcher Paco Rodriguez, preferring he stay in for his first career at bat, then gobble up the ninth inning so they could head to the clubhouse. Johnson didn’t take the role lightly as he attacked the strike zone and sent Rodriguez back shaking his head (courtesy of MLB.com):
It was Johnson’s second career mound appearance (first was last year with the Mets) and the second one in which he did not allow a run. He featured 90 MPH heat (or was it a cut slider) with movement in on the left hand batter. If the 31-year-old Johnson finds himself languishing in AAA (career .202 hitter) in a year or two, he might consider specialty relief as a second ticket to the show! His career pitching numbers so far are 1.1 innings, 2 K’s (13.5 K/9), nary a baserunner.