AL oddity: Position player pitching to a relief pitcher?

A baseball oddity happened during Sunday’s game between the Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles that will probably not happen again for quite some time, but it does happen in such scenarios.

The O’s dump trucked the A’s by a score of 18-2. They pounded out 26 hits, and only shortstop J.J. Hardy was the only starter who did not record a hit (How??). But something rather bizarre happened in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Oakland decided to take it easy on some of their pitchers in the bullpen, so first baseman Ike Davis came in to pitch in the 8th inning. On the other side, Baltimore decided to rest their everyday players as the game went on and became out of reach for Oakland. So Baltimore decided to concede the DH spot in the lineup… a relief pitcher.

Yes, Baltimore relief pitcher Jason Garcia, who pitched the final two innings in the blowout victory, actually had to hit in the 8th inning vs. Ike Davis. A position player was pitching to a pitcher in an American League ballpark.

Garcia ended up taking a base on balls in his first and probably only major league at-bat of his career. Davis would go on to pitch a scoreless inning, his second such in his career. He now has pitched 2.0 career innings, posting an ERA of 0.00. Not too shabby.

So Garcia won the battle vs. Davis, but Davis won the inning vs. Baltimore, but Baltimore won the game handily. So it’s a win-win-win?

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