Down is up, right is left and reality is crumbling as position player pitches to pitcher
When scientists look back on history and wonder why gravity gave out, humans began breathing carbon dioxide and season two of True Detective started making sense, they'll point to Aug. 16, 2015. For this is the day that reality cracked and splintered, reversing upon itself like a rubber band.
For this is the day that, as the Athletics trailed the Orioles, 18-2, in the eighth inning, Ike Davis took the mound, inadvertently destroying reality along the way.
It's not entirely Davis' fault, though. Plenty of position players have pitched and the very fabric of existence was unchanged. Why, just this season, position players had taken the mound 21 times before Sunday, including Davis himself pitching earlier this season. Nor was it his performance which caused the space time continuum to rift -- the first baseman tossing a scoreless inning while striking out one.
Rather it was one slight change, one that you may have missed if you just glanced at the box score and weren't paying attention that caused our universe to crack like a pane of glass.
For in the middle of the inning, Davis faced his opposition on the mound in Orioles reliever Jason Garcia ... in an AL ballpark. That's right -- Davis, a first baseman, was pitching to Garcia, a pitcher, after DH Steve Clevenger was moved to first base and the Orioles lost the position.
After Garcia drew his four-pitch walk, chaos reigned. At that moment, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN stopped smashing atoms and began making those really big gumballs that crack your teeth.
Schrodinger's cat burst out of its box and, as it turns out, was quite alive and quite unhappy to have been kept in its box.
Blockbuster stores reopened and began reporting record profits. It was madness.
To put it in easy-to-understand sports terms, here are a few examples that are seemingly more likely than what we saw today:
- A linebacker taking a snap as quarterback and throwing a Hail Mary to the punter. Even the Patriots haven't tried that.
- In Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, instead of Michael Jordan being given the ball for the last second shot against the Jazz, the Bulls instead put No. 23 in the crowd to distract the Jazz's players while Rusty LaRue was given the last shot.
- Going to the World Cup and leaving American legend Landon Donovan at home to instead bring Julian Green and Chris Wondolowski. (Wait, this might be a bad example.)
However, there is a bit of history for this move. While there was one other time this season that a position player faced a pitcher-as-DH (Joe Ross of the Nationals pinch-hit for Yunel Escobar against Rays infielder Nick Franklin), per Elias, the last time an Ameriican League team had a pitcher bat against a position player was on July 19, 1987, when Bobby Witt of the Rangers squared off against Rick Cerone.
Of course, while Cerone balked during Witt's at-bat, surrendering a run, the Rangers pitcher-turned-slugger finished his at-bat with a strikeout. Meanwhile, this one ended with a walk. And that made all the difference.